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Alcohol Rehab Costs & Insurance Coverage

Alcohol addiction is a disease that requires medical treatment, just as heart disease, cancer, or any other medical condition would. Health insurance usually fully or partially covers alcohol rehab. 

However, various factors affect the amount and type of coverage each insurance plan provides for alcoholism treatment. 

One of these factors is the type of alcohol rehab.

Type of Alcohol Rehab Average Cost Range
Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox $250 to $800 per day for 30 days
Outpatient Alcohol Rehab $1,400 to $10,000 for 3 months
Partial Hospitalization Programs $350 to $450 per day
Inpatient Alcohol Rehab $5,000 to $80,000, depending on the length of stay

Factors that Affect the Cost of Alcohol Rehab

The cost of an alcohol rehab program varies widely by the type of treatment center and whether you join an inpatient or outpatient program. 

Some treatment options are free, such as programs from non-profit health centers or 12-step programs like AA and NA. However, more expensive options, like luxury centers, can cost up to $80,000 a month.

Most standard alcohol treatment centers fall somewhere in the middle, at around $2,000 to $25,000 a month

The cost typically varies depending on:

  • Location
  • Length of stay
  • Included services and amenities

For example, a treatment center with beach views and a swimming pool will likely cost more than one in a small town with standard amenities.

Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?

Yes, in most cases, insurance covers rehab, as it involves treating a medical disease. 

In 2010, The Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed. In 2014, it required all small group and individual insurance plans to cover 10 health benefit categories. These categories include mental health and substance abuse disorder services.7

The Affordable Care Act also required insurers that offer these services to provide coverage comparable to general medical and surgical care coverage.

As a result, health insurance now often covers inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and other services to treat substance use disorders (SUDs). 

However, policies and plans differ on the level of coverage they provide for rehab. Navigating the exclusions, coverage, and whether the treatment program accepts payment via insurance can be challenging.

Fortunately, many rehab centers employ insurance specialists to help people understand their policies. Additionally, people seeking alcoholism treatment can contact their insurance provider directly to discuss coverage specifics.

Other Ways to Pay for Alcohol Rehab

There are various ways to pay for alcohol rehab. Many facilities provide several different payment methods.

Free and Low-Cost Options for Alcohol Rehab

Private funding and financing

Because rehab can be expensive, you may need to secure private financing for treatment if you’re uninsured and don’t qualify for federal or state assistance.

Some treatment centers offer scholarships. Speak to the admissions office about financing before you decide on a facility.

Alternatively, the treatment center may offer financing plans so you can make payments once you leave. Sometimes, this arrangement is provided through a third-party lender that can create a loan package.

If you have an IRA, savings, or a 401(k) plan, you may need to take out money to cover treatment costs.

If your home has equity, you may access it through a home equity loan to use toward rehab.

Fundraising or crowdfunding

Family and friends may be able to help you pay for treatment, too. Ask them to make payments directly to the treatment center, so there’s no question about how the money is being used.

Friends and family may also be able to help raise money for your rehab using crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.

State and local government programs 

Federally funded, state-run alcohol treatment programs can help some people. Depending on the state, these programs may be included under a behavioral health department or separate agency. 

State and local government programs can offer outpatient and inpatient treatment and aftercare support services. 

These public programs have specific requirements for people to qualify for assistance, such as:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of residence in the program’s state
  • The degree and history of the person’s addiction
  • A demonstrated inability to afford other treatment options based on income and other factors

There’s usually a waiting list to get into these programs. However, most offer some support while you wait for an opening.

SAMHSA Grants

A source of federal funding for state addiction treatment programs is one of the block grants delivered through SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) provides alcohol prevention and drug treatment programs for specific population groups.

Examples of people who qualify for this type of treatment are pregnant and postpartum women and intravenous drug users.

Non-profit treatment centers

There are some non-profit addiction treatment programs available at little or no cost. For example, The Salvation Army has a program that requires no fees. However, people must be willing to work a 40-hour week to cover the cost of their room and board.

Participants work in the warehouses sorting donated items or assisting with admin duties in exchange for a free 6-month treatment program.

Teen Challenge is a non-profit that provides addiction treatment for teens and adults at a low cost. The facility’s fees differ by location. Check your local program to find out the cost of rehab through Teen Challenge.

Is Rehab Worth It?

Investing in rehab can be daunting. However, when you look at the long-term goal of rehab, it provides the most cost-effective option for treating alcoholism. 

Addiction is expensive. Drinking alcohol consistently can be costly. For example, an alcoholic who drinks daily could easily spend at least $3,000 in a year on alcohol alone. A 10-year addiction could cost around $30,000 (just for the cost of the alcohol).

Alcohol addiction also often comes with workplace problems. It makes it hard to be productive, which can make job advancement unlikely and losing your job more likely. Alcohol is also terrible for the body and can cause many health problems like liver disease, cancer, mental health issues, and memory disorders, among others.

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Updated on June 8, 2022
7 sources cited
  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2016 data: alcohol-impaired driving. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC; 2017
  2. Weisner, C et al. “The outcome and cost of alcohol and drug treatment in an HMO: day hospital versus traditional outpatient regimens.” Health services research vol. 35,4 : 791-812.
  3. Breithaupt, D. “Why health insurers should pay for addiction treatment. Treatment works and would lead to net societal benefits.” The Western journal of medicine vol. 174,6 : 375-7
  4. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Identify Research Opportunities in the Prevention and Treatment of Alcohol-Related Problems. Prevention and Treatment of Alcohol Problems: Research Opportunities. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1990. 14, Treatment Costs, Benefits, and Cost Offsets: Public Policy Considerations
  5. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Treatment of Alcohol Problems. Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol Problems. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1990. 8 Who Pays for Treatment? 
  6. Abraham, Amanda J et al. “The Affordable Care Act Transformation of Substance Use Disorder Treatment.” American journal of public health vol. 107,1 : 31-32
  7. Affordable Care Act Expands Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits and Federal Parity Protections for 62 Million Americans, Office of the Assistant Secretary For Planning and Evaluation, February 13th 2013

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