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Alcohol & Health
Helping Alcoholics
Where Does My Call Go?
Updated on March 21, 2023
5 min read

Does Health Insurance Cover Alcohol Addiction Rehab?

Treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol use disorder (AUD) are powerful tools to help someone recover. Unfortunately, some treatment programs are expensive.

For most people, health insurance does cover alcohol rehabilitation expenses. It might cover inpatient, outpatient, or other services or a combination of these options.

Common Types of Healthcare Plans for Rehab

Different types of health insurance plans are available for AUD. Depending on your plan type, your coverage for alcohol rehab may vary.

Here are the common types of healthcare plans and their benefits:

  • HMO: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) generally give members access to a network of doctors and hospitals in their area. Many HMOs offer mental health benefits that cover substance abuse treatment.
  • PPO: Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) provide members access to various healthcare providers. PPOs generally have more flexible coverage for alcohol rehabilitation than HMOs. 
  • POS: Point of Service (POS) plans allow members to use different types of providers. Generally, POS plans cover some mental health and substance abuse services.

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What Insurance Covers for Alcohol Rehab

In most cases, health insurance covers:

  • Screening, preventative, and intervention services
  • Detoxification
  • Medication for detox, withdrawal, and recovery
  • Inpatient services at a hospital
  • Outpatient services
  • Individual or group counseling and behavioral health programs

Private Insurance

Insurance typically covers essential withdrawal and recovery services. Any additional services are less likely to be covered. However, some insurance providers offer more comprehensive services than others. In most cases, you pay higher premiums for more extensive coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act ensures that all Americans with insurance have access to rehab. It is also in conjunction with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

ACA plans must cover the following:

  • Behavioral health treatment
  • Mental and behavioral health inpatient services
  • Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment

However, this doesn’t mean a facility will offer every treatment under the ACA plan. It will vary, and it’s essential to understand what a facility provides you before committing to a treatment program.

What Types of Rehab Treatment Aren’t Covered by Insurance?

Most insurance policies don’t cover the “luxury services” some drug rehab programs offer. These may include:

  • Recreation
  • Gourmet food
  • Holistic services
  • Non-medical amenities

Remember that some states allow private insurance companies to deny coverage to intoxicated people when they seek services. This policy usually applies to emergency treatment related to illnesses or injuries caused by intoxication.

Rehab Costs Without Insurance

Here’s what you can expect to pay for the following 30-day programs:6

  • Outpatient: $1,000 to $10,000
  • Intensive Outpatient: $3,500 and $11,000
  • Partial Hospitalization: $7,000 and $20,000
  • Residential: A few thousand for basic inpatient and up to $25,000 or more for a luxury program

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Rehab Costs With Insurance

Most drug treatment centers cost between $2,000 and $25,000 monthly. You can also receive free treatments from non-profit health centers. Luxury centers can cost up to $80,000 per month.7


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The Cost of Rehab vs. the Cost of Alcohol Addiction

When you don’t treat alcohol addiction, the long-term costs can be devastating. The cost of alcohol addiction can be much higher than that of rehab. 

Costs associated with untreated alcoholism include: 

  • Health problems
  • Job loss
  • Legal issues

The National Institutes of Health also has an Alcohol Spending Calculator. This calculator helps you determine how much you spend on alcohol per week, month, and year. 

In comparison, the cost of alcohol rehabilitation is relatively low when you consider all the benefits that come with it. Treatment helps you get sober and stay sober, reducing the risk of relapse and improving your overall health and well-being.

What If You Don’t Have Insurance Coverage for Rehab?

If you don't have insurance, you can opt for the following:


Medicaid programs in many states cover rehab center costs for alcoholism and other substance use disorders. According to the ACA, anyone eligible for Medicaid is eligible for substance abuse and recovery support.

Some states offer coverage through the ACA, while others have specific state programs.

Medicaid coverage is available for low-income families and individuals based on:

  • Age
  • Children
  • Income level
  • Disability


Medicare is a federal health insurance program offered to seniors 65 or older or those with specific disabilities. The alcohol and substance abuse treatment coverage under Medicare includes:

  • Inpatient programs
  • Outpatient programs
  • Medication (except methadone)
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Individual, group, and family therapy

Payment Plans

Many rehab centers accept payment plans if you don't have private insurance or Medicaid. Some facilities may require a downpayment and will allow you to pay the balance over time.

Other rehab centers may provide additional financial assistance, such as scholarships or grants, helping to cover the cost of treatment for those who cannot afford to pay out of pocket.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

The main difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab is the intensity of treatment.

Inpatient rehab programs provide 24-hour care and involve living at the facility for some time. Depending on the patient's progress and needs, these programs may last anywhere from 30 days to several months.

On the other hand, outpatient rehab programs provide limited care for a few hours per day. You can receive treatment during the day and go home at night.

Outpatient programs are typically more affordable than inpatient options but are less effective for those with severe addiction issues.


The cost of alcohol rehab can vary greatly depending on the type of program and treatment facility. Inpatient programs typically cost more than outpatient programs, and luxury centers can cost more. For those without insurance, government programs and payment plans can help cover the cost of treatment.

Updated on March 21, 2023
7 sources cited
Updated on March 21, 2023
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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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