How Much Does Alcohol Rehab Cost?

Learn about costs and fees associated with alcohol rehab treatment. Find the right treatment options for your situation with this helpful guide.

When seeking alcoholism treatment, the first thing people may want to know is “how much does alcohol rehab cost?” This can play a role in whether people who need treatment decide to receive it, although some people may not realize all of the options available to help pay for care.1

The cost of alcohol addiction treatment can vary by state, facility, location, amenities and more, making it difficult nail down one exact price.2 Programs can range from no-cost at some facilities to over $100,000 for a 3-month stay at a luxury inpatient facility.3,4

For most people, the amount you’ll pay for treatment will be dependent upon what is covered by insurance or what you are able to pay out-of-pocket. Learn more about the cost of alcohol rehab, what factors affect the price tag, what insurance may cover and how to discuss your treatment options.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Alcohol Rehab Programs

A wide array of factors can affect the cost of rehab, including the setting or type of treatment program you attend.2,6 Treatment settings can include:2,5,7

  • Inpatient programs, where you stay at the facility full-time while receiving treatment. Since this type of program involves receiving room and board as well as staff supervision around the clock, it tends to be more expensive than other types of rehab. These programs generally last about a month and involve both group and individual counseling sessions. Many programs offer detox, family counseling sessions, psychiatric care, and on-site self-help meetings.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), which offer group counseling sessions and individual sessions that may meet for at least 20 hours per week, depending on your unique needs. This type of care offers high levels of support and structure without requiring you to live on-site at a facility, reducing the cost of treatment.
  • Outpatient programs generally require patients to attend weekly scheduled group and individual counseling sessions during the day while allowing you to go home at night. This form of care typically costs significantly less than other forms of treatment. This level of care offers different levels of intensity and can be adjusted according to your needs and your treatment progress. Some outpatient facilities also offer detox and address co-occurring physical or mental health disorders.

Insurance coverage can play a major role in the overall cost of alcohol treatment. If you have health insurance, opting for a facility that is covered by your plan can significantly reduce how much treatment will cost.6 For people without health insurance coverage, facilities may offer sliding scales based on your income, scholarships, or payment plan options to make treatment more affordable.3,6

The length of time you spend in treatment also plays a part in determining the cost of care; longer periods of treatment involve higher costs, especially when you attend an inpatient program. Treatment programs that provide multiple services—such as detoxification, care for co-occurring mental or physical health disorders, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT)—may cost more than programs offering therapy alone.

Free and low-cost alcoholism treatment is available.

Does Insurance Cover Rehab for Alcohol Addiction?

All Marketplace health insurance plans include coverage for substance use disorder and mental health treatment services as essential health benefits.8 While the specific levels of coverage can vary depending on which plan you have and what state you live in, all plans available through the Marketplace must offer coverage at comparable levels to what is provided for medical health conditions.8 These plans also can’t refuse coverage if you have a pre-existing substance use disorder.8

Further, The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) is a federal law that requires the majority of health insurance plans to offer equivalent levels of coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment as they do for the treatment of physical health conditions.9

Types of Alcohol Addiction Rehab

Although what is covered can vary, some services that may be included in your plan include:

Alcohol Rehab Insurance Out-of-Pocket Costs

Depending on what type of insurance you have (private or government-funded), there still may be certain things that you’ll have to pay for out-of-pocket. Typically, you’ll likely be responsible for the following:

  • Premiums: The annual or monthly cost to have insurance.
  • Deductibles: This is the amount you’ll have to pay before coverage starts.
  • Copays: The reduced fee paid in order to be seen by a doctor or to get service.
  • Lifetime limitations: Certain insurance plans may only offer coverage up to a certain amount before leaving the remainder to be paid by the policyholder.

Does Medicare Cover Alcohol Rehab?

Medicare does cover an array of services to treat alcohol and drug use.10,11,12 If you have Medicare, you are covered for screenings to determine if you have an issue with alcohol use, which can be beneficial in preventing addiction or help you access treatment earlier than you might have otherwise.10,12

In order for Medicare to pay for your care, a treatment provider must determine that the treatment is medically necessary; services must be received through a Medicare-approved provider or facility, and you must follow a plan of care that is created by a treatment provider.11 However, there may be more limits imposed on treatment for substance use disorders than its coverage for other types of services.12

When the following 3 conditions are met, Medicare coverage of treatment services can include:11,12

  • Education about the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and how it is treated.
  • Therapy sessions.
  • Medications that are administered while you are in the hospital or a doctor’s office, such as those used to manage acute withdrawal symptoms.
  • Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT) services that can be offered in a doctor’s office or outpatient setting. This treatment involves screening to identify how severe your substance use is to decide the best level of care for you. You’ll undergo a brief intervention to gather information and help you increase your motivation to make positive changes about your alcohol use, as well as a referral to further treatment if it is necessary.
  • Aftercare services, which can involve follow-up after discharge from the hospital or a treatment program.

Different parts of Medicare cover different types of alcohol use disorder care, provided that they are approved.11,12 Inpatient alcohol rehab programs are covered by Medicare Part A while outpatient alcohol rehab programs are covered by Medicare Part B.11,12 Medication-assisted treatment may be covered by Part A during inpatient treatment, or Part D when medications are prescribed through an outpatient facility.11,12

Your cost, including copayments or coinsurance, depends on whether you have met your deductible for the year, what type of plan you have, and whether the provider or facility is covered by Medicare.11,12

Types of Alcohol Treatment Centers

In order to make treatment more accessible, there are various types of facilities to meet a range of needs. These can include:

  • Standard rehab facilities: Many private treatment centers accept health insurance and may require you to pay for the full cost of treatment if you don’t have health insurance. Some of these facilities adjust fees based on what you can pay or make treatment more affordable through grants or scholarships.3 Since standard treatment programs generally have higher levels of funding, they may offer additional accommodations that aren’t available at programs with limited funding. Individualized treatment can be offered through increased staff members caring for smaller numbers of patients, as well as by providing training in cutting-edge techniques, medication-assisted therapy, or alternative therapies such as creative arts therapies or animal-assisted therapy.2 Some programs offer additional amenities such as private rooms, workout facilities, meditation, yoga, meals prepared by chefs, acupuncture, aromatherapy, or massage.
  • Low-cost treatment facilities: These facilities receive state and federal funding, allowing them to provide care at greatly reduced rates.5,13 This type of program makes treatment more accessible to people with no insurance or who wouldn’t be able to afford treatment with their insurance coverage.5 Limited sources of funding often means that these programs can provide only bare-bones services and amenities such as shared rooms, basic meals, detox, therapy sessions, and treatment that is less tailored due to the higher numbers of patients and lower numbers of staff.2 However, these programs are typically closely monitored by state agencies and utilize only therapy techniques that have been extensively studied and shown to be effective.
  • No-cost (government-funded) rehab centers: These programs are entirely funded by state and federal sources and provide treatment at no cost to you.5,13 This makes it accessible to people who have no insurance coverage or aren’t able to pay for treatment.5 However, this type of program typically has long waitlists and offer only basic services and amenities, similar to what is available at low-cost treatment facilities.2 Programs that are funded by the government are typically overseen by state agencies and can use only effective therapies that have been thoroughly studied.

Verify Your Insurance Coverage for Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol.org is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers (AAC), a nationwide provider of addiction treatment centers. We understand that making the decision to seek treatment for addiction isn’t easy; and therefore, we accept many insurance plans and can work with you so that finances aren’t a roadblock to recovery.

Our admissions navigators are available 24/7 to answer your questions about treatment and help you understand what may be covered under your insurance. All calls are 100% confidential and there is no obligation to make a decision right away. If you’re unsure of what treatment is covered under your insurance plan, fill out the form below to instantly verify your insurance.

Or, call one of our facilities directly to speak with an insurance specialist who can help you navigate the specifics of your policy.

Sources
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[1]. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

[2]. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1997). A guide to substance abuse services for primary care clinicians. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 24.

[3]. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Paying for treatment.

[4]. Business Insider. (2011). 9 Extravagant rehab centers for the rich and famous.

[5]. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (Third edition).

[6]. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021). Treatment for alcohol problems: Finding and getting help.

[7]. American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2015). What are the ASAM levels of care?

[8]. Healthcare.gov. (n.d.). Mental health and substance abuse coverage.

[9]. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

[10]. Medicare.gov. Mental health and substance use disorder services.

[11]. Medicare Interactive. (2021). Treatment for alcoholism and substance use disorder.

[12]. Center for Medicare Advocacy. (2021). Medicare coverage of mental health and substance abuse services.

[13]. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2000). Integrating substance abuse treatment and vocational services. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 38. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4216.