What Are Your Options to Pay for Rehab?

There are a variety of reasons that people don’t get addiction treatment help when they need it, but a common reason is that many don’t know how to pay for rehab. Not all substance abuse treatment programs are created equally; thus, the price of treatment varies widely. Cost will vary based on factors like:

  • Insurance.
  • Length of treatment.
  • Whether the program is inpatient or outpatient.
  • Whether the program is state-funded.
  • Amenities.
  • Whether the facility offers payment options like loans, sliding scales, or scholarships.

While the cost of treatment can be high, there are solutions that can help bridge the price gap. At Desert Hope, we work with all prospective clients to help you access the treatment you need. To learn more about our payment options and getting the treatment you need for yourself or a loved one, give us a call at any time at .


doctor filling out paperwork for patients insurance company

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The Act mandated that mental health coverage be an essential health benefit, making addiction and mental health treatment more accessible to those who need it.

This means that if you have a private insurance policy, you should have at least some coverage to get drug and alcohol treatment.

How much coverage you will have exactly will depend on your specific policy.

How Do I know What My Policy Covers?

Insurance can be confusing, but a good facility will help you with the details. You can call and provide your insurance information and ask them to help you understand how much of the cost you’ll be responsible for after insurance.

You can  contact your insurance company directly by calling the number on your card. They can help you better understand your policy and what it cover.

Desert Hope is in-network with many plans that utilize Behavioral Health Options. Find more information about insurance types taken by Desert Hope Treatment Center here.

You can also utilize Desert Hope and American Addiction Centers’ free insurance benefits verification form below to check your benefits immediately. (There is no obligation to attend treatment with us when you fill out the form.)

Medicare & Medicaid

If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you might be covered for necessary drug and alcohol abuse treatment. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, substance abuse treatment is covered when “reasonable and necessary.”

Services covered may include:

  • Inpatient drug treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment, including partial hospitalization programming.
  • Treatment medications such as Suboxone.

Coverage will depend on the treatment service provider. You may always contact specific programs about whether they take Medicare or Medicaid.

You can also search treatment programs utilizing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services treatment locator. You can selected Medicare or Medicaid when you filter for accepted payment types in the dropdown menu of any service provider type.

Using COBRA Benefits for Treatment After Job Loss

When you experience job loss, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) legally provides you the option to continue the same health coverage you received through your employer.

COBRA only requires employers with 20+ employees to extend benefits. However, some states, such as California, offer additional protections for smaller companies.

Here’s how COBRA works. Should you lose your job, your employer will notify you of your eligibility to continue your insurance through COBRA. If you elect to do so, you’ll pay 100% of the premium for your insurance coverage (the total premium that was originally paid by you and your employer) plus a small administrative fee.

There is a time limit on your ability to receive COBRA benefits:

  • In this case that your employment ends or your hours are reduced, you’ll be eligible to continue your insurance benefits for a maximum of 18 months. Some states, such as CA, will extend the coverage time.
  • Should the company go bankrupt, the timeline is extended to 36 months.

When you use COBRA to keep your insurance coverage, your benefits will stay the same, unless your employer changes or ends their benefits.

Because your benefits will remain the same unless your employer changes theirs, the benefits you had for mental health or substance abuse treatment while you were working will remain the same.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made mental health and substance abuse treatment essential benefits, so if you had insurance through your employer you likely had coverage for this form of care.

If you’re unsure what your policy covers, you can call the number on your insurance card. You can also quickly and easily verify your insurance benefits with our free online form.

Private Pay vs. Other Rehab Payment Options

payment options for rehab

Many people choose to pay for drug or alcohol rehab via private payment, e.g., utilizing their private insurance and paying any out-of-pocket costs or paying for the entire thing completely out of pocket.

This can be a heavy financial burden, though when you compare it to the cost of not getting help (which may include mounting healthcare expenses, personal/social/relationship costs, and even death), it is likely worth it.

Some programs will help you out with financing or loans to offset the upfront costs of lifesaving treatment.

Private pay may not be the only  option for you, however, even if you don’t have a current insurance policy. There may be supplementary options for you. In many cases, there are state grants and facility-provided assistance programs in place to help cover the bill of substance abuse rehabilitation.

In some instances, the treatment facility an individual chooses may have payment assistance programs available for clients that can demonstrate financial need. Under these programs, the facility itself covers a portion of the treatment costs.

Sliding scale fees are another payment option that facilities may offer. This allows clients to provide the treatment facility with proof of income that can help to determine how much they can reasonably afford to put toward the cost of rehabilitation. From there, an income-based payment plan is structured so the client can seek affordable help.

There are also state-funded treatment programs that may offer care for free or at a very low cost.

Helpful Tips

There are a few ways that individuals in need of treatment can trim the cost of rehab. The first involves the type of treatment that is chosen. Certain facilities charge more for treatment across the board than others.

Typically, these treatment centers offer luxury features and spa-like amenities that make rehab more comfortable. While these perks are certainly appealing, and can make it more likely that clients stay in treatment for longer (often resulting in better treatment outcomes), they are not necessary if price is an issue.

Generally, hospitalized care will be among the most expensive options for treatment. However, insurance is more likely to pay for hospitalized care than many other types of care.

Outpatient care is generally the most inexpensive treatment option, making it the most popular form of addiction treatment. Outpatient care may be an effective treatment choice for those with short-term or less severe addiction issues.

Most treatment centers have staff members who can assist prospective clients with the financial aspects of a rehab stay. They can walk individuals through pricing structures and help nail down the specifics of insurance coverage.

As a result, clients will know the exact dollar amount that they might be expected to pay out of pocket. This helps to prevent any surprises down the road, allowing clients to fully focus on the treatment process and sustained recovery without worrying about the financial details along the way.

Finding Treatment for Veterans

Veterans suffer from addiction and PTSD at disproportionally high rates. Fortunately, there are services available to help veterans access treatment.

The VA offers substance abuse treatment services which include but are not limited to:

  • Screenings for substance use.
  • Medical detox.
  • Residential and intensive outpatient treatment.
  • Brief outpatient counseling.
  • Family therapy.

Of course, veterans have options outside the VA, as well. Desert Hope has created a program specifically geared toward addressing the unique needs of veterans as they find recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

The Veterans program for veterans and first responders is a specialized track where you’ll join a “battalion,” a community of other people who understand what you’ve been through, can relate to your struggles, and who will be there for you when you leave.

There is no reason to continue suffering. If you are active duty, a veteran, or a family member of a veteran or service member, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a provider for TRICARE in the western U.S. (known as Region 4), might be able to provide coverage for behavioral health treatment through its Community Care Network (CCN).

For questions about our veterans’ program and how you may be eligible to receive care at Desert Hope Treatment Center through TriWest, please call us at .

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