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Can You Get Financial Aid for Drug Rehab?

People often dread going to the doctor. You have to take time out of your day, you might have to go through uncomfortable tests or procedures, and you may have to answer personal questions. But for many adults, the worst part isn’t needles or waiting rooms. It’s the bill. 

Health care can be expensive, especially if you go through inpatient programs or long-term care. However, sometimes it’s the difference between getting the help you need to live a healthy, meaningful life and physical and mental health consequences.

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease. That means it’s long-lasting and that it often gets worse without intervention. Substance use disorders (SUD) are classified as mild, moderate, and severe. A mild SUD may mean that a person has a pattern of binge drinking without any chemical or psychological dependence. However, since addiction is progressive, frequent binge drinking can lead to moderate and even severe disorders. 

You may be able to manage addiction for a while, but as your dependence progresses, you will need more of the drug more frequently. It can start to affect your health, job, relationships, and even your legal status.

The price of addiction treatment is one of the most common barriers to treatment for people who need help. However, because addiction can affect multiple aspects of your life, including your work and finances, addressing a substance use disorder early can help you to avoid some of the most serious consequences of a substance use disorder. Without treatment, your finances and ability to hold onto your job may be affected.

But what are your financing options if you do decide to get treatment? How do people usually pay for and access addiction treatment? Learn more about financing drug rehab.

Cost of Treatment

The cost of treatment for drug rehab is going to vary based on several factors. Some of these include:

  • Are you seeking residential or outpatient treatment?
  • How long are you trying to stay in the program?
  • Is the provider a government-funded clinic, hospital program, or private treatment center?
  • Is there a dual diagnosis or other condition involved?
  • What is the level of luxury provided?
  • Where is the facility located?

These costs can range anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars for basic intervention but can reach higher than the cost of a car for luxury residential treatment. The severity of some individuals addiction often requires more intensive levels of treatment.

Government-Related Assistance

financial aid

Research from the Pew Charitable Trusts indicates that a majority of the United States spending on drugs and alcohol addiction treatment, one-third of the total U.S. cost comes from state government.

Some public assistance comes from an individual state’s substance abuse agency. In many states, the agency includes a more extensive municipal health department, and the agencies will develop and implement their addiction prevention services, and manage the funds allocated to substance abuse.

State Funded Treatment Centers

States can set up and provide treatment through state-funded rehab centers. These centers offer both residential and outpatient treatment, which allows for follow-up support services or references. While the programs may not offer as many amenities or modern treatment methods, they still provide assistance. A majority of their care is detox or outpatient.

State-funded treatment centers have stringent requirements to be accepted into their program. While these vary by state, some requirements include:

  • Ability to prove residence in the funding state
  • An inability to afford other treatment (low income, lack of insurance, etc.)
  • Proof of United States citizenship
  • Basic information about addiction history

The challenge is that there is often a waiting list to be involved. Some individuals may be given priority over others, such as pregnant women or veterans.

Federal Assistance

Federal support for drug rehab is provided through various channels. The government agency, which is known as SAMHSA, will provide information, services, and grants geared toward helping rehab centers and substance abuse programs that offer much-needed services to people who can’t afford them.

Does Insurance Pay for Drug Rehab?

We’ve come a long way in our understanding of what addiction is, and there is still more to learn. We used to treat addiction as a bad habit or moral failing. However, addiction is a disease that affects the brain, and it can be treated with medical and psychological treatment approaches. 

Today, many insurance companies have come to the same conclusion, and they offer financial coverage for addiction treatment just like they would for a variety of other chronic diseases.

Most private insurance companies offer coverage for at least a portion of the costs it takes to treat addiction effectively. The extent of the coverage for treatment depends on your specific company and policy. Some insurance companies may pay for the majority of the cost of treatment while others just cover a portion of treatment. Coverage will also depend on the drug in which you are seeking treatment. 

For instance, a person who is dealing with an alcohol use disorder may receive robust treatment. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening without medical treatment, so people seeking treatment need to start with high levels of care. On the other hand, marijuana users may not receive as much coverage because marijuana doesn’t cause chemical dependence or life-threatening withdrawal.

On the other side of the industry, drug rehab centers accept coverage from most private insurance companies. Treatment facilities work hard to make sure your insurance company is giving you the coverage you need. Providers often require robust progress tracking and other reporting to make sure you are actually getting the treatment they are paying for. Conversely, quality treatment centers will work with them to make sure you can get coverage for the treatment you need.

Private treatment centers often don’t accept federal insurance. Programs like Medicare and Medicaid require healthcare providers to do much more paperwork and reporting than private insurers. For many treatment centers, the time and work requirement would require clinicians and medical professionals to devote more resources to administrative work rather than client care.

What If You Don’t Have Private Insurance?

If you don’t have private insurance, you may have fewer options, but you still may be able to get the treatment you need. Many treatment centers try to offer a few pro-bono beds to people who can’t afford treatment, but these options can be difficult to find. The federal government also offers treatment options through government-provided insurance and programs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a variety of programs and financial aid opportunities to people who might struggle to pay for treatment services.

You may also be able to find programs that are for specific groups like veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers resources to connect veterans to treatment programs for mental health and substance use disorders. The government also programs to help homeless people who dually have mental health issues and addiction.

If you have a mild substance use disorder that doesn’t require medical services, you might be able to take advantage of community resources like support groups, 12-step programs, job placement services, and more. Programs like alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous are free to people who are seeking sobriety, and it can be a helpful way to prevent alcohol abuse from turning into dependence or addiction.

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If you are not sure if you qualify for treatment or if you don’t know if your insurance will cover your treatment, finding treatment can be difficult. However, you don’t have to go through the process on your own. If you have private or public insurance, you can call your provider or your policy representative to learn more about your specific policy. 

Nobody intends to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, so it’s highly likely that you may not have thought about addiction treatment options when you first bought your insurance policy. But your provider should be able to tell you what kind of coverage you might receive if you attend treatment.

If you don’t have insurance, you may be able to call a government helpline to learn more about your options and the treatment services that might be available to you.

An intake or addiction treatment specialist at The Palm Beach Institute can also help you find treatment options that you do qualify for. They can help verify your coverage options with your insurance company and determine how much of your treatment might be covered.

Sources

McKeon, A., Delanty, N., & Frye, M. A. (2008, August 01). The alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Retrieved from from https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/79/8/854

SAMHSA. (2013, May 13). Find Treatment. Retrieved from from https://www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment

SAMHSA. (2016, January 21). Homelessness Programs and Resources. Retrieved from from https://www.samhsa.gov/homelessness-programs-resources

SAMHSA. (2014, May 14). National Helpline. Retrieved from from https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Solutions, V. W. (2010, March 16). Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Program. Retrieved from from https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/sud.asp

Alcohol Use Disorder. (2019, May 06). Retrieved from from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders

Drug addiction (substance use disorder). (2017, October 26). Retrieved from from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/symptoms-causes/syc-20365112

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