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Affording Rehab on a Budget

When a loved-one, or yourself, decides that its time to go to rehab, you’re probably more focused on the addiction being addressed, trying to decide which facility is going to be the most beneficial or which is the most convenient. Often the cost of the treatment is a secondary consideration, although some financial savvy individuals may consider this from the beginning. In any case, the financial burden of a rehabilitation program can lead some to believe that rehab is beyond their reach. If rehabilitation is the right solution for the issue at hand, there are ways to get the help you need without facing financial hardships, such as value options for rehab coverage.

Do Your Research

An important first step in finding the right treatment is to look at all the options available to you. It is likely that, no matter where you live, there exist multiple locations for treatment within a desirable distance. Take note of all the possibilities and start a list of your options. Keep in mind, however, that not all facilities are going to offer the same level of treatment for the cost. While it is entirely possible to find a rehab center run by a local group that may have low costs and meet your treatment needs, this might isn’t always the case. Locally managed facilities may not have all the tools and resources needed for your situation but may end up costing you the least in the end. On the other hand, larger organizations may provide more resources and a greater depth of knowledge but be outside of your budget. It’s important to take into consideration the level of treatment needed by you or a loved-one and compare that to what you can afford. By doing this, you will be able to figure out a target range of the options you’ll want to consider.

Shop Around

It may seem insensitive to apply the same bargain-hunting principles to finding a rehab for your loved-ones, as you’d typically apply to online shopping. After all, we aren’t looking for shoes; we are seeking to help people important to us. Don’t feel bad about browsing your options. Just because a brand-name center offers their services at a high cost doesn’t mean they are they best fit for your situation or will be any more beneficial than a lesser-known, more affordable institution. It’s likely that by the time you or a loved one reaches the point where rehab is the solution you’ve already spent a great deal of money trying to help the addict.

A key component of being able to find the appropriate help for yourself or a loved-one is understanding the budget you have on-hand to devote to treatment. If you’re treating yourself, you must consider what you can afford versus the resources you have to commit. Likewise, if you are seeking help for another, it does no good to overextend your financial ability if it will financially destroy the supporter and the one being supported. No one will profit if anyone involved exceeds their ability to help and thus puts themselves in an unsustainable situation.

Look for Ways to Mitigate Your Costs

Once you’ve investigated all your options and come up with a short list of which facilities or treatment centers that best fit your needs, don’t simply settle for the costs initially presented to you. Addiction rehab and treatment is a serious issue, which has been taken up by a plethora of local, state, and federal governments, as well as private groups and many charitable businesses. This means there are countless resources out there for you to reach your goal of obtaining help for yourself or others. Many of these governments or organizations offer ways to further reduce the costs you’ll incur while seeking treatment, if you know where to look.

One resource at your disposal is the American Addiction Center’s Public Assistance Options for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers page. The article details some of the factors which affect the overall cost of treatment, such as: whether the person receives inpatient or outpatient treatment, the length of treatment, if the treatment center is privately operated or government funded, the existence of other conditions which also must be treated, the level of luxury provided by the treatment center, and if the treatment center is located in a highly desirable location such as near a beach or major city. The American Addiction Center also offers a free cost estimator to help determine if the treatment is covered by insurance.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services works to make treatment more affordable by offering grants through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA works with the Center for Abuse Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Mental Health Services to make grants available for treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction as well as mental health disorders. While grants must be applied for and approved, the benefit is that grants typically don’t have to be repaid as long as the program is successfully completed. This could mean removing large portions of the overall cost of treatment. Information about available grants can be found on SAMHSA’s grant announcement page.

Many insurance companies also offer assistance with drug rehab costs. The AddictionCenter provides excellent information on how Medicare and the Affordable Care Act can help with treatment costs.

According to AddictionCenter’s page on Medicare, Medicare Part A covers care in a hospital-based rehab unit, and in some cases even covered care in skilled nursing facilities. Your coverage doesn’t kick in until after the third day in the treatment facility, but after that it pays 100% of the costs for the next twenty days. Any additional time after that requires a daily co-payment, up to a maximum of eighty additional days. The exact cost of your co-payment is determined by your individual insurance plan.

Addiction Center’s Affordable Care Act page describes how plans available for purchase on the Health Insurance Marketplace covers portions of rehab treatment. An important note is that the ACA no longer considers addiction a pre-existing condition, which means that even if someone is suffering from addiction at the time they initiate their insurance plan, they are not disqualified from using their insurance to help pay for rehab costs. The ACA also states that coverage for addiction under their plans must be as complete as it would be for any other medical procedure, guaranteeing quality treatment. Individual plans offered by the ACA include Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers, based on the cost of the plan. Rehabilitation treatment costs range from 60-90% of total expenses based on the tier of the plan.

Get the Help You Need

Obviously there are many factors that influence what treatment is going to cost. It’s important to not let the costs alone scare you away from much needed help. Remember, you have many options when it comes to how and where you choose to get treatment, so shop around to make sure you’re considering all of your options. Then check to see if any of your options are covered under your insurance policy. Finally, seek out assistance from state and locally funded treatment groups, as well as federally funded organizations such as SAMHSA grants to save money. Getting help doesn’t have to impose a financial hardship if you know where to find help.


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