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Paying for Addiction Treatment

paying for addiction treatment

Paying for Addiction Treatment

October 27, 2016
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Everyone knows that treatment for addiction and substance use disorders can be expensive. Just like any other medical condition, the cost for treating addiction can be extremely high. However, unlike many other medical conditions, a patient’s health insurance often only covers a slight portion of that cost, if any of it at all.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, that was enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 was supposed to help those suffering from mental health and substance abuse by making access to treatment more accessible and affordable through healthcare parity. This meant that insurance companies would have to begin treating mental illness and addiction like they treated other medical conditions and also begin bringing parity in terms of paying for treatment. Unfortunately, while in theory Obamacare is a wonderful initiative, due to limited oversight and ability to enforce parity, individuals seeking treatment for addiction are still finding that they often have trouble getting their insurance to cover the cost of life saving addiction treatment.

So, millions of Americans suffer from substance use disorders and are in need of addiction treatment, therefore the question is: How can an individual or family pay for that treatment? As mentioned earlier, drug and alcohol treatment can be expensive. Fortunately, there are always resources. Below is a list of ways that people can pay for addiction treatment when they or a loved one is finally ready to get help.

 

  • Private Pay/Cash

For those patients and families with financial ways and means, privately paying for treatment in cash or with a credit card can be the easiest and simplest way to access treatment services. While many people in need of addiction treatment are not able to come up with several thousand dollars (sometimes up to over $65k or more) for treatment services, for those individuals and families that do, there are certainly some advantages such as not having to wait on insurance authorization or having their insurance dictate the amount of time they have to stay in treatment.

 

  • Private Commercial Health Insurance

Most people in need of treatment will want to utilize any benefits that they have through their health insurance, which could be a single or family plan or health insurance that they have through work. There are many different types of health insurance plans and each plan has different benefits. There are HMO and PPO, allowing for in and out of network coverage. Each plan is different in terms of length of coverage, deductibles, out of pocket maxes and other variables, but suffice to say that if a person has private health insurance they will be able to find a treatment facility that can accept their insurance as payment for services. Health insurance will sometimes be able to cover the entire cost of treatment or sometimes only a portion of the cost.

 

  • State Health Insurance (Medicaid)

State Insurance/Medicaid is insurance that an individual gets through the state. Although it can sometimes be restricting, the fact remains that each state has different treatment resources and if a person is covered by Medicaid insurance, they will be able to find treatment for addiction. One of the drawbacks to state insurance is that many treatment centers that can accept Medicaid are often always full, so many times there are waiting lists for new admissions.

 

  • State-Funded Treatment/Free Treatment Options

Some addiction treatment facilities are funded by state money. Some of these options accept payment for services but many have beds dedicated to an indigent population that cannot afford to pay for treatment. Many state-funded treatment options also will accept insurance (private commercial insurance or state insurance) as payment for services. Additionally, many state-funded treatment centers will have a very low out of pocket price for treatment services or will work on a sliding scale, making treatment as affordable for those in need as possible. A similar option is free treatment centers. Throughout the country, there are some rehabs that offer free treatment. These are either typically through the state or county level or some private entities that are either non-profits or funded through religious organizations. Obviously, with so many people in need, there are often waiting lists to get into free treatment centers as beds are at a premium and fill up fast. However, some free treatment options offer high quality treatment services to those in need that costs virtually nothing. One of those options locally is The Helping Up Mission (www.helpingupmission.org) in Baltimore, Maryland. Helping Up is a community program that offers services for men fighting addiction and homelessness and can house up to 500 men at a time in a program that can last over a year. It is an excellent program and is almost always full.

 

  • Scholarships

Full and partial treatment scholarships are another means of finding ways to pay for addiction treatment. Many non-profit treatment centers offer full or partial scholarships. Often a patient or family will have to qualify based on their financial situation for such a scholarship and there is typically a lengthy process in order to qualify since non-profits must operate legally in a specific way under their non-profit tax-exempt status. Other times, privately owned treatment facilities will offer full or partial scholarships. Many time these are not publicly announced and a patient or family need to ask about any potential scholarships or available financial discounts. Finally, some independent organizations, non-profit entities or foundations will raise money and then use those funds to fund treatment for those in need. Some local Maryland organizations that fall into that later category are The Nikki Perlow Foundation (www.nikkiperlowfoundation.org), the Brendan James Huber Foundation (www.brendanjameshuber.org) and the Carroll County-based Rising Above Addiction (www.risingaboveaddiction.com.)

 

  • Treatment Financing/Loans

Finally, one last way to find money to pay for vital addiction treatment is through financing or loans. Again, drug and alcohol addiction treatment is not cheap. Many people take out private loans or even refinance homes to get the necessary money to pay for a loved one’s or their own addiction treatment. Similarly, over the last few years, some companies have been founded that offer those in need options for financing treatment. Some of these companies or related resources are the web site www.AddictionTreatmentFinancing.com or the company MyTreatmentLender (www.mytreatmentlender.com).

If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at info@marylandaddictionrecovery.com. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.