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Financial Help for Drug Treatment

Many people who wish to seek treatment for drug or alcohol abuse hesitate because of the potential cost, without knowing that there is financial help available. Government funding, insurance coverage, and grants are all potential routes for obtaining financial assistance for substance abuse treatment. Some of these programs include:

  • State-funded substance abuse programs
  • State-funded detox addiction treatment programs
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Figuring Out The Cost of Rehab

Some inpatient programs have the reputation of being a huge financial burden. It’s important to not let this fear get in the way of treatment. Organizations like the American Addiction Center help individuals by partnering with many insurance providers to cover treatment costs. To ensure that treatment is attainable for those with addiction issues, there are public assistance options that can offer patients the financial support they need to confidently focus on the recovery process. Such supplemental support can range from government grants to state-funded rehabilitation centers. Knowing the actual cost of treatment is essential. A variety of factors contribute to the price range of treatment programs, including:

  • Inpatient versus outpatient treatment
  • The duration of the program
  • If the provider is a government-funded clinic, hospital program, or private treatment center.
  • Whether there is a dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental health disorder) or other condition involved in treatment.
  • The luxury level of the substance abuse facility
  • The amenities of the program; anything from spa treatments to horseback riding and private rooms
  • The location of the facility; a desirable setting may cost significantly more

Keeping in mind all these factors, the cost of treatment can range anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars (most likely minimal intervention) to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for luxurious intensive inpatient treatment. Luxury is something that an individual with addiction issues can go without, but unfortunately, for those with severe addiction, the intensity of a program cannot be overlooked.

Government Substance Abuse Assistance Programs

In the United States, there are government substance abuse assistance programs. There is federal support for drug treatment centers and other programs, available through a number of means. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the main U.S. government agency that provides much of this support for United States citizens. SAMHSA offers information, services, and grants targeted at assisting rehab centers and substance abuse programs. SAMHSA’s purpose is to provide life-saving services to those who need them but can’t afford them on their own.

SAMHSA grants are a federal source of funding for state drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. They are noncompetitive and because they create a healthier and safer environment, are beneficial to all of society. These grants, also known as “block grants,” are mandated by Congress to help fund substance abuse and mental health services. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program gives funds and technical assistance to states. Some specific SAMHSA grants provide care to certain segments of the US population, like The Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women. Other assisted populations include IV drug users, individuals with tuberculosis, and citizens at risk for HIV/AIDS. SAMHSA funds may also be used to cover treatment and support services for individuals who do not have insurance but are extremely at risk due to their addictions.

There are other public assistance opportunities from the federal government for substance abuse and addiction treatment. Programs like Medicare and Medicaid, Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, and provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) help this cause. The majority of these programs require a certain level of eligibility, whether that be income, age, disability, or other social indicators.

Medicare and Medicaid Programs

Medicare insurance programs organize their coverage by hospital care, medical care, prescription plans, and the possibility of coverage for drug and alcohol rehab treatment. Medicare can cover both inpatient and outpatient programs as well as medications used in the treatment of substance use disorders. One exception is the medication methadone, which is not typically covered. Methadone is part of a category of drugs called opioids. The medication was created by German doctors during World War II, and when it came to the United States doctors used it to treat people with extreme pain. Today, individuals in addiction recovery might be prescribed the drug as part of a treatment program for an addiction to heroin or narcotic painkillers. Although methadone is indeed safer than other narcotics, doctors must be careful when prescribing it because Methadone use has the potential for addiction and abuse. Because of this, programs like Medicare will not cover the drug.

Medicare can also cover partial hospitalization treatment. This coverage does not require actually checking into a hospital but provides some of the same services of inpatient treatment, such as individual, group, and family therapy, as well as medication management. If an individual is covered by Medicare, either by age (65 or older) or because of disability status, these options for substance abuse treatment are available.

Medicaid is somewhat similar to Medicare insurance programs, but the coverage for substance use disorders depends on the state. Fortunately, more states have expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), making it available to more families than ever before.

Medicaid supports low-income families and individuals, with eligibility varying by state. Eligibility is based on whether the individual is elderly, pregnant, responsible for a family with young children, within a certain income level, or has a disabled status. Due to the expansion of coverage with ACA, Medicaid insurance is now required to include substance abuse treatment and recovery services. A patient who is eligible and covered by Medicaid in the states that have implemented the ACA Medicaid expansion is able to receive these substance abuse disorder services as part of their coverage. Visit the Medicaid eligibility website to see if you or a loved one in need qualify for Medicaid.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The ACA outlines 10 essential health benefits, and substance use disorder services are one of them. Because of this, policies sold through the ACA program, either from the state health insurance exchanges or through Medicaid, are required to include substance abuse treatment coverage. The services covered under these plans include psychotherapy, counseling, inpatient mental and behavioral health services, and substance use disorder treatment. Those insured by this program can not be denied coverage based on a pre-existing mental health or substance use disorder. Individuals who have policies through the ACA can check with their providers for more information. It is always reassuring to know that if individuals are in need and have low or no income, they may qualify for a government subsidy to help them afford the insurance needed to cover rehab. The subsidies offered through the ACA involve the premium tax credit and the cost-sharing subsidy.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Eligibility for assistance from The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is straightforward, as they exclusively provide coverage for eligible veterans. According to the VA website, financial help for recovering addicts who served in the armed forces can include:

  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Short-term outpatient counseling
  • Residential care
  • Screening for alcohol or tobacco use
  • Medically managed detox and follow-up support
  • Counseling services for couples
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention
  • Self-help groups
  • Medications to help manage withdrawal and reduce craving, such as methadone or buprenorphine for opioid addiction

Helping You Get the Support You Need

At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we do everything in our power to help our clients get the treatment they need. Initially, this might look like educating clients and their families on ways that they may qualify for coverage and helping them find funding for their addiction treatment. It is important to understand that the cost of treatment does not have to be an impediment to treating addiction to drugs or alcohol. There are various ways to get public assistance for substance abuse treatment and recovery, and the first step to getting treatment might be asking for help finding funding. At the end of the day, for those struggling with addiction and substance abuse disorders, the one thing that is necessary for successful treatment is willingness. If you aren’t willing to change and make treatment a priority, then no amount of financial assistance will make a difference in your recovery process. If you’re ready to take the first step, please reach out to us today.

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