Paying for Alcohol Treatment: Available Options 

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For many years, the consumption of alcohol has remained one of the foremost concerns for public health across the United States of America. More than 138.5 million residents of the US aged 12 and older have reported indulging in alcohol consumption in the previous month, as stated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2020. According to the information from this survey, approximately one half of the entire population of the United States can develop a drinking problem at one point in their lives.1

According to this same survey, roughly 61.6 million individuals who indulged in drinking during the month before have done so in a binge drinking manner. What’s more, the survey also identified approximately 17.7 million people who stated they were heavy drinkers. Not every individual who drinks will end up with an alcohol abuse disorder. However, even moderate alcohol intake can transition into a harmful AUD, or alcohol use disorder. There are times when even a single stress-relieving drink after a long day at the office result in a heavy drinking pattern later on in life.2

Even though there are individuals who manage to stop their alcohol intake without expert assistance, the majority of alcohol addiction scenarios require professional assistance to attain and retain sobriety. Mostly, this is due to extremely strong and potentially very harmful withdrawal symptoms individuals experience after abruptly stopping their alcohol intake. This can make it difficult to stop even for the most motivated individuals.3

Another reason why individuals don’t seek out professional help for their drinking problem is the prevalent public opinion that alcohol addiction treatment and rehab cost a lot. However, according to recent research, continual addiction is far costlier in the long run when compared to rehab, both in terms of finances as well as physical and mental health. Continuing your unhealthy drinking patterns can result in you losing your family, friends, and your job, as well as suffering a deadly overdose. This is why it’s essential to understand how you can pay for your alcohol rehab and kickstart your treatment.4

What Is the Cost of Alcohol Addiction Rehab

The overall cost of alcohol treatment varies in accordance with different factors. An essential factor in determining the cost of rehab is the type of treatment you’d like to enter. There are different methods of treatment that combine a wide range of methods, techniques, and medication in an effort to reach favorable results. Some of the most common methods are:3, 5

  • Medical detox. 
  • Inpatient alcohol rehab.
  • Outpatient alcohol rehab.
  • PHP, or patient hospitalization program.


Detoxification, or detox for short, represents a cleansing process that removes harmful toxins from an individual’s body. It’s vital to note that medical detox isn’t a separate treatment method in itself, but rather a beginning step in the process of alcohol addiction rehab. Patients’ brains have become accustomed to high presence of alcohol in their bodies, making rehab impossible without first eliminating these toxins from the body.6

Detox typically lasts anywhere from three to seven days for the majority of cases and up to two weeks in the most severe cases of alcohol addiction. This is why rehab facilities often offer the option of same-day admissions in cases that require emergency detox. Besides detox duration, another factor related to this process which can affect the cost of treatment is the facility in which the patient undergoes detox. The more luxurious the facility and the more amenities it offers, the higher the costs.6

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab programs transpire in specialized medical facilities specifically designed to offer the highest level of support and care to all individuals who are struggling with their alcohol addiction. In inpatient facilities, patients are there with individuals struggling with same or similar conditions, allowing them to provide support and assistance to each other in order to foster their rehab. Inpatient programs feature a well-structured environment that helps individuals create a healthy routine and eliminate any bad habits they’ve acquired over years of alcohol use.4

Inpatient programs are usually more expensive than their alternatives because patients are required to remain at the facility under constant care and attention of trained medical professionals in charge of monitoring their status and recovery progress. This allows experts to continually modify the treatment and ensure optimal results for each individual, significantly facilitating recovery. In general, such a program should last for the minimum of four weeks, but best results typically require longer durations, for example three months.3

There are inpatient rehab facilities resembling luxurious resorts with numerous amenities, including gourmet chefs, private rooms, acupuncture treatments, massage therapy, swimming pools, and golf courses. The rule of thumb remains that the greatest factors that affect the price of inpatient rehab remain the level of luxury present in the facility itself and the duration of the rehab process.6

Outpatient Rehab

This is the most widespread rehab solution for individuals struggling with alcohol abuse disorder across the United States. Outpatient rehab generally combines medical detox with a wide range of behavioral processes together with MAT, or medication-assisted treatment and various follow-up programs. Outpatient programs can last for several years if necessary while patients continue attending scheduled sessions and maintaining their sobriety through various requirements. What’s more, these programs have the benefit of fine tuning the duration as well as the number of daily sessions based on patient’s individual needs.7

Outpatient programs remain one of the best options for individuals unable to afford comprehensive inpatient treatment, either due to prior professional and personal engagements and financial constraints. Generally, outpatient solutions consist of weekly sessions of therapy and counseling in cases of mild dependence. More severe cases of alcohol use disorder require more intensive programs named IOTs, or intensive outpatient treatments, incorporating as many as 30 hours of weekly rehab.7

Patients who choose outpatient solutions remain at home and engage in school, familial, and professional obligations while attending rehab and doing everything in their power to overcome their alcohol addiction. Another reason for the popularity of outpatient programs is their lower costs when compared to alternatives, allowing many individuals the opportunity to afford rehab envisioned by trained experts. The main factors that affect the cost of outpatient rehab are the type of facility and the intensity of treatment.7

PHP: Partial Hospitalization Programs

These types of alcohol rehab programs are similar to outpatient programs because the patients also remain at home for the duration of their treatment. However, these two similar solutions vary in their intensity as well as weekly session duration. PHPs require a minimum of 20 hours of counseling and therapy every week in sessions of at least four hours each day.7

PHP differs from an outpatient program in another main aspect – attempting to mimic the intensity of inpatient solutions. Partial Hospitalization Programs offer care and treatment in a hospital setting while helping individuals struggling to overcome their AUD remain at home and avoid complete hospitalization. This is why PHP is ideal for individuals experiencing severe cases of alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and are unable to afford full inpatient rehab.8

PHP solutions serve the purpose of tackling more extreme cases of addiction and typically last for several months. They’re ideal for individuals who are experiencing severe symptoms of addiction but would still love to resolve their issues from the loving and caring family environment. PHP tends to be less expensive than inpatient programs, but more expensive in comparison to outpatient care.8

How Can I Pay for Alcohol Rehab

Paying for alcohol rehab is at the top of the most serious challenges individuals face when looking for assistance in overcoming their addiction. Not knowing how to pay for alcohol rehab and whether or not different forms of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, will fully or partially cover treatment costs remains a significant deterrent in more individuals seeking treatment.9

However, there have been numerous recent positive developments which have made treatment more accessible to different individuals. Now, one of the biggest issues remains the lack of necessary awareness concerning the possibilities for alcohol treatment in the United States, as well as about the possible methods for funding said treatment. This is why almost 93.5% of all American older that 12 years of age received no treatment in 2020.9

Among the most significant changes that allowed individuals to seek out treatment more frequently remains the passing of MHPAEA, or the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act which serves to regulate health benefits in relation to mental health insurance coverage. MHPAEA instructed insurance providers to offer identical benefits for treating mental health issues and physical health problems, allowing individuals seeking AUD treatment to find insurance coverage for their rehab.10

Some of the most frequent ways that individuals struggling to overcome their AUD can use to finance their rehab are:11

  • Non-insurance payment.
  • State and government scholarships.
  • State-funded rehab.
  • Medicaid.
  • Medicare.
  • Healthcare insurance.

Does Insurance Cover the Costs of Alcohol Addiction Treatment? 

Implementing insurance coverage to finance alcohol addiction treatment is a common method for individuals to finance their rehab. The majority of healthcare insurance plans cover a form of alcohol treatment, with different states regulating the amount of coverage and healthcare benefits for this purpose, meaning that your coverage might vary depending on where in the US you live.12

Among the most widespread providers of healthcare insurance are:12

  • Kaiser Permanente.
  • Humana.
  • Cigna.
  • Ambetter.
  • Aetna.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • United Healthcare.

The majority of healthcare insurance providers only offer partial treatment coverage. However, this will also depend on the details of your plan. It’s always best to locate a suitable treatment facility in your healthcare insurance provider’s network to minimize out-of-pocket expenses for the duration of your rehab. You can always contact a hotline by dialing the number on the back of the insurance card and inquire about additional information.10

How Can I Afford Alcohol Rehab With no Insurance Coverage

Paying for alcohol treatment and rehab without insurance coverage used to be impossible due to the absence of state and government-funded rehab facilities. However, there are now multiple ways in which you can afford to cover the costs of treatment even if you don’t own any insurance coverage. Some of the most common options include:13

  • Sliding scale: There are 16,066 treatment facilities across the nation, 9,181 of which offer a form of a sliding scale program which accounts for your income. Feel free to utilize the treatment locator available on SAMHSA’s website to find a suitable sliding scale treatment program.
  • Subsidized coverage: Government and state agencies offer access to a wide range of subsidies you can use to partially or completely fund your rehab. The best first step would be to visit website and see what available subsidies you could use to finance your alcohol addiction rehab.
  • SAMHSA grant: This organization finances treatment programs for individuals who are struggling with overcoming their addiction but are unable to pay for their rehab. Visit their website to inspect grant requirements and see if you’re able to qualify for one of their programs.
  • Personal financing: This is always an option if you’re unable to secure a subsidy, grant, or insurance coverage for your alcohol treatment. You can use savings, cards, cash, or create a deal with your provider of banking services to finance your treatment through monthly installments.
  • Fundraising: This is your final option in case you’re ineligible for the abovementioned alternatives. Raising money for treatment is possible through various channels. For example, you can try selling any items you don’t require or ask for donations. Besides seeing if your family and friends are willing to help with financing your rehab, you can always look into popular crowdfunding websites and seek assistance there.

Is It Possible to Receive Financial Incentives for Alcohol Rehab? 

The ACA, or the Affordable Care Act of 2010, includes mental health treatment as one of its ten vital healthcare benefits. This means that all insurance plans are required to offer coverage for different forms of addiction rehab and treatment.14

Different ACA-included policies typically cover anywhere from 60% to 90% of overall rehab costs. However, the exact amount of available coverage varies depending on your plan. The ACA provides four levels of basic coverage:15

  • Platinum: 90% coverage.
  • Gold: 80% coverage.
  • SIlver: 70% coverage.
  • Bronze: 60% coverage.

The majority of insurance providers offer coverage for only a part of treatment. However, this also depends on the specificities of your plan. If you’re looking to lower the cost of your rehab as much as possible, it’s best to find an in-network rehab facility partnering directly with your provider and ensure minimized out-of-pocket costs for your treatment.10

Do Medicaid and Medicare Cover Alcohol Rehab

Medicaid and Medicare are state and federal-funded programs offering healthcare insurance coverage to eligible residents of the United States. These are among the most popular insurance plans for individuals looking for free and low-cost addiction recovery. These two programs different depending on their eligibility requirements. Medicaid insurance depends on the individual’s income, while Medicare assesses the individual’s age and disability status. In addition, most individuals are interested in knowing if Medicaid and Medicare can pay for alcohol rehab.17


This is the biggest company in the US in terms of the amount of coverage it provides for a wide range of mental health conditions. Since 2008 and MHPAEA, Medicaid has been gradually expanding its role as a provider of insurance coverage for alcohol treatment. Medicaid has approximately 83 million beneficiaries, 12% of which have received a form of coverage for addiction-related recovery solutions.18

Medicaid coverage varies from one state to another with the eligibility criteria being:19

  • Pregnant with a child.
  • Parents.
  • Older than 65.
  • Younger than 19.
  • In a specific income category.

Due to the fact that Medicaid focuses on offering coverage for individuals experiencing financial problems or those people living under the poverty line, it requires no copayments in most states. However, even if a state does require copayments, out-of-pocket expenses remain fixed to minimize treatment costs.20


Medicare insurance coverage is available to all residents of the US with more than 65 years of age or those individuals with specific disabilities. Medicare insurance payments function in the form of monthly premiums calculated according to the income level of the recipient. Medicare offers coverage for alcohol addiction rehab and treatment in case an individual meets specific criteria:21

  • Your rehab provider determines your treatment for alcohol addiction is a medical necessity.
  • Your alcohol addiction treatment transpired in a Medicare-approved institution.
  • You agree to undergo a process as determined by your treatment provider.

Medicare also pays for alcohol addiction treatment and offers coverage for:22

  • Inpatient rehab with Part A.
  • Outpatient rehab with Part B.
  • Private Medicare-approved insurance with Part C.
  • Addiction medication with Part D.

Which Factors Affect Alcohol Treatment Costs? 

As stated, all successful rehab programs need to be in accordance with the specific requirements of each individual looking to overcome their alcohol addiction. In order to pay for alcohol rehab either with Medicare, Medicaid, or without insurance, it’s essential to know which factors affect its costs:3

  • Amenities: There are rehab facilities offering multiple luxurious amenities in order to create a more enjoyable, relaxing, and comfortable environment for alcohol addiction treatment. The more varied and luxe amenities on offer, the more expensive the treatment.
  • Type of treatment: The cost of rehab also depends on the type of rehab offered. For example, outpatient solutions tend to be less expensive in comparison to inpatient and PHP options.
  • Rehab center: There are many rehab centers focused on catering to specific population groups, for example veterans or Native Americans, as well as luxurious facilities aimed at high-end clientele, which affects the cost of treatment.
  • Length: Finally, the duration of alcohol addiction rehab also affects the overall costs of treatment. In case of long-term programs, patients can expect higher costs when compared to short-term options.

What Are the Out-of-Pocket Costs for Alcohol Addiction Treatment? 

Insurance Marketplace provides access to a wide range of insurance plans tailored to the specific characteristics of individual alcohol abuse disorders and aimed at minimizing out-of-pocket expenses. Still, the majority of healthcare insurance coverage providers will require some form of additional expenses for alcohol addiction and treatment. Depending on the exact plan you have and varying state legislation, there are certain out-of-pocket costs you will have to cover:23

  • Lifetime limitations: Dollar limits the amount of your provider’s insurance coverage while holding a specific plan. In case your treatment expenses go over the set limit, it’s up to you to cover these expenses.
  • Copays: You’re in charge of paying for certain expenses on your own, such as for lab tests, prescription drugs, and visits to specialists and doctors. The amount you’ll have to pay varies depending on the services rendered.
  • Deductibles: These are expenses you have to cover before the beginning of your insurance policy. Typically, individuals with lover premiums pay lower deductibles.
  • Premiums: These represent annual or monthly costs for having an insurance coverage policy in place. Premiums differ depending on each individual insurance plan.

Different Methods for Paying Your Alcohol Rehab

Choosing to enter rehab is a difficult decision, but the right one. However, as essential it is to kickstart your road to recovery, it’s equally important to partner with the right treatment provider. American Addiction Centers, or AAC, is the nation’s leading provider of tried-and-tested solutions designed to help individuals overcome their addiction. AAC partners with some of the foremost healthcare insurance providers to ensure comprehensive assistance in your struggle against addiction.

You can freely reach out to AAC by contacting one of their 24/7 addiction hotlines and find any information you need before starting your treatment and entering a specialized facility. They will offer multiple available rehab options based on your requirements and the root causes of your alcohol abuse problem. This way, you can expect to undergo effective evidence-based treatment tailored to your specific needs in a specialized facility and under constant supervision and care at the hands of educated professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions