For those families struggling with alcoholism, rehab programs provide a reasonable path back to good health. In rehab, the alcoholic person can learn more about addiction and develop skills that can keep the person from returning to alcohol use and abuse, even when times are tough.
While rehab provides undeniable benefits to people who participate, many people are concerned that the cost of alcohol rehab will be much too high for them to bear. This article may help to relieve those concerns.
Outlining the cost of an alcohol rehab program isn’t as easy as it might seem. Rehab programs are highly customized and tailored, designed to address the specific causes of a person’s addiction and provide a personalized path back to healing.
Sometimes, these customizations can make one person’s rehab program more expensive than another person’s program. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 23.1 percent of people who entered a treatment program for addiction in 2008 used only alcohol. However, 18.3 percent of people used alcohol and another drug. These poly-drug users might need more extensive monitoring, and they might need expensive medications in order to recover from a drug addiction. Their care might be more expensive as a result.
Similarly, some people choose to obtain care in inpatient programs, where they’re provided with food and lodging, as well as therapeutic interventions for alcoholism. These programs might be more expensive than outpatient programs, in which the person lives at home while obtaining care, since the room-and-board costs are bundled into the cost of treating the addiction.
Finally, addiction programs can differ based on the treatments they provide and the surroundings they offer. Some programs offer a bare-bones experience based on therapy only, while others throw in amenities such as:
- Professionally decorated living spaces
- Lush and landscaped grounds
- Gourmet meals
- Recreational activities
These additional services are designed to keep people engaged in their care, so they will not drop out of the programs before the work has been completed. As a result, they can be incredibly helpful in retaining people in the programs they need in order to beat back their alcoholism. However, these services can also drive up costs and make generalizations about costs all the harder to perform.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted a survey between the years of 1996 and 1999 in order to determine how much treatment programs cost. The results of this study can provide families with some basic assumptions about the cost of treatment for addictions of all sorts. According to this study, obtaining care in a non-hospital, inpatient setting costs $3,840 per admission. Obtaining care on an outpatient basis costs $1,433. These figures are estimates, combining the high and low rates researchers found from surveys all around the country, but they can give families some idea of what treatment tends to cost. These rates may have gone up in the decade since the survey was conducted, however.
Some insurance programs will defer the cost families are asked to pay for addiction care. These programs might set limits on the type of care the person can accept, or the length of time that the person can be enrolled in addiction care, but the insurance coverage can help families who need assistance in paying for the care their loved ones need. Many rehab facilities are willing to work with insurance programs to smooth the path for the family and ensure that they’re receiving the full benefit entitled to them by their insurance plans.
Families who do not have insurance coverage might also be encouraged to work with private facilities and enroll on a needs basis. Some facilities work with families on payment packages, allowing the families to pay for care based on household income, not a standardized enrollment fee. This can be an excellent option for those who need care but who simply can’t afford to pay the premiums or who don’t have insurance programs that can assist.
The Benefits of Care
Discussions of cost can obscure the fact that addiction treatment programs help defray the basic cost of addiction. According to an article sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol abusers and their families spent $66.8 billion in alcohol-related costs in 1992 alone. Buying alcohol represents some of this cost, but missing work, paying legal fees and otherwise managing the effects of alcoholism can also take a toll on a family’s bottom line. While paying for treatment can be expensive, allowing the alcoholism to move forward can also spell disaster for the family’s finances.
Alcoholism can also be expensive for the country as a whole. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the United States spends an estimated $185 billion on alcohol abuse. Of that number, only 14 percent is spent on treatment of alcoholism. It’s clear that leaving an addiction in place is much more expensive than providing care that could extinguish an addiction for good.
Before looking for an addiction rehab program, families often call their insurance providers to check their coverage. Good questions to ask include:
- What is my yearly benefit for addiction care?
- What sorts of treatments are covered?
- Is there a specific facility or provider I must use?
- What is my copayment?
- Do you need medical authorization to approve this care?
Armed with this information, families can then move forward in their search for the appropriate providers that can help the alcoholic person in need. It might be the best way to prepare to pay for this lifesaving help.
If you’re not sure how to navigate these waters and to learn how to pay for alcoholism care, please contact us. At Michael’s House, we have an extensive amount of experience in dealing with insurance companies, and we can explain your options in detail. We also provide affordable care for those in need, while maintaining one of the highest staff-to-client ratios in the addiction field. Please call us today to find out more.