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The costs associated with medical services, including therapy for substance use disorders, can be high. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that the average cost for a full year of methadone maintenance treatment is close to $5,000. This does not include and counseling or therapy and other medical services that may be needed, such as medications for mental health disorders, other medical conditions, etc. While it is easy to speculate that getting treatment for a serious substance use disorder is much less costly than continuing to live with the complications that are associated with having such a disorder, paying for the treatment is still an issue for many. There are several options that individuals can use to assist them in paying for treatment for a substance use disorder. The bottom line is: yes, you can afford treatment.
Individuals who have insurance will have an advantage when it comes to affording treatment for substance use disorders compared to individuals who do not. Individuals who have any type of health insurance may have at least partial coverage for treatment; however, not every insurance program will cover specific types of treatments for these disorders, and many individualized insurance plans will not cover the entire cost of treatment for a substance use disorder.
Many health insurance plans will cover a good percentage of withdrawal management treatment programs. Most of these will cover a good number of the expenses for inpatient withdrawal management but may not cover costs that are not directly related to the treatment itself, such as the cost of food. Therefore, if an individual is going into an inpatient withdrawal management program, it is important to find out what costs will be covered and what costs will not be covered. In addition, anyone undergoing a withdrawal management program should make sure that the referral to the program is completed by a licensed physician, as insurance companies will more readily accept these referrals than referrals made by therapists, social workers, counselors, etc.
Rapid detox treatments are typically not covered by most insurance programs because these treatments have very little research to support them. They are still considered to be experimental, and they are often deemed to be dangerous.
Outpatient treatment for substance use disorders is covered by a good number of insurance plans. Typically, these programs have some type of out-of-pocket expenses associated with them, such as a deductible or co-pays.
Individuals who are unsure as to the coverage of their particular insurance plan should simply call their customer service representative and discuss the issue with them. A customer service representative can typically answer all questions regarding coverage. Individuals can also contact treatment providers directly and discuss coverage with intake counselors.
Even if someone has no insurance, they may be able to either get coverage or find a way to cover the cost of substance use disorder treatment. There are several options that one can investigate. These include:
The bottom line is that most individuals can afford some form of treatment. There are a number of options to paying for treatment for a substance use disorder, and there are a large number of relatively inexpensive or even free treatment options available for anyone who wants to access them. The best policy is to keep asking questions and looking for the treatment option that best fits your individual needs.