Drug treatment financing

Do I have to spend a fortune on rehab?

At one time you didn’t usually have to spend anything.  Alcohol and addiction were recognized as diseases by the AMA, APA and various governmental agencies and, as such this placed the burden of financial responsibility in the hands of the insurance providers as well as the healthcare system.  However, because of a saturation of ineffective, short-term, high cost, billable treatment programs during the 1980’s with very poor long-term abstinence results, insurance companies have become more and more reluctant to pay for treatment expenses beyond 10 days of inpatient or even outpatient.  As a result, the burden of financial responsibility has been placed back in the hands of addicts, alcoholics and their family members.  When looking for treatment we can generally describe the various price ranges of treatment and what you can expect from each.

Type Description Benefits Downfalls
Free to Low Cost ($0-$1000/month)

Government Funded

County funded programs are generally subsidized by the federal or state governments to offset to the costs. Low cost. Staff members usually certified in addictions field. Often a criminal or homeless demographic, long waiting lists, lower professionalism among staff members compared to higher-end centers. Amenities generally non-existent.
Free to Low Cost ($0-$5000/month)

Non-profit Social Model

Generally acquires a majority of funding through grants. Majority of staff members are former clients who have stayed on to work. “Addicts helping addicts”. Benefits in one addict helping another. Peer group helps with responsibility. Lower costs associated. Poorly trained or non-credentialed staff members. Amenities generally non-existent.
Mid Range ($5000-$15,000/month) Although there may be some insurance coverage, generally these are private pay. Higher degree of credentialed or professional staff members. Better facilities than lower costs. Higher demographic of clients. May have medical professionals on staff. Often offers aftercare programs. Cost may be prohibitive for some.
High End ($15,000-$80,000/month) Almost all higher end centers are private pay, non-insurance based facilities. Excellent amenities (beautiful facility, massage, yoga, equine therapy, etc), very highly trained and credentialed staff members (Ph.D, PsyD, MD, etc), almost always medical supervision as well. Variety of latest recovery based models. High Costs associated. “Rewarding” an addict with a resort-like setting.