Outpatient treatment allows clients to seek care during the day and continue living in their own home, which keeps clients close to family and in a location that’s comfortable. They can often keep their jobs and still take care of familial responsibilities, like caring for children or elderly family members.
Outpatient treatment also tends to be less expensive than inpatient treatment, simply because room, board, and 24-hour staff aren’t included in the costs. Even so, addiction treatment can still be costly, particularly since those coming out of active addiction are often not in the best financial situation. Thankfully, there are various payment options for those who are concerned about covering the costs of outpatient addiction treatment.
Does Insurance Cover Outpatient Treatment?
Well, it depends. Oftentimes, insurance policies will at least partially cover the cost of outpatient addiction treatment, and insurance policies are often more likely to cover the cost of outpatient treatment versus residential care. In fact, many insurance companies won’t cover inpatient treatment unless the person has first attempted outpatient treatment and subsequently relapsed, illustrating that inpatient care is necessary for their specific case.
The details of exactly how much is covered depends on the particular policy. Prior to enrolling in outpatient treatment, check the specifics of your policy to ascertain the exact level of coverage. Many plans limit coverage to a set number of treatment sessions or a specific dollar amount. Staff members of the chosen outpatient program can work as a liaison between clients and insurance companies, helping to break down the specifics of coverage.
Some outpatient addiction treatment programs offer sliding-scale services. This means that program prices are scaled according to a person’s income level, offering more affordable options to those who can’t afford treatment.
Medicaid and Medicare offer coverage for treatment to a certain extent. It’s possible to find funding on a state or local level as well. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the clause that provides for no limitations on pre-existing conditions, there are many policies that will cover outpatient treatment, particularly since addiction treatment and mental health services are viewed as an essential health benefit now.
Certain groups may also be eligible for public assistance to cover the costs of outpatient rehabilitation. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., it’s estimated that the issues faced by veterans in civilian life push 13 percent of vets toward substance abuse. The rate of prescription drug misuse among veterans is almost three times higher than it is in the general public. That’s why the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs oftentimes assists with the cost of rehabilitation programs, and some programs are designed specifically for this demographic. As with all public programs, however, waiting lists may be long.
Many treatment facilities offer payment plans to clients, allowing them to finance the cost of care and pay it off over time. This allows individuals to get immediate care and then gradually pay off the bill once they are stable in recovery and able to hold down consistent employment. Oftentimes, family members may need to cosign for this type of financing agreement, particularly if the individual’s credit is poor due to issues associated with addiction.
While the process of figuring out how to pay for outpatient treatment can seem daunting, there are many options available. No one should put off getting the help they need due to financial concerns. Treatment facilities are often willing to work with prospective clients to ensure they can get prompt treatment.