Sunday September 25th 2016

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Paying for alcohol treatment: 3 things to avoid

Financing

Paying for alcohol treatment

An alcohol addiction can quickly consume a person’s life. Without proper treatment, this addiction can lead to huge problems. While paying for alcohol treatment may seem impossible or like a waste of money, in reality you can’t afford not to seek treatment.

Still in doubt? Here are a few reasons why paying for alcohol treatment is important:

  • Individuals who seek alcohol treatment are typically much more successful at overcoming their addictions than those who try to quit on their own, at home, or cold turkey.
  • Not spending money on alcohol and drinking could save you thousands of dollars each year.
  • Without alcohol, you’ll be healthier and more likely to live longer with less medical problems.
  • A sober lifestyle is less likely to lead to relationship, career, and legal problems.

Financing alcohol treatment

If you have no health insurance or your health insurance won’t cover all of your alcohol treatment costs, you still have a few other options to help financing treatment. Here are some tips to paying for alcohol treatment.

1. Research alcohol treatment centers that offer sliding scale fees. Sliding scale fees are direct charges that are based on your income. After looking at your financial information, these alcohol treatment facilities will charge you what you can reasonably be expected to pay for treatment. While this doesn’t eliminate the cost completely, it can lower it significantly.

2. Set up a direct payment plan.  Many hospitals and substance abuse treatment facilities may also finance alcohol treatment for some individuals or set up payment arrangements. Payment arrangements enable you to make smaller affordable payments toward your bill to pay it off over a long period of time.

3. Look into alternative revenue sources. You may also be able to borrow the money to help finance alcohol treatment. For instance you may be able to borrow money from a retirement fund or life insurance policy. Loved ones may also be willing to extend you a loan to help you finance alcohol treatment.

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Help paying for alcohol treatment

There’s a good chance that you may be able to get some help paying for alcohol treatment. Then, how can you pay for addiction treatment? Here are some ideas you should take into consideration when seeking help paying for alcohol treatment:

  • Look for low cost or free treatment. For instance, some non-profit groups offer grants to help pay for alcohol treatment, and some even offer free alcohol treatment.
  • Look for government sponsored alcohol treatment. SAMHSA manages a database of treatment providers across the country who offer low cost alcohol treatment. Check their website or call 1-800-662-HELP for more information about low cost alcohol treatment centers.
  • Ask the HR department at work about mental health services. Some employers also offer assistance programs for employees that are suffering from alcohol addiction. This includes free or reduced cost counseling and rehab programs. If your employer offers this sort of help, you’ll most likely need to contact your human resources department.
  • File for a medical expense deduction on your IRS taxes. Addiction treatment may qualify for medical deductions if the cost of treatment was greater than or equal to 10% of your gross annual salary. Consult a tax accountant for more details.

Paying for alcohol treatment: 3 things to avoid

When contemplating how to pay for alcohol treatment, there are some things that you should try to avoid.

1. Don’t avoid treatment because you think you can’t afford it. As we’ve shown above, you have a number of options if you need help paying for alcohol treatment.

2. Avoid credit card debt. Instead, work out a payment plan with the addiction treatment center directly to avoid high APR’s and to create a flexible payment schedule.

3. Get it in writing. If you opt for a personal loan, make sure that you arrange a legal contract to make the terms of the loan clear. This way, all parties know what to expect and aren’t left in the dark about expectations regarding reimbursement.

Affordable care act and alcohol treatment

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare or simply the Affordable Care Act, is a relatively new law that went into effect in 2010. It is an effort to help more individuals have access to affordable health insurance as well as government funded medical assistance. This includes individuals with pre-existing conditions, mental health issues, and substance abuse problems.

Under this law, health insurance companies must offer a policy that covers treatment for substance use disorders. The co-pay for mental health services, including drug and alcohol treatment, must not be higher than co-pays for any other medical service. This means that, under this new law, you’ll have access to health insurance coverage for alcohol treatment and not have to pay a higher price for it.

Alcohol treatment payment questions

If you’re worried about paying for alcohol treatment, you may still have some questions. If you leave your concerns and questions in the comments section below, we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible and hopefully help point you in the right direction.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Benefit–Cost in the California Treatment Outcome Project: Does Substance Abuse Treatment “Pay for Itself”?
The White House: Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act
SAMHSA: Health Reform
MCCA: Employee Assistance Program

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