Sunday April 30th 2017

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Does Medicare pay for drug or alcohol rehab?


Medicare is a federal health insurance program available to older American citizens and some disabled individuals. In order to be eligible for Medicare, a person must be over the age of 65, eligible for Social Security benefits, or eligible for disability benefits.

Are you looking for health insurance that covers addiction treatment? One of your options can be Medicare. Along with covering routine medical procedures and services, Medicare also typically pays for drug or alcohol rehab. We review what kind of Medicare coverage you can expect when seeking drug or alcohol rehab. Then, we invite your questions about Medicare for rehab at the end.

Does Medicare cover drug or alcohol rehab?

The short answer to this is: Yes, Medicare can cover the cost of drug or alcohol rehab, since it falls under the broad category of mental health services. However, like any medical insurance plan, there may be limitations on what types of services you can receive. Keep in mind these considerations when looking to Medicare for rehab:

  • Medicare Part A only covers hospital stays, so it will only cover inpatient drug or alcohol rehab.
  • Medicare Part B, on the other hand, covers outpatient drug or alcohol rehab.
  • If you need coverage for any prescription medications during drug or alcohol treatment, you’ll need to be enrolled in Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs.
  • Medicare may not cover all of your treatment, however; some of the costs of drug or alcohol treatment may need to be covered either by you or a supplemental health insurance.

How do you find drug or alcohol rehab that accepts Medicare? Once your Medicare coverage kicks in, you can then start looking for a facility that accepts Medicare coverage for drug or alcohol rehab. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using the substance abuse treatment facility locator on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website at Simply search for facilities in your area, and narrow your search only to facilities that accept Medicare coverage for drug or alcohol rehab.

Medicare coverage for drug or alcohol rehab

When do you qualify for Medicare coverage for drug or alcohol rehab?

Medicare Part A and Part B enrollment typically happens automatically once you turn 65 and begin to collect Social Security benefits. You’ll typically receive your Medicare enrollment cards in the mail shortly before your birthday and coverage begins the first day of your birth month.

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In some cases, however, you may need to enroll in Medicare yourself in order to take advantage of Medicare coverage for drug or alcohol rehab. To do this, you can apply online at the Social Security Administration website, call the Social Security Administration, or visit your local Social Security office. Keep in mind, though, that there are specific enrollment periods in which you can sign up for Medicare.

Medicare for drug or alcohol rehab questions

Navigating the world of Medicare and its benefits is often a confusing and intimidating task. The important thing to remember, though, is that you’re not alone. Social Security professionals will often be more than willing to help you get the benefits you, as will most drug or alcohol rehab facilities.

As always, we’re also here to help. If you have any Medicare for drug or alcohol rehab questions or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. We strive to help all of our readers combat their substance abuse problems and get on the road to recovery. And if you have no health insurance, you’re not out of options for rehab since there are ways to get addiction treatment without insurance.

Reference Sources: Social Security: Frequently Asked Questions
WebMD: Health Care Reform:Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act
Medicare: When you first get Medicare
Medicare: Mental health care (inpatient)
Medicare: Mental health care (outpatient)
Open Minds: Does Medicare Pay For Addiction Treatment Services?

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9 Responses to “Does Medicare pay for drug or alcohol rehab?
9:19 am April 11th, 2015

I AM 60 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN ON DISABILITY INSURANCE FOR AROUND 6 YEARS NOW. THE REASONS I AM ON DISABILITY ARE THE SAME REASONS THAT I HAVE BEEN TAKING THESE DRUGS FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE AND THE AMOUNTS THAT I AM TAKING. THEY (BEING THE DRUGS) ARE PUTTING A HEAVY STRAIN ON MY MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIP WITH MY 2 DAUGHTERS AND I REALLY NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOW, THESE 3 WOMEN ARE MY WHOLE LIFE,THEY ARE THE ONLY FAMILY I HAVE. My pain medication usage started for me in 1991 and has steadily gotten stronger as time has went along. between 1991-1995 i had had 3 knee surgeries and in 2000-2005 have had 3 neck surgeries with other back issues that has lead my life to where i am today from 2 hit and run druck drivers. I have worked very hard in trying to get back what i could of my old life with very little success,and all my doctors have suggested getting on to disability as this may be my only way of getting any kind of help and support. Thank you for hearing me out and hope to hear from you all soon!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!

6:01 pm September 4th, 2015

I will be 58 years old on Oct.16, and I’m on disability and have been since Oct. 16,2013. I’ve been seeing doctors for chronic back pain and medication for the pain since 2008. I have been trying on my own to stop with no success . I NEED HELP !!!!!!!

11:10 am September 7th, 2015

Hi Norris. You can call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers to help you find the best and most suitable treatment approach for your problem drinking.

12:58 am May 17th, 2016

I am looking for treatment, preferably outpatient. In San Antonio, Texas I am on Medicare and have a good supplemental insurance.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:14 pm May 19th, 2016

Hi Janice. You may search treatment facility on SAMHSA’s treatment locator:

Also, you may call the helpline you see on our site to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you make the right decision.

6:54 pm September 12th, 2016

I lost my drivers license in Arkansas because of dui,in order to get them back I have to do a outpatient alcohol rehab. Will Medicare part b pay for it

9:28 am February 12th, 2017

Smoke pot every day until a month. Then keep smoking it’s good for you.

9:46 pm March 29th, 2017

I have been on oxycodone for pain for 6 years and have recently been diagnosed with afib which is due to constant withdrawl in the evenings since I never have enough oxy because doctors will not give increase to meet my bod’s demand for higher dose. This is wrecking havoc on my life so I need to get off pills and have to be in in patient environment due to special heart situation. I am 67 years old with medicare and very good supplemental plan through United Healthcare. If medicare approves they pick up difference. Can you help me find the right place?

12:04 pm April 21st, 2017

I have been on disability for 10 years or so….. i have arthritis, bone spurs, mental health problems panic attacks and numerous problems. my biggest problem however was believing a doctor could actually help me when all he did was ruin my life. I was under the understanding that if you took your medications as directed you would not become addicted. I thought nothing of it until i realized i was addicted. my doctor an arthritis doctor did not ever try any alternate treatment or refer me to anyone it was 5 minutes 99 dollars a new script of roxicodone every single month for years!!! How is this fair to me. I was never addicted to anything and i am trying all sorts of things to get off of this horrible drug that has ruined my life. yet they say you have to go 30days and inpatient or be on another opiate that keeps the cravings away yet is addictive in and of itself….. i don’t want to be on anything addictive

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