Does health insurance cover detox or rapid detox?

Yes and no…and maybe. Detox is often the first step toward a sober lifestyle. Like other medical expenses, though, these services can be expensive. For more information on insurance coverage for detox or rapid detox, keep reading.

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Insurance coverage for detox or rapid detox

If you have health insurance, traditional detox services may be covered under your current plan. This usually includes services such as medical supervision, medications needed to address withdrawal symptoms, and a hospital stay.

Opting to go through rapid detox which is not medically necessary may leave you with a large bill. Typically, most health insurance companies don’t cover rapid detox. It is still a relatively new service and considered to be still in the experimental stage.

It’s best to find out more information about your insurance coverage for detox or rapid detox before you start treatment. The information that you need can usually be found in your policy’s benefits guide, but you can also contact the insurance company directly if you have any concerns or questions.

Does insurance cover detox or rapid detox?

Health insurance usually covers traditional detox, since addiction treatment is considered to be a mental health issue. However, because it is still seen as an experimental treatment and may not be as effective or safe, health insurance companies won’t usually cover rapid detox. Rapid detox can be expensive, and if you have decided to detox this way you may be looking at a bill for $5,000 or more.

Even if your insurance company does cover detox, you’ll still most likely have to pay for a portion of your treatment in the form of a co-pay or deductible. This may be as little as $50 or as much as $5,000. If your insurance company won’t cover detox or rapid detox, you will most likely be able to make payment arrangements with the treatment facility. By doing this, you’ll be able to make monthly payments toward your bill until it’s paid off completely.

You may also be able to appeal your health insurance company’s decision, if they deny you coverage. To do this, you’ll need to follow the appeals process, which is usually outlined in your benefits guide or on the company website. If you have any questions regarding this process, you can also contact your insurance company directly, either by phone or in writing.

Detox or rapid detox with no insurance

You still have a handful of options if you need detox or rapid detox with no insurance. Oftentimes you’ll need to pay for it, but you may be able to get with of these services at a reduced cost.

1. Out of pocket sliding scale fees. One option for detox or rapid detox with no insurance is a facility with sliding scale fees. These types of facilities typically only charge people what they can reasonably afford to pay. Fees are usually calculated based on your income. The lower your income, the less you’ll pay.

2. Public and non-profit funding. Government assistance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and charitable organizations might also help you pay for detox if you need it. These types of programs typically have income guidelines as well, and not everyone will qualify for assistance.  Programs to look into include state sponsored SAMHSA projects (1-800-662-HELP), the Salvation Army, and recovery support groups.

3. Payment plan. If you don’t qualify for assistance and still need to pay for detox, you might also be able to make arrangements with the facility treating you. For instance, you may be able to finance your treatment or make monthly payments toward your balance.

Medical insurance for detox or rapid detox questions

If you or a loved one need drug detox, remember it’s an important first step toward an addiction-free lifestyle and don’t give up. Having insurance to help cover a portion of these costs is very helpful. Don’t let a lack of insurance coverage stop you from getting the treatment you need, though. In many cases, it may be more affordable than you think.

If you have any concerns or questions about medical insurance for detox or rapid detox, it’s best to contact your insurance company. You can also leave questions or concerns about medical insurance for detox or rapid detox in the comments section below. We’ll do our best to address them and help point you in the right direction.

Reference Sources: CIGNA HealthCare Coverage Position: Ultra-Rapid Detoxification
NIH: Study Finds Withdrawal No Easier With Ultrarapid Opiate Detox
Spiritual River: What are My Options for Opiate Detox?
NCBI: Rapid detox: understanding new treatment approaches for the addicted patient
Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment: A Treatment Improvement Protocol TIP 45
Center for Health Care Evaluation: Treatment of Acute Intoxication and Withdrawal from Drugs of Abuse
USA Today: ‘Rapid detox’ a quick fix for opiate addiction?
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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