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Does Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) Cover Drug Rehab?

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

January 23, 2019

A major concern that many people face when it comes to addiction and recovery is how they are going to pay for treatment. The Affordable Care Act provides coverage for addiction treatment allowing individuals who were previously unable to seek treatment to get the help that they need.

It seems like everywhere you look these days, people are talking about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Being a hot button issue, many people wonder how it will affect them personally. Will they have to change insurances? Will their premiums go up? What services will Obamacare cover? Those who are looking into drug rehab may also be wondering how this new insurance will effect them in the future.

Does The Affordable Care Act Cover Drug Rehab?

The long and short of it: yes, the ACA does cover drug rehab. It considers substance abuse disorders as one of the ten essential elements of excellent health care and that all health insurance sold on Health Insurances Exchange and Medicaid from 2014 on must include it in their packages. This allows many individuals who previously did not have access to these services to be able to go to rehab now. The legislation is still determining exactly which specific services and types of treatment will be covered in full.

What Will Change?

As stated above, because mental health (including addiction) is now covered under Obamacare up to the same standards as physical health, many more people will have access to drug rehabs that did not have the means before. This means that more people will be receiving quality help for their addiction, making our nation as a whole healthier and decreasing the likelihood of abuse and relapse. Annually, untreated addiction costs the country 420 billion dollars due to health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity costs. Having addiction treatment covered under health insurance allows the country to save money by helping those with substance abuse issues get back on the right path, giving taxpayers a break and allowing funding to go elsewhere.

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Right now many people only receive addiction treatment services once they have hit bottom. In the future, the Affordable Care Act will treat addiction much like any other disease with prevention, early intervention, and plenty of options when it comes to care. This also means covered medical screenings, educational and informative campaigns, and community prevention activities. Overall, many more programs will be implemented to help those who are struggling or who have a family history of abuse to stay on the straight and narrow.

What Stays The Same?

While all this is good in theory, we won’t know how well Obamacare does with caring the weight of addiction treatment until we see it in action. Thus, people will always be able to check themselves into rehab without the help of insurance. It might be more expensive, but it is good to know that there will always be an option to choose the facility you want, instead of being forced to go where your insurance tells you to.

And just because insurance will cover some types of treatment, doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be of quality. Some research shows that nearly 90% of people who enter rehab aren’t receiving evidence-based treatment, or in other words, treatment that has proven to be effective. Thus, no matter how good insurance is as picking up the tab, one must be sure that they are receiving quality treatment, as that is the most important factor of recovery.

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That’s where comes in. We can help you find the rehab that best fits your needs, and we only pick those that have a proven record of success and meet our standards. Contact us today if you or a loved one are looking into drug rehab. We can answer all your questions and guide you towards the right decision.

View 62 Responses to “Does Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) Cover Drug Rehab?”

To comment on the statement “Thus, no matter how good insurance is as picking up the tab, one must be sure that they are receiving quality treatment, as that is the most important factor of recovery.” In our experience, the most important factor of successful recovery is the individuals willingness to change.

I think its both Kristine. Sorry but I think that most people want to change but either don’t know how or don’t get quality treatment. Also environmental issues can be very distracting and cause a person to relapse. Outside influences like friends who are abusers is probably one of the biggest reasons people relapse. But I guess there is some truth to “If you put your mind to anything you can conquer.”

So my girlfriend pays dacco 4000 thousand a year for the maint program I doubt obama care will pay the bill an her counsler has not told her anything im sure dacco will not except it obama care is a joke you have to pay but no hospitals an rehabs will except it. A joke.

Obama care is more then a freaking joke no clean respected treatment centers accept it its like the best feeling im going to get help with my drug problem nope sorry nope sorry nope sorry if that isnt a let down what is but there is always jail thats cheap for us tax payers not we need insurance please

Its coming just be patient here it is nope hang on here it is nope fooled ya here it comes be patient here it comes you get no help from the state insurance unless u sit in jail first wait here it comes yea right

EXCUSE ME! The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, does indeed cover drug rehab. How do I know? Because, my son is in drug rehab currently in Florida. We live in Oklahoma. And, it is a good evidence-based treatment center. We researched the policies thoroughly. He chose a policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Three weeks later he got on a plane and flew to Florida. OBAMACARE…..THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT is working! It is saving lives! Even the lives of people with the pre-existing condition of drug addiction!!!

Julie did they cover the whole cost? I am looking for a good place and I don’t have any money. I do have blue cross thru Obama care. Thank you

Casey, it seems like Obamacare has started paying for treatment. It’s certainly limited but we have heard about it paying. It’s new for us as well and we are still learning exactly what it will cover. Unfortunately I think this is true for most treatment providers, not only in the drug rehab industry, but others as well. If you give us a call at 1-800-406-7633 our treatment specialists can call your local facilities and see if they accept Obamacare. Hope this helps and good luck.

Please help me. My daughter who is 24 years old is a major heroin addict. Her mother and i do not have any funds to cover treatment nor do we have any insurance. My wife and i are not together, we are divorced, but are on the same page of getting our daughter help. She is currently housed in Maricopa county jail in Arizona on drug charges. We will not bail her out. We would if she could enter a rehab. We have enrolled her before and she did not get entered into a full time facility. Any help that could be sent our way to help this precious child would be welcomed..

Dear Jim, we are very sorry to hear about your daughter. Heroin is a serious problem that needs to be treatment immediately. Try giving us a call at 1-800-406-7633. You might want to look at a longer termed program that provides detox as well. Heroin is a tough drug to kick but not impossible. Hope this helps and hang in there.

Im a 32 yr old gay male and since I can remember (6th grade) I have constantly had a steady addiction to some sort of drug/alcohol. I was sober for 3 years and then relapsed on meth and haven’t put the pipe down for 3 years. I’m exhausted, depressed, lonely, regretful, and have built a tolerance that is absolutely obsurd. I’m not even sure what it feels like to get high anymore. I live in az and have government insurance-health choice and assume if there was any help available it would be very minimal and cheap. The kicker is my 27 yr old sister who lives in Ca and has a daughter-has access health insurance has just admitted her drinking is going to kill her. She’s recently gotten a DUI, a drunk in public with her 6 yr old daughter, and the father has taken custody until she shows sign of change. Were both so full of life and potential and it breaks my heart to know our lives thus far have been wasted with nothingwere stories of how messed up we were- Im ready for the next stage of my life and I want to begin it with my little sister. Is it possible to go to a rehab facility together and what’s the chance insurance will cover it? I’m praying for a miracle

I am also wondering about this for my boyfriend. I have to wonder if all the negative remarks about Obamacare not paying for rehab- are from people who have called two places and gave up/ people who expected it to be free? And, then I also wonder if there is some truth to it, and the only rehabs that are covered are ones without the extras that make it effective…. well-educated staff, with dual-diagnosis/non-addictive medicine prescribing therapists, long term in-patient- my boyfriend does not have the patience or attention span to research this stuff on his own. I find it hard to believe that a good rehab would not take Blue Cross Blue Shield- a plan that was provided at a cheaper premium to someone by a government enforced law. There has to be something that is reasonably priced that is covered to some percentage by more affordable insurance.

I have state insurance called apple health care. Im looking for a place that I can detox at. is there anywhere in the seattle Washington area that will accept this insurance?

I’m not worhty to be in the same forum. ROTFL

I have a daughter who is in a drug rehab program, she wants to get off drugs, she was never on street drugs she got addicted to pain killers prescription when she was in a physical theorpy program, she has a high addiction personality, now she is trying to get off thes pain meds, and her dad and I just can’t afford the high cost of her Dr. Visits and her medications she needs to take, we are doing it right now but it really keeps us broke all the time, I am looking for a insurance comp who will cover her office visits to her Dr. and her drug subsolv, it is costing us like 400 a month for dr. visits and then another 600 for her durg subsolv, she is not able to work right now, until they get her medicines leveled out, she has been in rehab outpatient for 4 weeks now and is doing really good with the dug subsolv, can you please tell me if there are in insurance comp.or if oboma care will cover any of this to help us out. She has no income so we will have to pay the premium for insurance for her. does anyone know any insurance company’s in Virginia who will write a police for someone and cover this for her, any answers to this would be so appreciated. I have to try and research this for her she just don’t feel like doing it.

Julie, have you ended up finding insurance that covers zubsolv?? I just saw this and it’s hard to find anyone who covers that or any of the suboxone/subtex medications. But check into United healthcare. Once I got on their plan my doctor visits went from $300 to $30 and my prescription to zubsolv was completely free. They covered zubsolv for at least a year, and reevaluate after a year if they will cover it. My total prescription cost every two week went from $250 to like $45 or so, then when I got the coupon from there website that you can use as many times as you want and it is $2 and some change off each pill it made it completely free. I actually paid less when I got more pills because the coupon took more $$$ off of the standard $45 with insurance. With that said… Anyone of suboxone or zubsolv go find the coupons from their websites… Insurance or not… They can be used over and over and may only be a couple bucks but save you hundreds!


Please help. I’m looking to get my gf into a long term drug rehab to keep her out of jail. Living in Alabama and of course, no money. Any good recommendations are welcomed.

My girl friend and I need to be in a treatment program , we have a serious addiction to opiates and need to be detoxed and rehabilateted we both have access and currently live in phx,AZ
Can you help us find treatment

We can help find you and your girlfriend the treatment you deserve in Phoenix, Arizona. Please contact our 1-800 number to speak with an addiction specialist opiate addiction and the best method for detox.

My daughter is in jail in Daytona Beach. She is an alcoholic and over using prescribed drugs. She can not get assistance because she is 36, not pregnant so with no job nor home (we refuse to have her home again)
She knows and wants inpatient treatment, if it is granted at her next court date, who will pay?

Wendy, please contact our 1-800 number to speak with one of our specialist about inpatient treatment and who pays for court ordered drug rehab.

I would like to know if Ky medicaid anthem blue cross blue shield would cover a drug rehab in Florida, where I used to live and want to go back, with the thinking that after inpatient treatment I could get a job again where I want to be and transition to a halfway or sober house there to have a better chance at long term success. Any information about going from one state to another on medicaid?

Please call our 1-800 number to speak with an addiction specialist.

Will Ky medicaid anthem blue cross blue shield would cover a drug rehab in Florida, where I used to live and want to go back, with the thinking that after inpatient treatment I could get a job again where I want to be and transition to a halfway or sober house there to have a better chance at long term success. Any information about going from one state to another on medicaid?

Kim, please contact our 1-800 number or fill out a contact form to be contacted by one our our specialist. We will work to provide information about the transfer of medicaid from one state to another.

I need help. I’ve been helping my brother with the treatment for his addiction. It’s been 2 years and 3 programs without completion. He has no money. Is there a free inpatient program that accepts obamacare in Michigan? I want the info sobthete are no excuses and I can move.

Please call us. We will help you find treatment for your brother.

My niece. .24 has been using but for the last year and a half methamphetamine and heroin injecting… Her veins have become so horrific that they have exploded.. no longer being able to use a needle in her veins she has went ahead to the next level and has been injecting into muscles. .. we have been trying to get her help for and had her Detox – 6 months ago … she has a ohp we cannot find a place to take her they’ve all repeatedly said it takes anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to get her in her mother has filled out paperwork from here to China …. we are in desperate need of some sort of guidance direction whatever help

My daughter is 27 years old and is highly addicted to heroin alcohol pills or anything else she can get her hands on. She also has hepatitis which she has gotten through intravenous drug use. She has gotten me and her younger siblings evicted twice and has overdosed several times. We live in Chicago Cook County and she has County care I too cannot seem to find any place that really works for her. I am afraid she will die very soon. She lives in the street she causes a lot of problems and has torn our family apart. Please help me find somewhere for her before it’s too late. 🙁

Hello, Dee. We are here to help you find a place where your daughter can get help! We will have someone contact you via email ASAP. If you would like immediate assistance, please call 800-406-7633!

My son is 25 and we are going on 8 yrs of him being into drugs. The last 2 yrs I know has been meth and suboxon with a needle . He has the most beautiful, smart & loving 5 yr old that loves him more than she loves anyone else . She prays for her daddy every night . He is such a good hearted person and I just know if he doesn’t get help I will be burying him by Dec. Please help my baby before I lose him forever. He has Obama Care Insurance. My grand baby couldn’t handle the loss of her daddy. HELP !!!!!

Donna, we are here to help you and your son! We will have someone contact you via email ASAP. Also, please feel free to contact us at 800-406-7633!

Obama care is a federal program. Your state has to accept expansion of the Medicaid program in order to get these funds. look to your state for the answers here and ask why your governor has not permitted Medicaid expansion. I am from Ohio and people on Medicaid have been getting full mental health and alcohol and drug services for the past five years. Total payment. This includes Inpatient, Outpatient, Residential Methadone, Suboxone, Subtext and Vivatrol treatment. People must comply with treatment in order to receive the services. Most of the ones I know of are for profit and two in my tri county area have been shut down (for a short time) due to poor compliance on several levels so the programs have to hire quality staff and meet state and federal guidelines. I feel sorry for those of you not being able to find treatment but I really do think it is a “State thing” and not an Obamacare thing. Your state has to accept the money. In the past five years Ohio’s economy has improved drastically because of so many professional and semi-professional jobs being linked to greater access to mental health and alcohol and drug treatment. Our governor is a Republican and he broke ties with his party to expand Medicaid. that, along with an increase in the budget due to a return to increased taxes for the 1% from Obama, has helped our state greatly. But check our state and see whether they accepted expanded Medicaid or not.

I don’t have any insurance but really need help been battling addiction since I was 12 and I’m now 36 I just don’t know what to do anymore

Crystal, we are here to help you! We will have someone reach out to you via email ASAP. As always, you can still contact us via phone at 800-406-7633

I need help, have to insurance or income please? Can you help me. I can be ready to go anytime.

Laura, we are here to help you find the best treatment available! We’ll have someone contact you via the email address you’ve provided ASAP! Also, please feel free to contact us anytime at 1-800-570-3670.

I am looking for help for my husband who was placed on oxicontin for RLS over 4 years ago. He was sent to the pain clinic where he thought they would help him figure out why his leg pain was so debilitating but all they did was put him on oxis. He has asked the doctors there on several occasions if they can help him whether it’s thru some sort of detox or help him titrate down to get off the oxi completely. He absolutely hates taking those pills and now it’s to the point where he doesn’t even get pain relief. It’s more just his brain and body telling him….. Oh it’s time for a pill. If he tries to get off he goes thru horrific withdrawals. He’s tried to titrate down on his own and then just kick them all together but the withdrawals are so horrific.
He is frustrated that the doctors never bothered to recommend him to other specialists to find out the issue behind the leg pain. They just slapped pills on him instead. The other day he asked the doctor (this would be his 6th time now asking for help ) for something he could take to get off like suboxin or something… Anything. We feel that there needs to be some accountability on the part of these doctors when they put someone on these pills and never explain the horrific side affects. Since we are self employed we don’t have insurance so I am wondering if ObamaCare really does cover any real type of detox program. He doesn’t need long term care. But he will need inpatient care to fully detox. He is beyond ready to get off but feels hopeless since each time he’s called a rehab they’ve told him the cost is around 30k
It’s a vicious cycle and I can’t help but wonder if it’s all perpetrated on purpose. Doctors push the opiate getting people hooked ensuring a cash flow of patients hooked on it and once they want off its another cash flow for rehabs. What a sick society that leaches off its citizens.
If anyone can direct us to a good detox for getting completely off opioids let me know. We are in Montana. Not sure what’s available here and if obamacare will cover anything. We just don’t know enough about obamacare. Not even sure we can afford obamacare. Thanks for reading 🙂

Jamie, thank you for reaching out to us about your husband! We will contact you ASAP via the email address you’ve provided us with. If you would prefer to speak to someone over the phone, please give us a call at 800-570-3670. We are here to help you seek treatment for your husband.

My22 year old granddaughter needs to go to a good rehab center. She has Coventry Care & we live in Kentucky. Can you help?

Hi Margaret, we are here to do our best to help you and your granddaughter! Please keep your eyes open for an email from us so that we may assist you further. If you would prefer to speak to someone over the phone ASAP, please give us a call at 800-570-3670.

Is there a detox program that uses methadone or suboxone covered thru the bcbs obama funded ins/under going long term inpatient rehab in Arkansas

Also if not in Arkansas… I hear that ark ins even state funde/obama funded care. Is one of few states that give out private hmo’s not clear what that means but hopefully it’ll be to my best interest please let me know at the least what I can hold on to hope of… I refuse to suffer the horribly horrific withdrawals with out . Suboxone or methadone tohelp the wd painfull process I fear
Plz help

Hi Jess.j, We are here to help you! Please look out for an email (at the email address you provided us) so that we can discuss options with you. If you would prefer to speak to someone over the phone, please contact us immediately at 800-570-3670.

My 31 year old daughter has asked to come back home because of a addiction to crack cocaine. She says she is gonna need 24 hour a day for someone to be with her to make sure she doesn’t do any drugs. She says her mom (me) is who she wants to be with. I have been reading up on this drug and what is gonna be expected to happen. I need help in helping her. She needs to be in a detox center to really help her. She has Obama care and I wanted to know if this would cover her going some were for help. I am so scared for her but I don’t know if I can really help her , I think she needs professional help. We live in Ky, close to Louisville Ky. Please help..

Debbie, we are here to help! A treatment specialist contact you via the email address you’ve provided.

I live in Las Vegas,Nevada my 28 year old son is addicted to heroin it is killing him right before my eyes and I can not stop him or get him help it has taken a toll on myself and husband and financially has ruined us this is our worst nightmare please if someone has information on how and where I can get help he has Obama care insurance he needs impatient help I am afraid he will die if he doesn’t get help! PLEASE

In desperate needed of information for help on herion addiction for my 28 year old son we live in Las Vegas,Nevada it is killing him right before my eyes he has Obama care insurance he needs impatient treatment asap PLEASE I need to find him help I can tell you horror stories but it’s past that I don’t want to bury him

Anita, we are here to help you and your son! A treatment specialist contact you via the email address you’ve provided ASAP. If you want to speak to someone over the phone immediately, our number is 888-757-5052.

I have a 50 year old son who had been clean and sober for 15 years. a little over 5 years ago he relapsed, has been struggling with maintaining sobriety for any length of time. Has been to psychiatrist, who put him on bipolar disorder meds, the went into detox and they determined he was misdiagnosed and was actually suffering from PTSD and changed his meds. He has actually gone into detox about 3 different times, they change his meds around and he continues to have multiple relapses. I am concerned that he is about to give up completely as he now is saying he has had suicidal ideologies. My son has Apple care thru the state of Washington and we are having problems trying to find some kind of Dual Diagnosis residential treatment program that will accept Apple care. My son is an intelligent, kind hearted wonderful man who is now an unemployed RN. He has been searching for help for 5 years and not been able to get the proper help or diagnosis. Please help. He is my only son and he has a 5 year old son that really loves his dad!! All he wants is to be normal, once again.

Jean, we’re here to help you and your son! One of our treatment specialists contact you via your email ASAP.

Thank you and stay strong!

I am seeking help in finding an inpatient facility for my 31 year old son. He has been fighting addiction for 10 years. He also suffers from bi-polar. He gets help and is fine for a while, but then his “friends” start coming around again. He needs a place that is away from home, since he has tried the places around here. I think getting away from familiar ground may help him the most. He has Harmony Ins. through IL. We are in Northern IL. He is a hard working, caring person when he is clean and sober. When he is using, he just can’t hold down a job. He wants the help, just having trouble finding a place that will take him. Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks

I am sorry to hear about your son. We treat co-occurring disorders at our facilities and would like to help any way we can. Please give us a call at 888-757-5052 as soon as possible.

So ok my boyfriend/ my son’s father and i have been battling with heroin addiction now since around 2009 and well its not getting any easier,long story short is our. 8 yr old son is temporary Living with my boyfriends mother which she recently moved to ARIZONA from everett wa. I HAVE applecare (obamacare)and so just recently my boyfriend and i finally made the decision. Thats it we want to get clean so we can have our lives back andbe bettet parents for our as is right now we arw at a standstill and in las vegas because we have no where to stay in arizona,until we get into rehab.Can anyone pls help me figure out what im supposed to do with my insurance (do i have to change my insurance? What do i have) also there is one other minor issue and that is my boyfriends mother and i do not get along and so i cant stay at her house and so i have nobody i kbow in az and so my boyfriend and i need to get into detox and treatment at the same time.otherwise i will be stuck alone staying in his car where i have no family,no money,nothing until id get my bed date.i hope ive written this out so im making sense so please bare with me.and so i need to do this like yesterday, im begging for help.if anyine can help me pls email me at [email protected] my names Heather

Heather, we are here to help you and your boyfriend get back on track! One of our treatment specialists will contact you via your email as soon as possible!


Thank you for reaching out! You are doing the best thing for yourself and for your family. We are going to help you in anyway we possibly can! Because this is a time sensitive matter, I am going to have you give us a call immediately, it is the best way we can get you the help you need as quickly as we can. Please give us a call and we will help you take the first steps.

Hi I was interested in healthcare for my son who is 20 years old an he does need help because I think he really has a drug addiction and really needs help an has other mental issues that have affected him an due to his father dying of cancer being his biggest depression. I want to help him get better be right an happy again before all this happened. Please tell me what I can do 2 make his life a success. I cant afford much but willing to sacrafice everything 4 his wellness.

Thank you for reaching out! You are doing the best thing for your son. We want to help you and your son in any way we possibly can. There are an array of options available for your son as far as treatment options, healthcare and finances go. The best way to help you would be to have you give us a call to discuss further details and gather more information. We look forward to helping your son on his path to sobriety and on his journey to a successful and happy life. Thank you again.

My adult son has battled addiction for years . He currently has apple care insurance . We (parents) are willing to pay out of pocket for his treatment . Within reason, of course . The struggle is this ~ he has Apple care insurance and the facilities contacted within WA state say they cannot take him on self pay or they are in danger of Medicaid fraud. What the heck ?? We are not asking Apple to pay any of it . We simply want to get him into a treatment center that will provide good care . SundownM ranch is the facility we would like . Can you provide any insight or guidance ? I find it ludicrous that they won’t take our money .
Thank you

“Obamacare,” or the Affordable Care Act is NOT a type of insurance. The term “Obamacare” refers to the marketplace that allows people to obtain insurance at subsidized (by the government) cost. There are many different insurance companies with many different plans that take part in this marketplace. The plans that are offered vary by location.

Unfortunately, it is up to the treatment center or recovery program to decide what insurance plans they accept and what plans they don’t accept. Also, depending on the plan you have chosen, you may have a significant co-pay and/or deductible that you must pay.

Even more unfortunately, recent political actions have de-stabilized the marketplace causing many insurance companies to pull out of the marketplace or increase the cost to customers.

I realize this may sound discouraging. I wish our country would do better for the millions of us that have addiction or love someone who has addiction. Please don’t give up. Search for a place that will either take your insurance or are willing to charge a sliding fee based on income- those places can be hard to find. If you cannot find such a place, reach out and ask someone to help you find a place. Sometimes, meetings like AA and Smart Recovery are places where you can meet people who are knowledgable about available resources.

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