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Alcohol And Drug Rehabs That Accept Medicaid

Dr. Ted Bender, Ph.D., LCDC

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ted Bender, Ph.D., LCDC

April 21, 2020

Using Medicaid to pay for addiction treatment can alleviate many of the financial stressors associated with professional care. Before finding rehab centers that accept Medicaid, it may first be helpful to understand which addiction treatment services are covered.

For eligible individuals, Medicaid insurance plans can provide coverage for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The amount of coverage varies by the plan, and eligibility for Medicaid varies by state requirement.

Medicaid is a state- and federally-funded health insurance plan that provides health care coverage for individuals who qualify. Finding rehab centers that accept your Medicaid insurance plan before heading to treatment can ease the process of selecting and paying for a program.

Does Medicaid Cover Alcohol And Drug Rehab?

Medicaid is an insurance coverage program for low-income individuals. Because the program is state-funded and state-run, the program has very specific guidelines for what will be covered for addiction treatment. This will vary by state and by patient needs.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) instituted under Obamacare made possible basic coverage of addiction treatment services.

The 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) also began a new standard of health coverage by requiring that all individual and group insurance health plans provide coverage for addiction treatment to the same degree they would cover other health issues.

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Addiction Treatment Services Covered By Medicaid

Those who qualify for Medicaid generally do not have a copay for treatment services. For those who do have copays, there is a set out-of-pocket maximum they will be expected to pay. Copay amounts vary by state.

While Medicaid provides coverage for addiction treatment services for individuals who need it, those receiving treatment may have to complete an assessment to prove medical need. The following are treatment services covered by Medicaid:

In addition, Medicaid covers major addiction treatment needs, including inpatient rehab programs, outpatient services, and medication-assisted treatment. Coverage may depend on verified medical needs and may be limited to care within a certain, eligible rehab center.

If you want to use Medicaid to seek treatment for substance abuse or addiction, it may be worthwhile to know if your plan covers the following major treatment methods.

Inpatient Rehab Programs

Inpatient rehab programs may be covered by Medicaid, but the amount of coverage and eligible rehab centers will vary by state.

Within inpatient or residential treatment, individuals stay onsite at the rehab facility for a number of days or weeks until treatment is completed. Participants may take part in therapies, counseling, detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, and more.

Medicaid coverage for inpatient addiction treatment may depend on which rehab center you choose to attend. Many private rehab facilities will not accept Medicaid, but a select few do.

State-funded rehab centers may accept Medicaid to provide free or low-cost addiction treatment to those in need. However, these facilities may have long waiting lists, so it’s best to research these rehab centers prior to seeking treatment.

Length of stay for an inpatient program covered by Medicaid may be very specific, such as 28 or 30 days. Longer stays may be approved according to patient need.

Speaking to a treatment specialist to determine the exact amount of inpatient stay covered by Medicaid can help avoid any surprise or excess fees or costs during treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

Some Medicaid plans may require those heading to addiction treatment for the first time to try outpatient treatment first. Outpatient treatment is facilitated at a rehab center and offers some of the same methods as inpatient care but on a less intensive scale.

Participants generally attend outpatient programs a number of days per week for two to three hours at a time.

Medicaid plans may provide coverage for a number of outpatient services, such as counseling, therapy, and medication maintenance programs with buprenorphine or methadone. As with other services, the amount of coverage and eligibility requirements vary by each state’s Medicaid plan.

Certain outpatient programs may be covered more than others. For instance, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) provide treatment similar in intensity to inpatient care, but at a greatly reduced cost. This increases the chances of Medicaid coverage.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Patients struggling with opioid or alcohol use disorder may need some form of medication to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms to keep them dedicated during the early stages of recovery. This form of treatment is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Medicaid coverage for medication-assisted treatment also varies by the state plan, as some plans may not cover it at all, while others may cover it for a time with strict guidelines, such as which medication will be covered and for how long.

Using Your Medicaid Plan To Cover Addiction Treatment

If you want to use your Medicaid plan to cover addiction treatment, it’s important to consider some key factors. First, make sure you choose a rehab center that accepts Medicaid. Not all rehab centers will comply with Medicaid coverage, and it’s best to know this before heading to rehab.

Talk first with a treatment specialist or your Medicaid provider to ensure you have everything in place before heading to treatment. This can include getting an assessment from a primary care provider (PCP) or getting the necessary paperwork in order.

Whatever is needed, it’s helpful to have all factors in place before beginning treatment. Figuring out how to pay for addiction treatment using Medicaid will provide some financial relief and ease some of the concerns associated with entering treatment.

Questions To Ask Before Using Medicaid To Pay For Rehab

Entering addiction treatment can be the best decision for your life and recovery, but it can also come with some understandable concerns. One of the biggest factors that keep people from entering treatment is cost. If you use your Medicaid plan, you can alleviate most or all of these costs.

However, there are questions you should prepare to ask a treatment specialist, care provider, or insurance provider prior to treatment start. This way, you’ll have no hidden fees, will know exactly what you’re expected to pay, and can remove the financial burden of paying for addiction treatment.

Questions to ask when using your Medicaid to pay for rehab include:

  • Does my Medicaid plan cover inpatient drug rehab? If so, what length of stay is covered?
  • Does my Medicaid plan cover detox? If so, is medication also covered?
  • Does my plan cover medication-assisted treatment or medication maintenance?
  • For continued care, does my Medicaid plan cover outpatient services? Which types?
  • What is my responsibility: what are my copays, premiums, or deductibles, if any?
  • Do I need to complete a clinical assessment to prove medical necessity?
  • What paperwork do I need to send to my Medicaid provider prior to going to rehab?

Medicaid Eligibility Requirements

Medicaid has very specific eligibility requirements. In general, Medicaid is available to individuals below a certain income level who meet one or more of the following eligibility requirements:

  • parent
  • pregnant
  • youth or adolescent under 19 years of age
  • senior age 65 or older

While most states require individuals receiving Medicaid to be both low-income and to meet one of the above requirements, some states provide Medicaid coverage to all individuals who meet income requirements.

To be considered low-income, you must be considered below the federal poverty level (FPL) as determined by the Affordable Care Act. However, you may still be eligible to receive Medicaid above the federal poverty level if you fall within a certain income bracket.

To know for sure if you qualify for Medicaid coverage, speak to a treatment specialist or state Medicaid provider.

How To Find A Rehab Center That Accepts Medicaid

Using insurance to pay for addiction treatment may feel confusing and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be a complex process. Insurance can help reduce or eliminate the cost of addiction treatment, alleviating one of the biggest concerns you may have about entering recovery.

If you’re considering entering addiction treatment and you’re worried about cost, do not let this worry keep you from beginning your new sober phase of life. Contact a treatment specialist today to learn more about rehab centers that accept Medicaid.

* Disclaimer: is not affiliated with or endorsed by Medicaid. Details about Medicaid’s coverage are intended for informational purposes only. The specific details of your plan may vary and the specific treatment services you require may or may not be covered. - The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) - Medicaid And CHIP Coverage - Behavioral Health Services

National Institute On Drug Abuse - Is Drug Addiction Treatment Worth Its Cost?

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