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Tips for Finding Affordable Alcohol Treatment

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Not finding affordable alcohol treatment is oftentimes the one obstacle that prevents people from getting the help they need. The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health identifies a lack of financial resources as the most common reason why people suffering from alcohol addiction don’t seek treatment. Fortunately, treatment providers and government agencies recognize this dilemma and offer those in need affordable alcohol treatment options.

Community Health Centers

Community health centers offer affordable alcohol treatment with low cost, and sometimes no cost options. The amount charged typically depends on a person’s income level so these centers operate off of a sliding fee scale. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, community health centers are located in most all cities and many rural areas.

As people dealing with alcohol addictions often suffer from other health problems, these centers can provide needed treatment on a case-by-case basis. Costs for medical and mental health treatment are also based on a sliding-fee scale. Some of the other services offered through community health centers include:

  • Yearly checkups
  • Prenatal care
  • Dental care
  • Mental health treatment

State & Federally Funded Treatment Options

For people dealing with alcohol addictions, state and federal funding sources offer a range of affordable alcohol treatment options. Some of these options include:

  • Vouchers
  • Drug Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Clinical Trials

According to the White House, a federal program known as Access to Recovery sponsors a voucher program for individuals needing help with paying for alcohol treatment. Most states receive funding for the program with various agencies offering voucher assistance.

Drug rehabilitation facilities receiving state and/or federal funding also offer affordable alcohol treatment options. These facilities operate off of slide fee scales and many also take Medicaid and Medicare insurance.

Clinical trials use new counseling and medication approaches in the treatment of alcohol addictions. Though the type of treatment offered is experimental in nature, qualified applicants can receive free treatment by participating.

The Affordable Care Act – Health Insurance Options

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, both individual and small group employer plans are required to include alcohol treatment services as part of their benefit offerings. Once the Act goes into full effect in 2014, anyone covered by a health insurance plan may already have an affordable alcohol treatment option available.

The Affordable Care Act requires individual and small group plans to cover 10 categories of benefits, one of which is substance abuse treatment. Benefits provided for alcohol treatment must meet the coverage requirements as mandated by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This act requires insurance plans to offer the same level of coverage for substance abuse treatment as is available for medical and surgical treatment services.

With health insurance coverage, affordable alcohol treatment becomes a possibility. People with existing health insurance plans should review their policies to see what type of coverage is available.