What is the Cost of Methadone?
Methadone, an opiate addiction treatment with a long history of results, offers recovering addicts a way to break the grips of addiction and rebuild their lives. With over 50 years of research and development, methadone treatment programs have become the standard against which other opiate addiction treatment approaches are measured.
Methadone’s classification as a long-standing treatment has brought with it a wide range of funding sources, which bodes well for those in search of needed treatment. As such, the cost of methadone can vary depending on program availability, government-based sponsorships as well as any one person’s health insurance options.
When all is said and done, the cost of methadone runs relatively low compared to other forms of opiate addiction treatment.
Government Funding Availability
According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, 60 percent of people admitted into drug treatment had no health insurance coverage in 2007. An inability to pay for needed treatment accounts for why so many people don’t get the treatment they need.
Methadone, in particular, exists as a controlled substance, which places it directly under government regulation. With the rapid rise in opiate abuse rates, government-funding sources have become a primary means for covering the cost of methadone treatment.
Government funding provisions can vary depending on:
- Program eligibility
- Type of facility (nonprofit vs. for profit)
- A person’s income level
- Any existing health insurance coverage a person may have
Consequently, the cost of methadone can vary considerably.
In 2008, an estimated 286,000 people were admitted to methadone programs, with over half of those admitted covering the cost of methadone out-of-pocket. With both residential and outpatient programs offering methadone treatment, the type of program can greatly affect the cost of methadone.
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, methadone costs run $76.13 per day for non-hospital residential programs. For outpatient methadone programs, methadone costs run considerably lower at $17.78 per day.
Insurance Coverage Allowances
With the advent of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, health insurance providers must include substance abuse treatment benefits as part of their standard insurance policy coverage. Whether a policy is offered through an employer, purchased individually or obtained through Medicaid/Medicare, coverage for substance abuse treatment should be included.
Likewise, the cost of methadone qualifies as a substance abuse treatment benefit. While coverage benefits will likely vary from insurer to insurer, these benefits can help defray the cost of methadone treatment.
No Cost Options
Considering many opiate addicts have reached the point of financial destitution by the time they’re ready to enter treatment, no cost treatment options can prove invaluable for those with no means to pay. With methadone programs being so heavily regulated, recovering addicts can likely find some sort of financial assistance to cover the cost of methadone.
Though no cost programs tend to fill up quickly with long waiting lists in tow, certain types of agencies are still more likely to offer no cost treatment help. When it comes to covering the cost of methadone, private nonprofit agencies are more likely to offer no cost options than public nonprofit agencies.
Even in cases where a person has to pay out-of-pocket, most methadone programs offer an income-based, sliding-fee scale option.