In an ideal world, no cost is too high to preserve health, but the unfortunate reality of health care pricing is almost always a factor in deciding which treatment approaches to take.

High Cost of Health Care Worldwide

How expensive is health care?

In an article on public health insurance in the New York Times, Peter Singer illustrates the crisis in health care with the following analogy: “You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?”

Another example: An advanced prostate cancer treatment which could extend a person’s life by more than 3 months, remove pain, and revive energy is not approved by the National Health Care Service in the United Kingdom because it costs £3000 per month ($3,899.70).

Health Care for Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Insufficient health care is particularly hard on those who require the service of Drug and Rehab centers to recover from addictions. So, if you’re asking about how much does drug rehab cost, then the answer to that question is fairly complex. It’s not simply about stating a range of prices. Moreover, if you’re asking the question what you really want to know is how much you can afford to pay to make a complete recovery.

Drug rehab facilities work on changing a person’s behavior so that they can regain normal work and family life. Due to the diversity of options available, it’s impossible to talk about the cost of treatment in a generic way. There is no single treatment plan, but many different approaches offered by different facilities.

  • Some specialize in a specific drug addiction while others will offer a broader range of services.
  • Some specialize by demographics; for instance, age or gender, to create a more harmonious environment for patients.
  • Some are basic, others are luxury treatment centers.
  • Some have a cutting edge program staffed by medical doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists.
  • Some offer 12 step programs with certified drug and alcohol counselors (i.e. non-academicians who have received specialized education).

Figuring out costs, then, is about asking some basic questions:

  1. Is it a luxury facility in a secluded setting the reputation?
  2. What is the reputation of the facility? If it’s got the best treatment facilities and the most highly qualified staff, it’s going to cost a lot more.
  3. What type of financing is available? How much will your government or private insurance cover? How much financial assistance does the facility offer? Many times, you can get the best treatments if you can manage the payment arrangements.
  4. What programs are being offered? Is it an inpatient or an outpatient facility? Outpatient is far less expensive.

Costs Determined By National Health Care Policies

Your decision about how much you can afford for health care is determined by the health care policies of country you live in. Let’s take a look at the role the national health care system has in the United Kingdom and the United States to understand how this plays a huge role.

1. Health Care in the United Kingdom: In the UK, the National Health Care Service provides all permanent residents with free health care. The money for health care is paid for from general taxation. However, even in the UK, the best treatments are not covered by the NHS for different health care issues. While everyone in the UK is eligible for treatment, the best treatments come from private facilities, which require people to fund their own treatment or have private insurance.

2. Health Care in the United States: Health care costs in the United States are highly controversial because of politics and commercial interests. Consequently, Americans with insufficient insurance can’t get proper health care because out-of-pocket costs far exceed their ability to pay, even if they are in the six figure income bracket. While the Affordable Health Care Act created by President Obama sought to address this issue of making health care affordable, the new Health Care Act initiated by President Trump currently awaiting Senate approval proposes to reverse the Affordable Health Care. In short, millions of Americans who finally managed to get health care under the Affordable Health Care Act will now no longer be able to get enough insurance, even if they are in a health crisis.


talkhealth contributors

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