How to Get Into Rehab Without Insurance
Navigating rehab without insurance can be challenging, but it’s an important step toward reclaiming your life from addiction. Fortunately, there are ways to pay for rehab without insurance. From the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to sliding scales, this article will help you learn how to pay for rehab without insurance and other practical strategies for getting the help you need to begin recovery.
Can I Go to Rehab Without Insurance?
Yes, you can go to rehab without insurance. While insurance can help cover the costs associated with rehab, there are options available if you are without coverage. Community resources, non-profit organizations, sliding scale fees, and state-funded programs all offer avenues for accessing rehab. Some facilities offer payment plans, and you may have local support groups in your area that can help.
Remember: you have options. It’s important to research available options, inquire directly with rehab facilities, and explore alternative ways to fund treatment. Prioritizing yourself and seeking help for addiction is possible even without insurance, ensuring you have a chance to embark on the path to recovery.
Ways to Pay for Drug and Alcohol Rehab Without Health Insurance
There are several ways to pay for addiction treatment, even if you don’t have health insurance coverage for rehab. Some options you can explore include:
- Financing: If you’re wondering How to pay for rehab if you don’t have insurance, financing for rehab is a strong choice. It covers treatment costs directly, offering a post-treatment repayment plan that suits your budget.
- Grants and scholarships: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers non-competitive grants for rehab through its Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment. Check eligibility on their website. You can also reach out to local treatment centers for potential grants or scholarships to assist with rehab costs, as many offer options for financial support.
- Subsidized coverage: For those with limited income, subsidized coverage offers reduced premiums and treatment benefits, aiding addiction recovery. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) ensures mental health and addiction services coverage from 2014 onward.1 Check eligibility for government subsidies and explore state-funded facilities, providing affordable recovery options to those in need.
- Sliding scale fees: Some rehab facilities adjust fees based on what individuals can realistically pay. These sliding scale fees make it easier to access rehab without insurance.
- Crowdfunding and fundraising: Online platforms allow individuals to create fundraising campaigns for medical expenses. Sharing your story can attract support from family, friends, and beyond.
- Non-profit organizations: There are various non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting individuals in accessing addiction treatment. Some may offer financial aid, grants, or scholarships to cover rehab costs.
- Community resources: Local community health centers, religious organizations, and social services might offer resources or financial assistance for rehab.
- Employer assistance programs (EAPs): Some employers provide EAPs that offer counseling, support, and sometimes financial help for employees seeking rehab.
- Support groups: While not formal rehab, free support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide valuable peer support on the journey to recovery.
Exploring these options and being proactive about seeking assistance can help make rehab a reality, even without health insurance coverage.
Costs of Different Levels of Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Insurance coverage can vary for different levels of care, like inpatient vs. outpatient rehab. While insurance might not cover one type of treatment, it could cover another. It’s important to explore coverage options for different levels of care, as this can offer more paths to treatment. However, while some levels of care may be more affordable than others, it’s important to get the treatment you need. Your doctor or treatment team will assess your specific needs to recommend the right level of care that aligns with your circumstances.
Detox and Inpatient Rehab Without Health Insurance
For some individuals, detox is the initial phase of addiction treatment. Drug and alcohol detox facilities help manage and mitigate withdrawal symptoms under medical supervision.2 Inpatient addiction treatment offers care, monitoring, and support within a safe, structured residential setting.3 To manage costs without insurance, some individuals may opt for a brief inpatient stay followed by outpatient treatment. This may help minimize expenses while still receiving intensive care. As mentioned, it’s important to get the treatment recommended by qualified professionals.
Outpatient Rehab Without Health Insurance
Because costs can vary significantly between levels of care, outpatient treatment may be more accessible. Outpatient addiction treatment involves treatment sessions scheduled during the day, allowing individuals to return home afterward. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) offer structured support without 24/7 residence, making them cost-effective options.4 Sober living homes provide a stable environment, helping individuals transition from rehab to day-to-day life.5 Additionally, free aftercare like AA/NA meetings offers ongoing support, strengthening recovery.
Are There Free Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs?
If you need drug or alcohol rehab and have little or no insurance and very limited resources, state-funded facilities are an option you can pursue. Local- and state-funded rehab centers are tax dollar-funded addiction treatment facilities, so essentially the programs accept money from the government to provide alcohol and drug rehab services to people who otherwise would not be able to afford treatment. Funding sources vary by state, but many local and state-funded programs obtain funding through a combination of federal grants, Medicaid reimbursement, and state budgets.
Most local- and state-funded programs have strict qualification requirements. When you apply to one of these programs, you may be asked to show proof of income, lack of insurance, U.S. citizenship, and residency in the state in which you are looking for treatment.
To begin this process, you can get in touch with your state or local mental health or substance misuse agency. SAMHSA also maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services that makes it easier to determine who to contact.
Another widely recognized and available treatment center offering free drug rehabilitation services is The Salvation Army. For over 100 years, the Salvation Army’s rehab programs provide emotional, social, and spiritual assistance for those struggling with drug and alcohol problems. Getting admitted into rehab for private treatment would usually require health insurance or setting up a payment option.
Using Medicaid to Pay for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Medicaid is a federal- and state-funded program that provides healthcare coverage to people who meet the eligibility requirements (including income). In most cases, you must qualify for Medicaid based on Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI).6 This method determines Medicaid eligibility for children, pregnant women, and adults. If you are over age 65, you are exempt from MAGI rules. Medicaid makes addiction treatment more affordable by offering insurance to low-income people based on specific eligibility requirements. Medicaid addiction treatment coverage includes long-term inpatient programming, prescription drugs, and outpatient services.7
Using Medicare to Pay for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Medicare is a program that is state and federally funded to provide people with the financial resources they need for healthcare. It provides health insurance to people who meet specific age, disability, and income requirements. Does Medicare cover alcohol or drug rehab? Yes, if you need addiction treatment, Medicare healthcare coverage can help with costs and cover at least some parts of your care. Medicare has three parts that cover different services for people aged 65 and older and people under 65 who have a disability and meet certain income-based requirements.8 Medicare also works with the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program and Veterans Affairs to provide additional coverage to federal employees and veterans.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Addiction Treatment
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded coverage so that more Americans have access to health insurance, including mental health treatment coverage. The ACA ensures that both mental and behavioral health disorders are covered similarly to physical health disorders.1 This includes the treatment of substance use disorder (SUD), including detoxification, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, counseling, and additional services.1
With increased coverage through the ACA, people who are struggling with substance use, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders, can obtain drug and alcohol addiction treatment through various rehab programs.
Using COBRA Coverage to Pay for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Maintaining your health insurance coverage during job loss can be overwhelming, but there are options available to you. Upon losing job-based coverage, your former employer may offer you COBRA continuation. COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) provides workers and their families with the opportunity to continue the group health coverage that they previously had under their employer’s group health plan—for a limited amount of time.
In order to be eligible for COBRA, you must have insurance that is covered by COBRA, a qualifying event (including job loss), and be a qualified beneficiary. If you have lost your job, your employer will inform you of your eligibility to maintain your insurance through COBRA. You will have at least 60 days to decide if you would like to continue your coverage. Once you have decided to continue your coverage, you will sign up for COBRA, and you will be responsible for paying the entirety of your premium (what was previously covered by you and your employer).
Once you are enrolled in COBRA, you will have the same coverage that you previously had while you were employed. That includes any mental health and substance misuse treatment that was covered through your insurance plan. If you are pursuing treatment while covered by COBRA, treatment facilities will likely need you to fill out a COBRA election form and you will be responsible for paying your premium. Although it might be slightly more complicated than it was when you were employed, unemployment does not mean that you cannot receive the alcohol or drug treatment that you need.
Getting Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction
There are ways to get the help you need if you don’t have the means financially. Don’t let a lack of money stop you from living the sober life you deserve. Whether you have insurance or not, American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of addiction treatment. AAC is committed to supporting those struggling with addiction on their journey to recovery. If you are looking for information on paying for addiction treatment, you can contact us 24/7 at to learn more.
You can also quickly and easily check your insurance coverage for free by filling out the form below.
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