FAQs About Paying for Rehab
Paying for rehab is possible even if you don’t have health insurance or enough in the bank to cover the full cost of treatment upfront. There are many ways to find assistance, and you can even combine multiple sources of funding. If you’ve had trouble getting private or public insurance coverage or figuring out how to pay for drug rehab, this article may help.
The Cost of Treatment
When it comes to how much rehab costs, there are a number of factors that influence price, such as the facility location, staff-to-patient ratio, and level of care. Generally, inpatient costs more than outpatient, and public facilities cost less than private centers. Across the board, luxury centers are the most expensive programs, but they do offer a number of desirable amenities such as private rooms, chef-prepared meals, massage, and exotic settings.
It is important that you take the time to figure out how much you can spend on treatment before starting your search for a rehab. If you want to stay within a certain price range, make sure to set these financial boundaries beforehand so that you are not surprised down the line with the final cost.
Below are general descriptions of the price points of different treatment options to help you get a better idea of what to budget for:
- Detox: Based on the severity of chemical dependence and the risk of withdrawal complications, medical detox can take place in a number of treatment programs, including hospital, residential, or outpatient settings. With an onsite program, prices will vary, so contact the rehab facility you are interested in to find out pricing and payment options.
- Residential/Inpatient: Depending on your situation, you may enter an inpatient drug rehab for around-the-clock, intensive services. During this time, you may engage in a combination of one-on-one therapy sessions, group counseling, integrative health practices (e.g., yoga, meditation, or acupuncture) and other wellness activities, as well as pre-discharge aftercare planning. These programs frequently last between 1 and 3 months and prices vary based on what the programs offer and where they are provided.
- Partial Hospitalization: Many times, PHPs serve as a bridge between inpatient and outpatient levels of care. These programs usually require you to spend 4–8 hours a day at the treatment facility for at least 5 days a week. You can expect these programs to be designed to optimally last for at least 3 months.3
- Intensive Outpatient: Another step down, you might be referred to an IOP before going into traditional outpatient programming or returning home. A typical schedule may include therapy sessions 3 times a week for approximately 1 to 3 weeks.4 The average cost for IOP sessions ranges from $100 to $500 per session, although the price may vary depending on the facility and length of the program. Some centers offer discounted rates if the treatment plan spans a longer period of time.3
- Outpatient: Outpatient treatment is a popular approach to care because it allows you the flexibility of living at home while you seek treatment. Because you do not live at the facility, these programs are often cheaper than inpatient programming. The time spent in an outpatient program varies widely depending on your situation, but in general, programs last anywhere from 2 months to one year.4
While the costs included here are general, they can provide a starting point for you as you begin strategizing how to pay for addiction treatment.
Can I Get into State-Funded Treatment?
If you are worried that your drug or alcohol dependency is spiraling out of control or placing you or someone else in harm’s way, a state-funded rehabs program is an option you can consider. These facilities run on government grants or subsidies to provide services to patients. They may offer fewer amenities compared to private treatment programs, but they still use evidence-based treatments. You can usually find state-funded treatment programs operating in conjunction with prison or court systems, as part of state dependency programs. Facilities may have different requirements to enter the program, so when you call, make sure that you meet the facility entry requirements.
How to Pay for Rehab
Although addiction treatment may seem expensive and out of reach, there are plenty of options when it comes to paying for rehab including:
- Private health insurance
- Public health insurance
- Loans and credit cards
Paying for Rehab with Private Insurance
In 2020, 41.1 million people over the age of 12 needed drug or alcohol addiction treatment, but only 4.0 million people actually received it.5 Unsurprisingly, one of the most common hurdles for Americans accessing treatment is figuring out what their insurance will or won’t cover. If you have private insurance, you can contact your insurance company by calling the number on the back of your member services card to see what they will cover. Although it’s not the case with every insurance company, many will cover at least some part of treatment.
Paying for Substance Abuse Treatment with Public Insurance
If you don’t have private insurance, you can sign up for public insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) state health insurance exchanges, Medicare, or Medicaid. In 2010, the ACA expanded Medicaid coverage so that people who previously didn’t have insurance could sign up for coverage; a highlight is that all insurance policies sold on the ACA marketplace cover services for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
You can enroll in health insurance by visiting Healthcare.gov and filling out an application. Once you are approved, you can look through the plans available and enroll in one that seems to be the best fit for your needs.
Medicaid is an insurance plan that covers low-income applicants who are:6
- 65 or younger.
- Caring for a child.
- “Medically needy” (have significant health needs).
Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides coverage for people who are:
- 65 or older.
- Of any age and living with certain disabilities.
- Of any age and living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
To see if you qualify, you can fill out an application on Medicare.gov. Most people sign up for Medicare around their 65th birthday, but you can visit the Medicare website to view other open enrollment times.
Financing Options to Pay for Drug Rehab
You can still go to rehab without insurance. Rehab centers understand that the high cost of treatment is a major roadblock for most folks seeking treatment. To make rehab more affordable, most centers offer financing options that allow you to pay for rehab in monthly installments rather than lump sums. If this is an option that interests you, you can call around to different rehab centers to ask what types of rehab financing options they have available.
Many treatment centers also offer sliding scale programs which allow you to pay what you can instead of paying the same amount as someone who has a much higher income. This helps to level the playing field and provide equal access to treatment.
Using Loans and Credit Cards to Pay for Rehab
Other ways to pay for addiction treatment include taking out healthcare loans or credit cards to help pay off your balance. Depending on the bank, a healthcare loan may have relatively low interest rates, which gives you more flexibility in paying it off.
You can also visit the place where you do most of your banking and schedule a meeting with a banker or loan specialist to see what options are available. You could also consider asking friends or family for a personal loan. Depending on your relationship, people close to you may be willing to give you funds to cover the cost of treatment, and you can pay them back when you can.
Many people opt for a credit card with a low interest rate. They can put the whole balance on the card and pay it back in time. Luckily, there are companies that specialize in healthcare financing.
Make sure to do your research on credit card companies before disclosing your information. Unfortunately, you cannot trust all companies and some prey on people who are in vulnerable situations. These companies may present an affordable option but later reveal hidden fees or changing interest rates. Ask as much as possible upfront and read the fine print.
If you are attending support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, that can be a good place to ask around and see what people who have been in your shoes did to finance their treatment.
If you are in a position where you are feeling discouraged about your ability to pay for drug treatment, don’t lose hope. Millions of people have found themselves in your shoes, and although the journey ahead seems hard, it is possible to find the funds. Luckily, more community programs are offering scholarships to help people find assistance paying for drug rehab. Below are a few scholarship options to help get you started.
- 10,000 Beds Scholarship Program is an organization that helps individuals struggling with finances find help paying for rehab. The scholarship application includes 25 questions, and you can start your application by clicking here.
- Sobriety Foundation offers a scholarship program to help people pay for rehabilitation services. To see if you are eligible for their scholarship, visit their website and submit an application today to get the process started.
Another approach to funding drug rehab is crowdsourcing. This approach harnesses the power of the internet and your social network so that you can share your experience online and receive donations from family and friends. People who care about your health can get involved by donating directly or offering words of encouragement on your campaign page. You can include a short video of yourself or a story about your addiction to personalize your campaign and motivate people to donate to your cause.
If you are at this point in your treatment journey and looking for resources to help finance treatment, you have come a long way. It can be difficult to reach out for help, but you will be surprised at how many people are out there who are ready and willing to support you throughout this process. Keep in mind that the potential long-term costs of not going to treatment are likely to far outweigh the upfront costs—you will thank yourself later for investing in your sobriety.