Paying for Rehab: How to Finance Addiction Treatment

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Calendar icon Last Updated: 01/19/2022

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Paying for rehab doesn’t have to be a deterrent from receiving the help you need. There are many ways to cover the cost of rehab, including combining several different financing options.

Paying for Rehab with Insurance

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most insurance providers cover addiction treatment either partially or fully, depending on the plan. The best place to start is by contacting your insurance provider to learn about the details of what is covered under your plan.1

You will need to determine who the in-network treatment centers are and how much of the stay will be covered. If you’re unable to find an in-network facility that meets your needs, you’ll have to pay the full price out-of-pocket.
Coinsurance, deductibles, and copays explain how much and when you may have to pay for your healthcare. Not all plans use copays, while others use copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some services may be covered at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

A deductible is an amount you pay for many medical services or medications before your health plan will begin sharing in the cost of covered services. Many plans require you to pay a set copay fee at the time of service and will count it toward your deductible amount.

Depending on your plan, your coinsurance will then kick in to pay a percentage of your healthcare costs once you meet your deductible. The specific addiction treatment benefits covered under your plan will depend on the state you live in and the health plan you choose.

Many private insurance companies cover:

  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Addiction treatment medications (like methadone maintenance)
  • Prescription medications (psychiatrist)
  • Mental health counseling (psychotherapy)
  • Inpatient mental and behavioral health services

Medicare

Medicare is a federal insurance program that covers inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder treatment. However, the patient may be required to pay copayments, a deductible, and coinsurance.

Most people receiving Medicare benefits are 65 and older, but you may be eligible if you are the spouse of an insured person or have a qualifying disability. Treatment eligibility is contingent on the screening of a medical doctor. Original Medicare (parts A and B) and Medicare Advantage (part C) are the two Medicare plans that may assist you in paying for addiction treatment.

Part A is comprised of inpatient insurance, while Part B covers outpatient treatment. The services that may be covered include:2

  • Individual and group counseling
  • Medical screening
  • Medication management
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Prescription medications

Medicare Advantage (Part C) is the alternative Medicare plan that also covers parts A and B, although the individual may need to find an in-network provider. Part D provides coverage for prescription medications that a medical doctor deems necessary for the treatment of opioid addiction.

Medigap is a Medicare supplement insurance plan that is administered by private insurance companies. Medigap policies will help pay copays, deductibles, and coinsurance, as well as out-of-pocket costs. With Medicare paying for rehab, you’ll be able to receive the high-quality treatment you need.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal-state assistance program for low-income individuals and families. In many cases, it covers residential and outpatient rehab. However, the benefits depend on the state and the provider. The length of time spent in rehab is not predetermined and is contingent on the length of adequate treatment offered.

The services included are:2

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Social work services

Those who qualify are those with a financial need or qualifying disability, those over 65, and those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).2

Medicaid insurance is also a health insurance resource for many veterans, and it will cover outpatient and residential detox through state-funded programs. Eligibility depends on each state’s federal poverty level.
Many state-funded rehab facilities accept Medicare and Medicaid. You may have a center near you or in another state. Both insurance programs are funded by the state and federal government to assist with the cost of addiction treatment. If you need help finding a rehab that accepts your insurance, call our confidential helpline at (800) 662-HELP (4357).

Paying for Rehab without Insurance

Even if you don’t have insurance, there are plenty of ways to finance your addiction treatment stay, many of which you can combine to reduce the cost of rehab.

Sliding Scale Treatment Centers

Paying for rehab isn’t cheap, but sliding scale treatment centers are an affordable treatment option. These facilities have a flexible fee system, meaning they will charge what a patient can reasonably afford. Many treatment centers in the United States offer a sliding scale fee. This fee will slide up or down, depending on a client’s financial ability to pay. The client’s household income and financial resources are key factors in determining what their sliding scale fee will be.

SAMHSA Grants

If you need help paying for rehab, a SAMHSA federal grant might be your best option. SAMHSA grants support substance misuse rehab programs by providing facilities with funding to treat those with a substance use disorder. SAMHSA grants are non-competitive. If you are without healthcare insurance or experiencing financial hardship, you may qualify for a SAMHSA grant.

SAMHSA grants offer a way into a high-quality addiction treatment facility for those who are otherwise unable to pay for it. You qualify for a SAMHSA federal grant if you are a parent with substance use and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder and if you’ve had a petition filed or are at risk of having a petition filed against you.3

If you’re required to enter an addiction treatment program through the courts, you qualify for a SAMHSA grant. SAMHSA grants cover screenings, assessments, recovery support services, case management, and rehab program coordination. Only domestic public and private nonprofit entities can apply for SAMHSA grants.

Visit the SAMHSA website to begin the application process. Applicants will need to start the registration process six weeks before the due date. There are income requirements to qualify for a SAMHSA grant, and applicants must register through the eRA Commons (online interface) on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website before applying.

Rehab Scholarships

Rehab scholarships are provided by treatment facilities, organizations, and corporations. Corporations and nonprofit organizations often partner with large rehab facilities that have openings and provide rehab scholarships for those in need of addiction treatment.

These scholarships may be difficult to find initially, and the client must contact the individual facility directly to check on their eligibility and whether a scholarship is available. Individual rehab scholarships are typically distributed on a case-by-case basis and are based on finances and patient needs.

The nonprofit, 10,000 Beds, works with rehab facilities throughout the United States to help find inpatient treatment programs for those in need. This may be a good place to apply first and begin your rehab scholarship search.4

Finding a rehab scholarship requires time, work, and persistence. You can also inquire about rehab scholarships with the professional who provided your assessment, as well as with your local mental health resource center.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is another popular way to raise money for addiction treatment. You can do this independently, and online platforms like GoFundMe may be able to assist you. Assistance will cost a percentage of the amount raised, but it may be worth it if you’re inexperienced at fundraising or feeling daunted by it. Nevertheless, you will have to do some online research.

This process will require courage, fortitude, and persistence, and you will need to write and share your story with family and friends, as well as with any social media communities that you belong to through Facebook and Twitter. Email is another way to reach out to others to tell your story. With an effective campaign and a large enough online presence, you may find the donors necessary to reach your financial goal.

Loans and Credit Cards

Personal loans, bank loans, and credit cards are also financing options for addiction rehab. Certain treatment facilities offer specific programs designed for people with an addiction who are struggling financially.
Third-party lenders may offer to finance your treatment, while rehab centers allow for payments to be made after discharge. Loans with lower interest rates may be available to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs and offer manageable payback.

This will depend on your credit. Discuss your financing options with the treatment facilities you’re considering. Some may be willing to help reduce treatment costs when they see that a person really wants to recover. Others may not advertise it but will work with a client financially so they can receive treatment.

Citrus Loans, Care Credit, Discover, and Citi Rewards+ are credit card companies that could be a way for someone to pay their addiction rehab costs. An addiction treatment facility may accept some general credit cards, and you can also pay any remaining bills with a credit card. Before applying for a medical credit card, first, make sure the treatment facility accepts that specific credit card.

Affordable State-Funded Program

State-funded rehab programs are available for those without health insurance or who are unable to cover the full cost of treatment. You can learn more about state-funded rehab programs through your local human services agency or local government website.5,6

Many treatment facilities receive financial support through federal grants, state financing, and Medicaid reimbursement. The ability to use a combination of these resources may vary by state. Funding is available for many people who are financially unable to pay for addiction treatment programs through their state government.

Facilities can keep their costs down based on the amount of funding they receive. Financial aid may be reduced or offered at no cost. To find out more about paying for addiction treatment, you can contact a treatment support specialist at (800) 662-HELP (4357).

Resources

  1. Fox, D. M., & Grogan, C. M. (2017). The Affordable Care Act Transformation of Substance Use Disorder Treatment. AJPH, 107(1), 31–32.
  2. Andrews, C. M., Grogan, C. M., Smith, B. T., Abraham, A. J., Pollack, H. A., Humphreys, K., Westlake, M. A., & Friedmann, P. D. (2018). Medicaid Benefits For Addiction Treatment Expanded After Implementation Of The Affordable Care Act. HEALTH AFFAIRS, 37(8), 1216–1222.
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. (2022). Grants.
  4. Fields, D., Pruett, J., LCSW, & Roman, P. M. (2015). Exploring Massachusetts Health Care Reform Impact On Fee-for-Service Funded Substance Use Disorder Treatment Providers. J Psychoactive Drugs, 47(5), 417–425.
  5. Abraham, A. J., Smith, B. T., Andrews, C. M., Bersamira, C. S., Grogan, C. M., Pollack, H. A., & Friedman, P. D. (2019). Changes In State Technical Assistance Priorities And Block Grant Funds For Addiction After ACA Implementation. AJPH POLICY, 109(6), 885–891.
  6. Molfenter, T. D. (2014). Addiction Treatment Centers’ Progress In Preparing For Healthcare Reform. J Subst Abuse Treat., 46(2), 1–16.

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