One common concern that people with substance use disorders have is how to pay for rehab. Many people think that the costs are too high and they can’t afford it.

The good news is that there are many ways to pay for addiction treatment, and overall, the cost is much lower than continuing to misuse substances.

What is the cost of continuing in substance use? Let’s take a look:

  • The amount of money you spend on substances on a daily or weekly basis
  • Damaging or losing relationships with friends and family
  • You won’t be well enough to attend work consistently, resulting in lower pay
  • You could lose your job entirely due to substance use
  • You could end up in legal trouble, spending time in jail and paying thousands in fines
  • You could lose your life

Clearly, the cost of substance use is significant. On the other hand, substance use treatment can be very low cost. How?

Health insurance generally covers some or all of the cost of rehab. Many treatment centers have payment options as well, including scholarships, payment arrangements, or a sliding scale of fees based on your situation. Some people borrow money from family and friends to get help — and you’ll certainly be in a better position to pay them back when you’re substance-free, healthy, and living a productive life.

If you’re ready to give up substance use and get a new start, don’t let the money stop you. There are many ways to afford rehab, and it costs far more to continue on your current path.

Does Health Insurance Cover Drug Rehab?

If you have health insurance, you might wonder if you can use it to pay for addiction treatment. If you don’t have insurance, don’t give up — there are many ways to get affordable coverage that can help you access the care you need.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all long-term health insurance plans to cover 10 essential health benefits, and mental health and substance use treatment is one of the required benefits. As a result, your health insurance should cover at least some of the costs of mental health and substance use treatment.

Most importantly, these health issues must be covered at the same level as other medical problems and there’s no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Even when your insurance plan covers rehab there may be out-of-pocket costs for you, such as a deductible or copayment. These costs will be much lower if the treatment center is in your insurance plan’s provider network, so keep that in mind as you look at rehab options.

To learn more about out-of-pocket costs and what treatment centers are in the network, contact your insurance provider.

How Do I Get Health Insurance?

Don’t have health insurance right now? No problem. You can get health insurance and then use the plan to help pay for substance use treatment. Most people get health insurance through their job, but if that’s not available, consider these options.

  • If you are lower-income, you can apply for your state’s Medicaid program. When you qualify for Medicaid, you can often get rehab treatment for free from county- or state-sponsored programs.
  • If you’re a veteran, you may qualify for VA Health Insurance. You can apply online or call the VA directly for more information.
  • If you’re 65 or older, have a permanent disability, or have specific health issues, you may qualify for Medicare. Contact your local Social Security Office to enroll or get additional information.
  • If none of these apply to you, take a look at the Marketplace. You can sign up for health insurance and if your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level for your family size, you could qualify for assistance paying the monthly premium.

Does Medicare Pay for Rehab?

If you have Medicare coverage, you can use your insurance to help pay for rehab as long as the treatment plan accepts Medicare. Your out-of-pocket costs, such as your deductible and copayments, depend on what type of treatment you receive and whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.

Original Medicare has multiple parts, labeled A, B, and D. In general, Part A pays for inpatient hospital stays, Part B pays for doctor’s visits, outpatient care, and services you get from a medical provider while in an inpatient program, and Part D pays for prescription medication that is part of your treatment plan. Each part has its own deductible and copayments.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it will operate very similarly to a private health insurance plan. You’ll want to choose a treatment program that’s part of the plan’s provider network, and managing deductibles and copayments will be simpler. You can talk to the insurance provider directly to get details about how the treatment program you choose will be covered.

Can You Pay for Rehab With Medicaid or VA Insurance?

Both Medicaid and VA Insurance can help you pay for addiction treatment as well. Medicaid is a state program so you’ll have access to state or county resources, and VA Insurance will direct you to VA treatment programs or Veteran Community Partnerships (VCP).

Medicaid allows recipients to access specific treatment programs, and often these programs are free for the participants. Not all treatment centers accept Medicaid, so be sure to talk to your state’s Medicaid office to get information about available rehab programs.

If you have VA Insurance, you can start your treatment search at your local VA clinic. The doctors and social workers there can help you get screenings to determine the best treatment options and then connect you to those programs. They may be offered through the VA or through community partners.

Those with both VA and private insurance may choose to go to a rehab program outside the VA system using their private insurance coverage. If you do, consider looking for treatment centers with veteran-specific programs designed to meet your unique needs. You’ve been through things many civilians can’t imagine.

Can You Get a Rehab Loan?

Borrowing money to go to rehab can be challenging, but it’s worth it to get the new start you need.

If you have a steady job and good credit history, you may be able to get a bank loan or a medical credit card like CareCredit to cover the cost of treatment. You might have to provide collateral, such as a car you fully own. Be sure to shop around and compare loan fees, interest rates, and repayment terms to get the best deal. If this is challenging, consider asking a friend or family member to help you look into different bank options.

Many people struggling with substance use don’t have the stability and income required to get a bank loan. That means you’ll need to ask friends and family members for help. While it may feel embarrassing, you might be surprised how happy they are to hear that you want to get treatment. To avoid any trust issues, ask them to pay the money directly to the treatment program.

If you need to combine donations from multiple people to reach your goal, ask a trusted person to open a bank account or GoFundMe and coordinate the donations, which are then paid directly to the rehab.

Sliding Fee Scale Payment Options

Many treatment programs offer lower fees to those in need. These rehabs look at your income and family size and if you qualify, they offer you a lower price for treatment.

Don’t be shy about asking if they have a sliding fee scale, or asking for additional help such as a scholarship, payment plan, or other option to help make treatment more affordable. People at a rehab have the same goal you do, which is to see you overcome your substance use challenges and establish long-term recovery.

Can You Get Financing From the Rehab Facility?

Some treatment programs will let you set up a payment plan to make rehab more affordable. Many times this involves paying part of the cost before treatment and then splitting up the remaining costs over a few months.

Make sure you read the fine print, or have a trusted friend or relative help you understand it. You want to ensure you aren’t hit with high interest rates or service fees, and it’s important to know what will happen if you miss a payment.

Can You Pay Out of Pocket?

Most of the payment options available for addiction treatment require you to pay at least some of the cost yourself, whether it’s an insurance deductible or the lower fee offered on a sliding scale. Some people choose to pay the full cost themselves.

How can you afford your portion of the treatment cost? One idea is to combine payment methods, such as using your insurance and then borrowing money to pay your deductible and copays. Another option is to look at your assets. Do you have a savings account or retirement savings you could use? Could you sell property or possessions?

Before you decide how to pay out of pocket, it could be a good idea to consult a financial advisor. Getting into recovery is an essential part of ensuring your future stability and success, but you want to ensure you pay for it wisely.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.