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How to Get Into Rehab Without Insurance

How do you get into rehab if you don’t have insurance? It’s a difficult question many families face—without a clear answer. Fortunately, there are ways you can finance your recovery or that of someone you love. These are some of the options some people have used to secure their place in a substance abuse treatment facility:

  • Borrow money from family or friends.
  • Take out a loan.
  • Use a healthcare credit card (a card specifically for paying medical expenses) that comes with a low annual percentage rate.
  • Ask about a sliding scale.
  • Ask about available scholarships.
  • Use your savings.
  • Raise money (e.g. crowdsourcing).

The type of treatment you get affects your cost, as well, so be sure to explore all your options. Some of the more expensive forms of rehab include luxury and executive programs, while standard programs are just as effective without all the bells and whistles.

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How Can I Afford It?

Few people have the money in the bank to pay the full cost of drug addiction treatment out of pocket—especially after a long-term drug addiction that leaves many people financially compromised or even bankrupt. In most cases, this also means that any active health insurance policies you may have once had have long since lapsed, if you ever had one in the first place.Addict worried about treatment costs

Thankfully, there are a number of different ways to pay for drug rehab without health insurance—and most people use more than one strategy to make ends meet and get the treatment they need.

Select any of the following payment strategies to find out more about them:

Financing

Financing is almost always the best option for those who need immediate treatment but don’t have the money or the ability to save and pay treatment bills. It can be very difficult for individuals struggling with an active addiction to maintain a job and save money.

Financing allows you to get the full amount you need to pay for treatment. It sends this amount directly from the bank to the rehab program and provides you with a repayment plan designed to fit your budget after completion of treatment.

Be sure to ask about financing options, interest rates, and repayment requirements to ensure that you select the best option for you and don’t end up in a worse financial position than you were in prior to treatment.

Unless the loan is taken out for you by a family member who is prepared to start paying right away, your first payment will not come due until after you are out of treatment. Some plans will even give you a 6-month grace period to find a job and get settled before you begin making payments.

Be sure to ask about financing options, interest rates, and repayment requirements to ensure that you select the best option for you and don’t end up in a worse financial position than you were in prior to treatment.

Scholarships and Grants

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides grant funds through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The grants are noncompetitive grants that can help fund your alcohol or drug addiction treatment if you don’t have insurance and are struggling to find a way to pay.1 Make sure to read all of the application requirements on SAMHSA’s website to see if you qualify to receive a grant.

Addict seeking financial assistanceYou can also compile a list of treatment centers in your area that are experienced in treating your specific addiction. Contact these facilities and ask if they offer any scholarship or grant opportunities for the underinsured or those without insurance. Some might at least offer partial coverage of treatment costs. Many recovery centers have a number of scholarships that they can provide to potential patients who aren’t able to finance their recovery on their own.

In addition, you can perform a Google search using keywords and phrases including “local rehab facility scholarship,” “drug and alcohol rehab grants,” and “scholarships to cover costs of substance abuse rehabilitation.” These searches could direct you to organizations that have funding available to assist in your efforts at improving your personal health.

Looking for scholarships and grants will take time and effort but the funding you have the possibility of obtaining could provide you with the opportunity to pursue your sobriety.

Subsidized Coverage

Many people with lower incomes are unable to afford health insurance on their own, causing an additional barrier to overcome when it comes to recovering from a debilitating addiction. Subsidized coverage provides treatment coverage and reduced premiums through financial assistance to those with low socioeconomic status who are seeking treatment for substance addiction.

With the opportunity to obtain more affordable insurance that can include rehabilitation services, you should look into available insurance plans that might provide more reasonably priced treatment plans than you could find without insurance coverage.With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, affordable health insurance has become available to more people. As of 2014, most health insurance plans are required to cover mental health and substance use disorder services, as well as rehabilitative and habilitative services.2,3,4 With the opportunity to obtain more affordable insurance that can include rehabilitation services, you should look into available insurance plans that might provide more reasonably priced treatment plans than you could find without insurance coverage.

Click here to check if you qualify for a subsidy from the government.

In addition, there are state-funded rehabilitation centers that may provide an affordable option for you to begin your path to recovery.These state-run programs focus on helping the people who have trouble affording rehab. The money is supplied by the state to the treatment facilities to provide services to the people who need them.5

Sliding Scale

Many addiction treatment programs understand how hard it can be to finance your recovery and want treatment to be accessible to everyone who needs it. They are often willing to work with you to create a personalized cost based on what you can realistically pay based on your income and overall financial status.

Many addiction treatment programs understand how hard it can be to finance your recovery and want treatment to be accessible to everyone who needs it

go to rehab without insurance

This option is designed to encourage those with a lower socioeconomic status to seek out the addiction treatment. The SAMHSA can provide you with information about facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale for services.6

Borrowed Money from Family and Friends

Although you may be hesitant to ask family and friends for money to finance your addiction treatment, chances are they are willing to help you make a positive change in your life. You can send out personal emails to loved ones explaining your story and what made you want to enter a recovery program.

Personal Savings

It can seem daunting to dip into your savings account for addictions treatment, but remember: Nothing is more important than your recovery and taking the appropriate steps towards living a happy and healthy life, freed from a cycle of compulsive substance abuse. Once you make the commitment to changing your life around, you will come to realize that your sobriety is well worth the investment to finance your rehab program.

Raise Money

If the above options aren’t available to you, you can always find a way to raise money, whether it be by selling personal items or by asking for cash donations.

Sell Personal Items

When it comes to your physical and mental health, nothing is more important than achieving and maintaining sobriety. In order to raise money for your addiction treatment, you could host a garage sale for some smaller items and sell more expensive possessions on the internet through any online seller, such as eBay or Craigslist.

Ask for Cash Donations

If you are uneasy about asking people for money outright, you could utilize the structure of an organized campaign to raise money. You can create an account on GoFundMe or IndieGoGo to receive donations from others who may choose whether or not they want to remain anonymous. Some crowdfunding platforms allow you to offer incentives to those who donate to your cause.

What Affects the Cost?

It will be helpful as you plan your addiction treatment financing to understand the various types of rehab facilities available. Treatment facilities can vary by the degree of extra, luxurious amenities they provide. As you might expect, those facilities with the most extra amenities often come at a higher price.

Treatment facilities can vary by the degree of extra, luxurious amenities they provide. As you might expect, those facilities with the most extra amenities often come at a higher price.

Other addiction treatment facilities with fewer amenities and services tend towards a lower, more affordable range of costs.

  1. Luxury rehab programs offer residential addiction treatment, providing 24/7 access to staff personnel. They are termed “luxury” programs because they also offer a wide range of plush, resort-like amenities (e.g., such as spas or acupuncture) that help make your recovery experience as comfortable as possible.
  2. Executive rehab programs also offer residential addiction treatment with high-end amenities; however, they also structure their programs to accommodate busy professionals in remaining active in their workplace throughout treatment.
  3. Standard rehabilitation offerings are perhaps the most common variety, and can be housed in either an inpatient/residential or an outpatient addiction treatment facility. While the quality of the actual addiction treatment may still be high at standard rehab facilities, the costs are often lower since these facilities have more standard settings and accommodations and fewer high-end amenities.


Should You Choose Based on Cost?

In most cases, non-residential outpatient treatment is more affordable than residential inpatient treatment. So, should you opt for the less expensive option when you have no money?

Not necessarily. While outpatient treatment can provide the treatment that some people need, it is often meant to provide a stepping stone from inpatient treatment into your life in recovery. And money spent on a treatment program that isn’t right for you is wasted money. Choose the best program for your needs—one that will give you the highest chance of a successful recovery—and there are opportunities for you to figure out how to best pay for it.

Sources

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Grants.
  2. S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2018). Health Insurance and Mental Health Services.
  3. Healthcare.gov. (n.d.). Mental health & substance abuse coverage.
  4. American Addiction Centers. State-Funded Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015) Insurance and Payments.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). SAMHSA’s National Helpline.

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