The Cost of Addiction Treatment

Fortunately, there are a few options available when it comes to paying for addiction treatment. Every situation is unique, and every insurance policy is different. If necessary, you may need to get a little creative when figuring out how to pay for addiction treatment, but a high-quality detox or rehab center will work with you to help find solutions.

Different Ways to Pay for Addiction Treatment

Private Health Insurance

  • Health Insurance – Many insurance policies cover some if not all of the cost for addiction treatment. This can include detox, residential or outpatient rehab, and complementary medical necessities such as ER visits and therapy. However, it’s important to fully understand your insurance policy before you agree to a certain treatment and get surprised with a bill in the end.

Before committing to a certain treatment center, make sure you’ve discussed out of pocket payments with your insurance company. Many centers will help facilitate these discussions. You may have to pay a deductible or co-pay, and your insurance policy might cover some aspects of treatment, but not all.

Facing the fact that you or a loved one needs treatment for addiction is already challenging, and worrying over finances can only be adding to the stress. Hence, it may be a good idea to look for a treatment center that can serve as a liaison between you and your insurance company to help you figure out what will be covered.

State and Local Government Programs

  • Check with a social worker – Different states, cities, and counties might have various government programs to help with addiction treatment. This will vary widely region to region. One of the best ways to find out more information is to work with a social worker who you can often connect with via a reputable detox center.
  • SAMHSA Grants – Federal funding through the state in block grants are also provided through SAMHSA. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, or SABG, offers alcohol and drug prevention and treatment programs for targeted populations and service areas.

Private Funding and Financing

  • Finance plans with the treatment center – Most rehab centers will offer some form of financing or payment plans. These can vary greatly, and it’s critical to understand the paperwork. Some facilities might charge interest, while others may not. There might be sliding scales available or lower fees for those who can prove financial hardship.

There are some facilities that have their own payment plans, but others might depend on third parties for this, which brings us to a third option.

  • Medical credit cards – One of the most established medical credit cards is called Care Credit. It’s a type of credit card that can only be used for medical purposes, but acts very similar to a regular credit card. However, watch out for APRs and interest rates. Like any credit card, they can be high, and you don’t want to add unnecessary financial hardship to an already delicate situation.
  • Ask family and friends – Pulling together to help care for a loved one who needs treatment is extremely common. It can be uncomfortable to ask for help, especially if you or your child is the one who needs treatment. However, your inner circle loves you and wants to help.

It’s often a good idea to have a “written contract” in place, even with friends and family, even if it’s been agreed that the patient will not have to pay back their fees for treatment. Written contracts are the best way to avoid conflict in the future and to help pave the way for a smoother recovery.

  • Crowdfunding – Crowdsourcing can be used for just about anything, including medical treatments. You never know how many strangers might resonate with your story and want to help. One of the most well-known platforms is GoFundMe, but there are also sites like PlumFund which are specifically for medical purposes.

This strategy can work for some people, but you can’t just set it and forget it. It requires reaching out, social media marketing, and spreading the word. If you have a strong online community or social media following, this might be worth pursuing.

Do keep in mind that these types of platforms charge a fee per donation. It’s how they make money, and not everyone is interested in paying a surcharge to get donations.

  • Hold a fundraiser – Here is where you can really get creative. From carwashes to garage sales or working with restaurants to have a certain percentage of a day’s sales go towards your fundraiser, there is potential to raise a lot of money through this route. Once again, you’ll need to have some impressive marketing chops, but if that’s in your wheelhouse (or someone else volunteers to do this for you), it might be worth checking out.
  • Dip into your retirement – It is rarely a good idea to use your 401K for anything except retirement, but in some situations it’s your only option. The good news is that you may qualify to withdraw from your 401k without a penalty if your medical bills exceed 7.5 percent of your gross income. If you don’t meet this threshold, you can still withdraw these funds, but you’ll be heavily penalized.

The Importance of Getting Addiction Treatment

Paying for addiction treatment requires a lot of forethought if your insurance plan doesn’t cover the cost entirely, but it is important to do so, as treatment is a significant part of recovery. Ultimately, it is possible to pay for addiction treatment if you're serious about getting the help you need.

Also, you don’t need to go at it alone. Contact a rehab facility or treatment expert to talk about the different ways to pay for treatment. Talk to family and friends who might be able to help you come up with creative ways to fundraise or gather information to determine the best way to finance your road to recovery.