Paying for addiction treatment: How to finance drug rehab

One of the main barriers to addiction treatment is the cost of treatment. Paying for addiction treatment, though, doesn’t have to be a major stress. Keep reading for more information on how to finance drug rehab. Then, we invite your questions about finding rehab at the end.

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Paying for addiction treatment

Many alcohol and drug rehab programs can cost many thousands of dollars per treatment episode, a cost that most people can’t simply write a check to cover. Fortunately, there are a number of resources that can be used to help cover rehab costs, no matter what your budget.

Even if you don’t think you have the money for drug rehab, can you really afford not to pay for addiction treatment?  Think about this:

  • Addiction treatment is more effective than trying to quit on your own
  • You’ll save money by not buying drugs
  • You’ll have to spend less money on healthcare costs and legal fees
  • Being drug-free will make you more productive at work

Financing addiction treatment

Addiction treatment can still be expensive, even if you have medical insurance to help defray the costs. In this case, you may need to find additional ways to help you finance addiction rehab.  Here are some suggestions.

  1. Your personal savings accounts may be a source of funds to help pay for your addiction treatment. While you may have been saving this money for a rainy day, know that using this money to help pay for addiction treatment may be best in the long run.
  2. If you have a retirement fund, you may also be able to borrow money from that to help pay for drug rehab. Two types of retirement funds that you can borrow from include 401k’s and IRA’s. The same is true for some life insurance policies.
  3. You may be able to claim treatments for addiction as a medical expense on your taxes, if treatment cost 10% or more of your gross income.  Seek advice from a tax accountant for details.
  4. Taking a personal loan from a bank or trusted family member can assure you addiction treatment.  Be advised, however, that when giving a personal loan, you do so in a way that makes the addict legally responsible for paying the money back. An addict needs to take responsibility for both addiction and its treatment.

Help paying for addiction treatment

If you still need help paying for addiction treatment, there are a few other options you may have.

1. Employer assistance programs

Instead of penalizing employees for drug addiction, some employers choose to help them overcome their addictions. If your employer has an employee assistance program in place for addictions, they may help you make arrangements and deal with your insurance company. Information about this type of program should be in your employee handbook or available from the human resources department.

2. Government funded programs

SAMHSA issues congressional grant money each year to offset the cost of addiction treatment across the U.S. To fund a government sponsored program near you, check out the SAMHSA Facility Locator Tool or call 1-800-662-HELP for more information.

3. Non-profit groups

A handful of non-profit groups may help with addiction treatment, either by providing financial grants or offering free or low-cost addiction treatment. Information about these programs can usually be obtained through local churches, hospitals, or rehabilitation facilities.

4. Sliding scale fees

Individuals with low to middle incomes may also qualify for reduced cost addiction treatment due to the sliding scale fees that many rehab facilities offer. With sliding scale fees, your cost is based on income, and you’ll pay only what you can reasonably afford for addiction treatment. Ask your local rehab centers if they offer sliding scale fees and if you might qualify.

5. Affordable Care Act and addiction treatment

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, and is better known by many as Obama-Care. This law affects addiction treatment by stating that insurance companies that offer mental health and addiction treatment coverage must do so at a rate and quality that is equal to other medical conditions. This means that your insurance company can’t charge you a higher copay for addiction treatment than it would for other types of medical conditions.

The Affordable Care Act also attempts to expand state Medicaid programs, making more people eligible for this government assistance. However, some states are resisting this expansion, so it’s important to check with your state’s assistance office to determine if you qualify for Medicaid.

Addiction treatment payment questions

Paying for addiction treatment doesn’t have to be impossible, as we’ve already shown here. However, if you still have concerns about paying for drug rehab, we’d be happy to help. Addiction treatment payment questions can be left in the comments section below. One of our writers will respond to you as soon as possible and work toward helping you get the treatment you need.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Benefit–Cost in the California Treatment Outcome Project: Does Substance Abuse Treatment “Pay for Itself”?
The White House: Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act
SAMHSA: Health Reform
MCCA: Employee Assistance Program
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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