Sliding Scale Rehab Centers

Sliding scale rehab centers offer a more affordable solution than full price inpatient centers. We review what sliding scale treatment is and where you can find sliding scale rehabs here.

minute read

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Rehabs that offer sliding scale payment allow people to pay for treatment based on their income. This helps most people afford treatment! In this article, you’ll learn how much rehabs usually cost and get ideas for how to finance rehab on a budget.



What Is Sliding Scale Payment?

The 2014 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality Report reported that 62% of treatment centers in US offer a sliding-fee scale as a payment method. What is this fee, exactly?

A sliding scale payment method is a type of fee structure that is based on a person’s ability to pay. This is because financing addiction treatment can be expensive. In sliding scale rehabs, patients will typically only be required to pay an amount of money that they can reasonably afford. Individuals with lower incomes, for instance, will be required to pay less than those with higher incomes.

Income is one of the most influential factors when rehab centers calculate a person’s sliding scale fee. Some rehab centers may also consider factors such as a person’s expenses as well as the size of his or her household when calculating sliding scale fees. You will also need to provide proof of your income, including bank statements, pay stubs, or other evidence before you can work out a sliding scale fee.

Average Costs

The final cost of every rehab program depends upon the services you receive. For instance, outpatient rehabs tend to b cheaper than inpatient rehabs because they don’t offer room and baord to their patients. But, there are some general costs that can be estimate. The average costs of certain services follow.

Detox: An analysis published in the medical journal Health Services Research found that the average cost of detox varies between $6 to 12K. The final cost depends upon the duration of the detox, the number of doctor’s consultations, the use of prescription medications, and the number of times drug testing is ordered.

Psychotherapy: Counseling therapy sessions varies from almost free to $150 or more per hour.

Outpatient Rehab: This rehab program can cost anywhere between $50-$135 per day. A typical treatment session of 10-12 weeks can cost around $6,000.

Inpatient Rehab: A day in inpatient program may cost between $235-700. The final outcome of one 30-day treatment session can cost thousands of dollars, depending on location, services, and specialty you choose.

Check out these research papers to find more information on the average costs of addiction treatment here:

Factors That Decrease Costs

The final bill for any rehab stay depends upon many factors. The most common factors include:

1. Type of program.

Since inpatient rehabs offer constant medical supervision, and living space for their patients, there are far more expensive than the outpatient ones. Also, private rehabs are more expensive than those run by NGOs.

2. Therapies you receive.

Rehabs proved a set of therapies such as aroma therapy, spa, acupuncture, etc. Some of these therapies are charged as extra services, so always ask the staff what’s included in your program.

3. Duration.

The length of the program have a great impact on the final price. The less time you spent in inpatient program, the lower the cost. 30-day programs are cheaper than 3-6 months stay. However, 90 day residential treatment may be what you need. Consult during initial assessment to determine the amount of time that’s best for you in treatment.

4. Destination.

Local-based, and standard programs are cheaper that rehabs located on islands, resorts, or far-away places.

Ideas For Low Cost Rehab

Some ideas that could help you find a low cost rehab include:

1. Check your health insurance coverage.

If you have health insurance, you can call the insurance provider, and ask. Some insurances cover only a part from your treatment, but that will reduce the final costs that come right out of your pocket. Additionally, some companies will pay for part of your treatment, reducing the out-of-pocket costs for you.  So, check with your employer about this benefit. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you can also apply for federal healthcare insurance.   CNN recently reported that a new law will open up Medicaid for addiction reiumbursement for opioid and cocaine addiction treatment.

2. Search for rehabs that provide sliding scale payment options.

Many treatment facilities offer sliding scale fees based on your income and ability to pay.

3. Look for scholarships and government programs.

Some NGOs offer scholarships, reduced costs, or monetary grants for addiction treatments for people without insurance. Moreover, you may be able to get help form your local or state government. For instance, Medicaid is a government program for low-income individuals, and if you are qualified for it, you may get free or almost-free rehab.

How To Find?

1. Check our treatment locator tool above.

We offer a service to help you find addiction treatment based on pricing and payment options. You’ll need to select a city, state, and zip and then set the payment options to sliding scale.

2. Research SAMHSA’s website or hotline.

Finding sliding scale rehab centers is not usually very difficult, as there are typically at least one of these centers in most communities. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website offers the Facility Locator, a quick and simple way to find sliding scale rehab centers in your area. To start, visit the SAMHSA website and click on “Find Treatment”. Click on Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator, and enter in your location information. Click on “Select Services” and check the box next to “Sliding scale fee” before clicking on the search button. Alternately, call 1-800-662-HELP for telephone assistance in locating a sliding scale center near you.

3. Use your local and personal resources.

You can also get recommendations for sliding scale rehab centers from loved ones, physicians, mental health professionals, and employers. Once you have a list of rehab centers, contact each one to find out more about their sliding scale fees or any other financial assistance they may be able to offer you.

Who Needs Rehab?

Individuals who struggle with substance use disorders and want to change their life for the better can benefit from a stay in rehab. Most people need addiction treatment in order to change. This is because it’s difficult to make the changes on your own…and those who try can end up in a relapse. But, how many of us officially need treatment?

The 2016 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health found that about 22.5 million people aged 12 or older could be diagnosed with a substance use disorders in the past year. The U.S. Department of Health and Social Services is particularly concerned about the 11.9 million people abusing painkiller medications in the U.S. Still, those who “officially” can be diagnosed with addiction are mainly drinking or using drugs:

  • 15.1 million people aged 12 or older could be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder in 2016.
  • 7.4 million people aged 12 or older could be diagnosed with drug use disorder in 2016. (further classified into drug of choice)

1 in 13 Americas aged 12 or older needed rehab in 2016.

The same report stated that about 21 million people age 12 or older needed addiction treatment. The numbers break down by age this way:

  • 1.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 needed help for addiction in 2016.
  • 5.3 million young adults aged 18 to 25 needed help for addiction in 2016.
  • 14.5 million adults aged 26 or older needed help for addiction in 2016.

The numbers are alarming…

And the risk is … death by ovedose.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistic data that, in 2016, there were about 64,000 drug overdose deaths.

If you’re one of the people struggling with addiction, know that rehab can help.

Richard Baum, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy was quoted as saying,

“Addiction does not have to be a death sentence – recovery is possible for most people when the right services and supports in place, including treatment, housing, employment, and peer recovery support…Frankly, it doesn’t matter how someone gets to recovery. It just matters that they have every tool available to them, including peer recovery support and evidence-based treatment options like medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.”

Is It For Me?

If you are using a drug to get high, there is a huge possibility that you may need rehab. If you cannot stop or reduce drinking on your own, you may need rehab. If you only think about your drink or drug-of-choice, you may need rehab. So, before taking any steps, be honest with yourself.

But how can you be sure that you need professional help?

We suggest that you check out the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  (DSM-V) which is used to diagnose addiction. The manual lists 11 criteria for addiction. Check them out below and ask youself the following questions:

“In the past 30 days, have I…”

  1. Used my drug-of-choice in larger amounts or longer than intended?
  2. Wanted to cut down or stop using the substance, but failed to succeed?
  3. Spent a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from use?
  4. Experienced cravings and an uncontrollable need to use?
  5. Failed to perform normally at work, home, or at school due to substance use?
  6. Continued to use, even when it causes problems in relationships with family, friends, and partners?
  7. Given up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of use?
  8. Used the drug again and again, despite being aware of harmful risks and side effects?
  9. Continued to use despite the risk of developing health problems or worsen physical or physiological condition?
  10. Needed more drug to get the desired effect (tolerance)?
  11. Experienced withdrawal symptoms which can be relieved by taking higher dose (dependence)?

If you experience at least two of these criteria, it’s possible that you can be diagnosed with addiction. Additionally, the DSM-V can help rank the severity of addiction:

2-3 criteria indicate mild substance use disorder.
4-5 criteria indicate moderate substance use disorder.
6+ criteria indicate severe substance disorder.

For online addiction screening tools, check out:

Who Diagnoses Addiction?

To follow up, schedule an appointment for a professional assessment.

Who can you talk to?

Speak with:

Got Any Questions?

Taking the first step toward treatment is often very nerve wracking, particularly if you’re unsure of how you’ll pay for it. There are other ways to lower costs when paying for rehab, and sliding scale payment is just one.

If you have any questions about sliding scale rehab centers or other types of financial assistance for addiction rehab, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below. We look forward to helping all of our readers get started on the road to recovery.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: Free Treatment Available
SAMHSA: Free Substance Abuse Treatment
DHHS: Treatment Services
OASAS: Services 
SAMHSA: Find Facilities Near You
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.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?