Addiction treatment for the uninsured

If you’re uninsured, you may be hesitant about seeking addiction treatment. But addiction treatment for the uninsured is within reach. Keep reading to find out more.

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Is addiction treatment expensive?

Like most other mental health services, addiction treatment can be expensive. According to a recent study, daily inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment was estimated at $715 and $135, respectively. In fact, not many people can easily pay for addiction treatment out of their own pockets. So, what can you do about accessing rehab without insurance?

Does health insurance cover addiction treatment?

Yes, many health insurance policies cover addiction treatment and the majority of addiction treatment facilities accept health insurance. Oftentimes, policyholders will only be required to pay a small co-pay for these types of services.

To find out if your insurance covers addiction treatment, read through the benefits guide that you received when you first signed up for the insurance. You can also contact your health insurance provider directly and ask them if they cover addiction treatment.

Addiction treatment for the uninsured

There are a number of resources that can be used to help cover the cost of treatment without having insurance for addiction therapies. Free or reduced cost addiction treatment for people without insurance can usually be found in most areas. Here’s how:

1. The first place to look for addiction treatment for the uninsured is at the addiction treatment facilities themselves. Many of these facilities offer sliding scale fees, which are fees that are determined by a person’s income. Generally, the lower a person’s income is, the less he or she will pay for addiction treatment. You’ll usually only be required to pay what you can reasonably afford.

2. Medicaid is another option when it comes to addiction treatment for the uninsured. This is a type of government assistance meant to help people pay for medical services. If your income is low enough to qualify for Medicaid, you’ll most likely be able to receive free addiction treatment.

3. States supervise the distribution of federal “Block Grants” for the federal government. To learn more about how to access a low cost treatment option in your state, call 1-800-662-HELP and get connected with local treatment centers that are a part of this national scheme.

4. If you’re uninsured but make too much money to qualify for reduced cost or free addiction treatment, you may have some other options. For example, you may be able to borrow money from a retirement account or life insurance policy. Personal loans can also be used to pay for part or all of the cost of addiction treatment. Or you may be able to find a scholarship or sponsorship for your time in addiction treatment.

Addiction treatment for the uninsured questions

Taking the first steps toward addiction treatment can be very difficult, especially if you’re uninsured and don’t think you have any way to pay for treatment. Hopefully, this article has shown you that it is possible to pay for addiction treatment without insurance. If you have any additional questions or would just like to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment below.

Reference Sources: The White House: Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act
Obama Care Facts: ObamaCare | Health Insurance Excahnge
SAMHSA: Free Substance Abuse Treatment
SAMHSA: Free Treatment Available
SAMHSA: Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
DHHS: Treatment Services
NCBI: The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates and Cost Bands for Program Assessment and Reimbursement
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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  1. I work for a Recovery service in Portsmouth Ohio am a case manager for Port 45 Recovery. I am dealing with some of my clients who are losing their Medicaid benefits cause they got a job. Some of them are $150 over the limits but child supports still comes out and some are over the limits of $50.00. But can not afford to stay in treatment. Our company is not a 501c3 and do not have a sliding schedule. Do you know of any agencies that would help in the cost of treatment? Thank you for your time.

  2. Hi i am in desperate need of treatment off of opiates I have no insurance and only work part time so no extra money. I live in Clifton Heights Pennsylvania I have tried to detox cold turkey but can not make it past day 1 because of the severity of the withdraw I also have 2 children ages 12 and 13 to take care of which im unable to do so through withdraw. Please any help of where i can go detox would be greatly appreciated because I do not want to die and i want my life and family back.

    1. Hi Anna. First, I suggest that you start your search on SAMHSA’s treatment locator here:
      You may add specific information such as insurance, sex, area, etc in order to narrow your search. Also, call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best treatment for you.

  3. i hav an adult child that doesnt hav a source of income & is in dire need of a treatment facility. rhere is NO insurance & not much if any extra money for it. what can we do

    1. Hi Naomi. First, you may search treatment facility on SAMHSA’s treatment locator:
      You may add specific information such as area, insurance, sex, type of treatment, etc. in order to narrow down the treatment facilities. Then, call the number you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best treatment for your son.

  4. Hi I live in Bakersfield California and I have struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction for several years. I have had period up to 7 of sobriety as well and was able to live a very normal life.. I have been in 2 treatment centers 2 times each and are local and our local good samaratan hospital for detox 3 times. I recently 2 years ago( seems like yesterday) resigned my position as a teacher after my mother passed away unexpectedly which lead to spree of daily drinking just passed the 3 year mark. I no linger have insurance except medical which has helped me little to none at all with providing treatment for now what is obviously a life threatening condition. I drink a fifth of whiskey a day so trying to detox at home is probably not safe. From what I understand medical or my veterans health care does not cover medical detox. Instead Ive been told to go to the emergency room to get the initial care I need and then come home to finish by myself. Do i have any other options because I do not feel as though I have the strength to detox myself but as I’m learning in other areas as well this idea that medical is nothing more than insurance for second class clinic and emergency goers is a joke. All that we have done is put a label of insured on the uninsured but continued offering the same horrible care that the uninsured already had. I’m going into a 6 month Salvation Army Program in SB which is fine but they have required me to be sober detoxed and able to pass a drug test as well. They have been waiting 2 weeks. I have failed miserably to do it on my own. Any help could and probably will save my life and with a 15 year old son who never witnessed his had drinking until he he was 9 hasn’t seen me sober since. It has not been easy for anyone but my family needs to see me sober again. I have to do this or I won’t survive. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide

  5. My son is 26 yrs old has been on drugs for a long time . He has no insurance. I seriously think he has mental issues, he’s delusional, he talks to himself he moves like he’s racing . He makes no sense what’s so ever . God help him I love him , but I can’t stand him . I’m actually afraid of him . He comes and goes . I don’t know what to do . I don’t know how to help him anymore. I don’t think he will live to see 27 . God help us understand because I don’t . Help

    1. Hi, Pearl. If you have questions about addiction treatment and your options, call our free hotline to speak with a trusted treatment provider. The number is displayed on the site.

  6. I’m looking for a place for my nephew who has had a problem for severl years. He’s tried to stay clean on his own and has 2 parents who are addicts. His father just committed
    Suicide June 24 2015.
    He really needs help. I’m looking for any information that may help him.

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