How Do I Pay For Addiction Treatment?

For better or worse, paying for addiction treatment has always been one of the most common reasons why some people don’t pursue the treatment they need. Given the dangerous nature of a drug or alcohol addiction, any obstacles that stand in the way of people getting treatment should be viewed with great concern.

paying for rehab

If you have finally reached the point where you want to reach out for help with your addiction, you should be commended. This is the most crucial step you could take towards recovery. To help alleviate any concerns you might have about paying for treatment, the following information should serve as your guide on what payment options are available to you.

Healthcare Insurance

Back in 2009, the Obama administration passed one of the most comprehensive healthcare measures in US history. It’s safe to say this new law touched the lives of every American. The law is known as the Affordable Care Act of 2009 or the ACA.

Under the ACA, the primary provision requires that all Americans must carry healthcare insurance under the threat of penalty. It matters not if the source of the insurance is through an employer-sponsored plan or an individual policy; everyone must have coverage. For Americans who cannot afford insurance, some provisions allow for the government to help pay for their individual policies. Before moving one, just a quick note. In recent years, the threat of penalty has been revoked.

How the ACA Affected the Healthcare Insurance Industry

While the personal mandate has always been the main thrust of the ACA, other mandates have had a profound effect on healthcare in America. Addiction treatment in one area that has undergone a massive transformation due to the ACA.

Before the ACA, healthcare insurance providers viewed addiction treatment as an elective process. As such, they were reluctant to cover any addiction treatment costs. For the insurance companies that wanted to offer customers a bone, they might have covered prescription medication that was needed as part of the addiction treatment process.

With the passing of the ACA, healthcare insurance providers are now required to cover addiction treatment costs as though they are like any other kind of medical treatment. While insurance companies can place some limitations on what they will cover, they ultimately have to help pay for treatment. As a point of reference, here are some of the categories of addiction treatment that insurance companies must cover:

  • Detox programs
  • Prescription medications required as part of the addiction treatment process
  • Outpatient Care
  • Standard inpatient (residential ) care up to 90 days
  • Aftercare costs – Counseling and sober living

Paying for Treatment With Insurance

If you have healthcare insurance, that would be the best way for you to cover the cost of your addiction treatment. You might end up with a small amount you have to pay out of pocket, but having a large part of the costs covered by insurance should remove a substantial financial burden off your shoulders.

There are a couple of things you may want to note. If you qualify for outpatient care, it will increase the likelihood your insurance company would cover as much as 100% of your treatment. Given the high cost of residential care, they have a financial incentive to promote outpatient care heavily.

The other thing worth noting is there could be limitations on what inpatient costs your insurance will cover. They usually restrict what they’ll cover to standard treatment programs that might not include evidenced-based or holistic options.

If you need help figuring out what addiction treatment costs your insurance carrier will cover, most rehab facilities have an administrator who will be glad to help you verify coverage.

Other Addiction Treatment Payment Options

If you don’t have healthcare coverage for any reason, you’ll have to reach out for an alternative method of paying for your addiction treatment costs. You must do what’s necessary to ensure you get the addiction treatment you need. It’s imperative, even if you have to think outside the box.

A good starting point would be to list your current payment options. After that, each option can be discussed in more detail. Your options include:

  • Seeking treatment from a nonprofit rehab
  • Pulling money from personal savings
  • Taking on personal debt from credit cards or an unsecured loan
  • Grants or scholarships
  • In-house rehab financing 

Seeking Treatment From a Nonprofit Rehab

Throughout the country, several nonprofit organizations are running addiction treatment centers. In some of these facilities, funds are available to cover an individual’s treatment costs on a need basis. If you have any compelling financial issues that would make it impossible for you to pay for treatment, it’s entirely possible you can find a nonprofit rehab that will still bring you in and give you the treatment you deserve.

It’s worth noting that many of these nonprofit organizations get their financial resources from individual donations, donations from charitable organizations, and possibly some funding from government programs. With the ongoing opiate addiction epidemic, government agencies are starting to intervene more in the addiction treatment process.

Pulling Money From Personal Savings

It’s understandable if you are reluctant to pull money from your savings for treatment. With that said, it’s your most reliable option if you don’t have insurance. Remember, you have been saving for a rainy day. You can consider your addiction to be the mother of all rainstorms. The good news is you can always replace your savings, but you only get one chance at life.

Don’t forget; you are allowed to pull monies from your employer-sponsored 401K account to cover medical emergencies. For more details, you should contact your plan administrator and explain your circumstances.

Taking on Personal Debt

Carrying a lot of debt causes stress. While you might be reluctant to take on more debt to cover the cost of treatment, it’s still a viable option. Over time, you will be able to repay any additional debt you have to incur. 

Your best debt options would be any loan that comes with a lower interest rate. Credit cards are easy to get, but the interest rates tend to be high. If you can qualify for a secured or unsecured loan, that might be your best debt option.

Grants or Scholarships

There are rehab facilities that can get you access to addiction treatment grants or scholarships. The monies for these payment instruments usually come from endowments and charitable donations. What’s interesting is many grants and scholarships come with unusual qualification criteria. The best thing you can do is provide prospective rehabs with information about your personal circumstances. They can use that information to see if you fit the bill to qualify for a given grant or scholarship.

In-house Rehab Financing

Addiction treatment rehab facilities are run by people who care about their clients. If your need is clear and your credit status is still in decent shape, it is possible you could find a rehab facility that would allow you to get treatment on their dime. Once treatment has been completed, you could work out a payment schedule that’s acceptable to both parties. 

This is an excellent option if it’s available. It would allow you to defer the stress of paying for treatment until some time in the future when you are feeling stronger and more able to handle your responsibilities.

Hopefully, this information has been useful. Most importantly, you need to think about getting help for your addiction now. The longer you wait, the more issues you’ll likely encounter.

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