How Do I Pay for Addiction Treatment?

Don’t let the perceived cost of rehab keep you from getting sober. There are many options available to help you get the treatment you deserve.

Covering The Cost Of Rehab

One of the first questions someone has after deciding to go to rehabilitation is the cost. The perceived cost of the treatment is oftentimes a deterrent. It doesn’t need to be.

The cost of rehab varies depending on the level of care needed. Inpatient residential treatment programs offer the highest level of care and are often the most expensive. Outpatient treatment programs may cost less, but may not provide the needed support for a sustained recovery.

There is a wide range of options available to cover the cost of rehabilitation whether or not you have health insurance. If you need help determining your financial options, give us a call now.

Paying for Treatment with Insurance

Many private health plans cover at least a portion of substance abuse treatment; some cover it entirely. To find out what your insurance provider’s benefits are, call or visit their website.

If you are unsure of what to ask your insurance provide, many treatment centers will assist you, They are able to find out if they are in your network of providers and the number of days and services are covered.

Read more below about the four major health insurance companies that cover millions of individuals across the nation.

United Healthcare – To better support individuals searching for ways to overcome their addiction, United Healthcare created a United Behavioral Health division. The division provides confidential substance abuse and mental health services to ensure the highest potential for recovery possible. The amount of coverage depends on your chosen plan and residential location.

Explore additional ways United Healthcare can help you or a loved one heal from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

Cigna – Cigna prides itself on providing affordable, quality healthcare coverage to nearly 86 million global customers. Depending on the plan, Cigna will cover many of the addiction treatment expenses you’ll be responsible for when you choose an inpatient or outpatient facility. People looking to treat their addiction will be served by Cigna’s Behavioral Health division, which is dedicated to providing educational tools and resources for overcoming their substance abuse. Treatment coverage and costs greatly depend on your specific plan and where you’re located.

Find out more about Cigna’s plans and levels of coverage for substance abuse treatment services.

Aetna – While many insurance policies set a limit on the level of addiction treatment a person may receive, Aetna takes a more individualized approach. As part of their approach, the company works with the individual’s needs to determine how much coverage to provide. They provide assistance in finding therapeutic and aftercare support services in your community. Aetna may cover the cost for partial hospitalization, detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, and continuing care.

Discover what other addiction treatment services could be covered under your Aetna insurance plan. 

Blue Cross/Blue Shield – Nearly one in three people nationwide are covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance plans. People wishing to heal from their toxic abuse patterns can be covered for detoxification services and/or inpatient rehab or partial hospitalization. Those who suffer from addiction have access to 24 hour support and educational tools thanks to the company’s OneHealth mobile platform.

Read more about the wide array of coverage options under a Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan.

Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

The Affordable Health Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare)

Under the Affordable Health Care Act, an insurance applicant is no longer penalized for a pre-existing condition, allowing someone who is already battling an addiction to apply for a healthcare policy. Drug and alcohol disorders are included in the ten essential health benefits central to the ACA, which means that these policies must treat addiction and mental health disorders with the same level of importance as any other medical condition.

Dr. Michael S. Shafer, professor at Arizona State University and director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, sheds some light on how the recent improvements with addiction and insurance plans are helping to save lives.

“…Part of the challenge and part of the promise of the Affordable Care Act has been the requirement that insurance companies provide coverage for diseases like alcoholism. Historically, private insurance companies either limited or denied access to treatment. They would cap the number of days that you could access treatment and would limit insurance payment for alcoholism treatment…What that means is that we can identify and intervene with individuals who are still in the abuse stage of the disease and not the addiction and dependent stage of the disease.”

Depending on the plan you select, ACA-sponsored policies cover between 60 to 90 percent of the cost of rehab services incurred in a drug treatment center.

Health Insurance Marketplace Plan Types
Bronze plans 60 percent expense coverage
Silver plans 70 percent expense coverage
Gold plans 80 percent expense coverage
Platinum plans 90 percent expense coverage
Catastrophic 60 percent total average cost coverage*

*Available only to those under 30 years old or those with extending circumstances

Medicare and Medicaid

Federal and state sponsored health benefits are available for rehabilitation costs for specific demographics of the population. These insurance programs provide payment options for alcohol addiction treatment. Each program has different requirements for eligibility.

To be eligible for Medicaid, you must be one of the following:

  • Over the age of 65
  • Under the age of 19
  • Pregnant or a parent
  • Within a specific income range

To be eligible for Medicare, you must be one of the following:

  • Over the age of 65
  • Disabled

Private Funding and Financing

It may be necessary for you to secure private financing to offset the cost of rehabilitation if you are uninsured and cannot qualify for federal or state assistance. Depending of the treatment center, scholarships may be available. Talk to the admissions office to see what assistance is available to you. If scholarships are not available, financing plans may be set up to allow you to make payments after you are released. This arrangement is sometimes done through a third party lender. Discuss any financing options with the treatment center prior to be admitted.

As a last resort, you may need to consider taking money from a savings, IRA or 401(k) plan in order to be able to cover the cost of the treatment. Another option may be to access money through an equity loan on your home.

Fundraising or Crowd-funding

Family members may be able to help you pay for rehabilitation as well. You can suggest that they make payments directly to the facility if there are possible questions as to what the money is intended for.

Friends may also be able to help raise money for your rehabilitation costs using Crowd-funding sites like GoFundMe.

State and Local Government Programs

Federally funded, state-run drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs can provide public assistance. These programs may be a separate agency or they may be included under a larger health or behavioral health department. They can offer outpatient and inpatient care, as well as aftercare support services.

Public programs will have specific requirements for an individual to meet in order to qualify for assistance. Some of the requirements are:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of residence the program’s state
  • Degree and history of the individual’s addiction
  • Demonstrated inability to afford other treatment options based on income

There is sometimes a waiting list to get into the public programs, but most will offer some kind of support during the wait for an opening.


One source of federal funding for state addiction treatment programs is one of the block grants provided through SAMHSA. Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) offers drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs for specific segments of the population. A few examples of individuals who qualify for this type of grant are pregnant and postpartum women or intravenous drug users.

Selling Items of Value

It may be necessary to liquidate non-essential items in order to pay for the cost of the rehabilitation. Items such as jewelry, digital and electronics equipment, and used cars or boats can be sold quickly and easily in order to raise the funds necessary.

Non-Profit Treatment Centers

Non-profit addiction treatment centers are available at little or no cost. The Salvation Army provides a treatment program that requires no payment. One stipulation for participation is the individual seeking help must be willing to work a 40 hour week to pay for their room and board. The Salvation Army allows the individual to work in the warehouses sorting donated items or help with some administrative dues in exchange for a free-of-charge six month treatment program.

Teen Challenge is a nonprofit that offers addiction treatment for teens and adults at a nominal cost. The facility’s cost differs from location to location, so check your local program to determine the cost of rehab through Teen Challenge.

Getting Started in Treatment

Paying for an addiction treatment program is entirely possible. Once you’re ready for treatment, it is just a matter of gathering information and determining the best way to finance your life-changing road to recovery. Call us now to talk to a treatment specialist about how to pay for rehab.