More than 10 percent of the U.S. population (ages 12 and older) reported past-month use of illicit drugs in 2015, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the hundreds of thousands of people with a substance use disorder in the nation, only few will ever seek treatment.

There are many reasons keeping people from seeking treatment, and one of largest of these is cost. For people who do not have insurance, and even for some who do have insurance, the cost may keep them from going to drug rehab.

Yet addiction is a chronic disease, which can be marked by relapses, and treatment is important for recovery and long-lasting sobriety. Addiction can lead to any number of consequences, including long-term effects to health, changes to aspects of one’s personal life, such as finances and family or relationships, or even legal troubles.

Seeking treatment is important, to be sure, but what about the people wondering: can I afford rehab? For these people who struggle financially for one reason or another, there are many payment options for rehab. Knowing one’s options before ruling out treatment can make a great difference in a person’s life, as treatment can bring restored health and treatment principles which lead to a fulfilling, sober life.

How Do I Know If I Can Afford Rehab?

Knowing if a person can afford rehab may take an initial financial assessment. Here are some things to consider if someone close to you is wondering how to afford rehab:


  • Does the person have insurance?
  • Does the person qualify for any state aid, grants, or scholarships?
  • Would the person qualify for a payment plan?
  • Which rehab centers will allow a payment plan, i.e. a sliding fee scale?
  • Does the person have savings, a way to secure a loan, or friends or family who will help with costs?

For people considering rehab, getting finances in order may be the first step on the road to recovery. Even for people who have insurance, and know their stay will be covered, they may benefit from contacting their provider about copayments and ensuring all their questions about the cost of rehab are covered.

What Are The Payment Options For Rehab?

Insurance can help cover the cost of rehab, and for some, may cover the cost completely. Even for people who have insurance, understanding the copay requirements of an individual insurance plan prior to attending rehab is a good idea.

Using insurance for drug and alcohol rehab

For people who cannot afford rehab, or do not have insurance, scholarships or government grants may be available to help cover the cost. Some people may qualify for a certain rehab based on their state aid (government insurance plan).

Payment plans, such as sliding fee scales, may make treatment possible for people who need to pay over a period of time, or who do not have the money upfront. Savings, a personal loan, raising money by selling items of value, or getting help from a family member or friend also allow addicted persons to get the help they need by covering the cost of treatment.

Insurance Coverage For Drug Rehab

Insurance is the easiest way for people to pay for a stay at a rehab center. Due to changes in the way addiction is medically regarded, insurance providers are required to cover addiction treatment to the same extent they would cover treatment for other diseases and conditions.

There are two main types of insurance: private and public. Private insurance plans allow the most flexibility in securing rehab. With a private plan, the individual generally has the freedom to choose which drug rehab center he or she will attend. This choice may be affected by the individual’s plan—whether he or she has a group plan, employee plan, or individual plan, and whether that plan is an HMO, PPO, or Point of service.

Group plans are those available to individuals who are part of a specific group, such as an organization, employer, or other groups. Some group plans for organizations with a small number of employees may not be required to provide addiction treatment coverage, so understanding the specific limitations of a group plan is key.

Individual plans may be Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) plans, Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) plans, or Point of service plans. HMO plans may only pay for drug or alcohol rehab if a person seeks treatment within that plan’s specified list of providers, and may not cover treatment if a person seeks treatment outside this network.

PPO plans may provide coverage for addiction treatment from the preferred provider list but may allow more leeway in seeking treatment outside the network, even if the plan provides reduced out-of-network coverage. Point of service plans may allow a person to choose between HMO and PPO plans for each medical need.

People with insurance plans seeking rehab are in a good position to get the help they need.

The following is a list of some insurance carriers which offer private insurance plans:


  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Health Net
  • Humana Health
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Magellan
  • Medical Mutual
  • Molina
  • UnitedHealthcare

People who have public insurance, or state-funded insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid, may still have access to treatment but may have to seek treatment at specific drug rehab centers. Their public insurance plan may only provide coverage for certain drug rehabs approved by their provider. This allows the individual less freedom to choose rehab and may come with a long waiting list and other restrictions.

For people who want to seek rehab and do not want to use their insurance plan, or who have no insurance, other payment options are available.

Scholarships For Drug And Alcohol Rehab

Some people may not have insurance, or may not even be eligible for it. However, money should not be a reason to keep a person from getting the addiction treatment they need. People who enter treatment, complete a recovery program, and maintain these principles after treatment, may enjoy a renewed, fulfilling, and sober life long-term. For people who struggle financially, scholarships may be available.

Some rehab centers may provide scholarships specific to that rehab center. Researching each rehab center before selecting one to find out which ones offer scholarships may help an individual explore all options before selecting a treatment program.

Other organizations may provide aid to financially struggling individuals in need of addiction treatment, such as the Sobriety Optimization League (SOL).

Government Grants For Drug Rehab

The U.S. government allows a certain amount of funds each year for addiction treatment purposes. Some are designated for projects, while others may help individuals get into an addiction treatment program. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a full overview of these grants.

What To Do When You Can’t Afford Treatment

Even if a person has no insurance, cannot secure a scholarship, and qualifies for no grants, he or she still has options to pay for rehab. First, cash pay allows a person to independently pay for drug or alcohol rehab.

This method is utilized by many rehab centers and may be accompanied by a sliding fee scale, for those who qualify. Other payment options may include a sizable down payment and specified monthly payments. For this reason, having finances in order before heading to treatment is key to understanding if you can afford rehab.

For individuals who have a savings, treatment which can change their lives for the better is the perfect time to use it. A personal loan may also help, for people who can qualify for one.

Addiction can lead to dangerous consequences, which may include overdose, infectious diseases, and even death. No matter the cost, drug rehab is worth the price a person pays to secure it.

To learn more about payment options for rehab, contact us today.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—FastStats: Illegal Drug Use

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—Grants