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I need rehab but I can’t afford it, now what?

You’ve finally accepted the fact that you’re dealing with a problem that’s bigger than you and you’re ready to get help. This is typically how it goes for people like us, people who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Or, perhaps you’ve gone to treatment in the past, maybe even put together a little (or a lot) sober/clean time but, you experienced a relapse and are ready to get back on the wagon. There’s one question remaining, “How do I pay for it?”

So, you’re thinking, “I need rehab but I can’t afford it, now what?”

Here are three main scenarios you might find yourself in as well as options on how to go about paying for rehab.

1: You have insurance but the co-pay or deductible is too high

First off, you might be one of the many people who has private insurance but isn’t aware that substance abuse and addiction treatment is covered by your plan. If you have a private plan – through your place of employment, a family member or self-pay, most likely your plan covers substance abuse treatment.

That’s because substance abuse and addiction are recognized as chronic illnesses that require specialized treatment. Therefore, most health insurance plans include coverage for such treatment.

Now, if you already knew this (or if you’re just finding out), the next hurdle is the co-pay/deductible. Unfortunately at times, even though a private plan may cover substance abuse treatment, there can be a high deductible or an expensive co-pay. If this is the case, don’t fret! Often times, rehabs will be able to work with you. They may be able to set up a manageable payment plan, refer you to a center that  is better covered by your insurance plan, or they may even have partial scholarships available for those that qualify.  Also, check suggestion number four for other ways to come up with the copay or deductible.

2: You don’t have private insurance

Luckily, The Affordable Care Act has been passed and is already up and running. You may be more familiar with the term ‘Obamacare,’ a national insurance program that’s been established to ensure that every American has access to medical treatments and interventions. Even better news is, addiction and substance abuse treatment, such as attending rehab is covered by Obamacare.

Go to the main website for the Obamacare marketplace

and do a search by state and click on “research options” in order to find out where you can go to rehab with your plan. All options are required to have some sort of addiction coverage. Make sure to check out deductibles and co-pays. If your plan comes with one of these and you can’t afford it, see #1.

If you have not yet enrolled then, you must wait for the next open enrollment which takes place in November. If you cannot wait until then, there is a chance that you qualify for special enrollment.

3: You don’t have Obamacare yet and you don’t qualify for special circumstances to enroll late

If you can’t wait until November and you have Medicare or Medicaid, contact them to see what options you have for treatment. If you are ineligible for these programs, it’s still possible to go to treatment. There are state-run rehabs that do not require insurance and either free or offered on a sliding scale based on your income. Refer to the SAMHSA website to find out about facilities near you.

Often times, there is a wait to get into one of these treatment facilities. If that’s the case, there are a few other things you can try…

4: The Wild Card

There are a few out-of-the-box options to try when you need rehab and can’t afford it. You can:

Put it on your credit card

Apply for a loan

Get a government grant

Sell valuable possessions – hey, it’s worth it to save your life!

Also, keep in mind that although treatment is often the best approach, there are many of people who have gotten sober and/or clean ‘in the rooms.’ Go online to find a local 12 Step meeting.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and you need help finding out how you can pay for rehab, call an admission specialist today at toll-free 1-800-951-6135.



Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.

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