How to Pay for Rehab

While addiction treatment can save you money in the long run, as well as significantly improve your quality of life, the cost can sometimes feel like a barrier. At Footprints to Recovery, our goal is simple: We want to make treatment as available and affordable to you as possible.

“Treatment” is an umbrella term that describes various approaches for addiction recovery. It can include formal treatment programs, but it can also mean free community programs, 12-step groups, holistic approaches, and medication. Many times, people engage in a variety of treatment approaches to find the strategy that works best for them.

With that in mind, most experts agree that formal treatment programs are essential for addiction recovery. While the other options often support aftercare efforts, many people need the structure, support, and monitoring associated with a qualified rehab.

How to Pay for Rehab

There are many ways to pay for and receive help for treatment payment. Our staff will work diligently with you to help you understand all the possibilities. Some of these include:

  • Insurance
  • Private financing
  • Sliding scale options
  • Grants and scholarships
  • Crowdfunding

There are also public addiction treatment programs, like non-profits. These provide free or low-cost services if you just can’t afford treatment or don’t have insurance to offset some of the costs.

How to Pay for Rehab Without Insurance

A Credit Card

It may be possible to use a credit card to pay for your treatment. Every credit card has specific credit limits based on your credit score, monthly income, and other cards. You may qualify for a 0% balance-transfer offer, which means you aren’t responsible for paying any interest on your balance.

Some credit card companies specialize in medical costs.

That said, credit cards may have restrictions, and it’s important to be aware of them. For example, the limit may not be high enough to fund the cost of treatment. It could be challenging to make monthly payments, and interest rates may be high.

Payment on a Sliding Scale

Some treatment facilities offer sliding-scale services for clients facing financial hardships.

Sliding-scale fees will take your income and financial situation into account when charging for services. They will help reduce the cost of treatment based on what you make in a year.

This is how those with lower annual incomes are able to afford the same therapy and treatments that people of higher incomes do. The sliding scale is put into place so everyone has a chance to receive equal levels of care.

A Grant or Scholarship

You may qualify for a grant or scholarship to subsidize the cost of treatment. You aren’t responsible for paying this money back to anyone.

Individual treatment facilities: Some facilities provide grants and scholarships on a case-by-case basis. When speaking with an admissions counselor, it’s worth asking if this option is available to you.

10,000 Beds: 10,000 Beds offers scholarships for individuals who can commit to at least 30 days of residential treatment. To qualify, you must have insufficient resources to cover treatment costs, and you must have already exhausted other payment options. You can apply for a scholarship on their website directly.


Campaigning through social media can be an effective way to help pay for your treatment costs. This is done through a process called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is when people share posts on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to raise money for treatment. Many people (even strangers!) are eager to help those who are working to make their lives better.

Not all crowdfunding is done on social media sites like Facebook. Check out these other options:

GoFundMeGoFundMe: GoFundMe is one of the most popular crowdfunding options available, and it’s also one of the simplest to use. With this platform, people—strangers and people you know—can contribute monetary donations to help you pay for treatment. There are no limits to how much you can raise, and you can withdraw the funds immediately.

CoFund Health: CoFund Health specializes in crowdfunding exclusively for medical bills. Set up a free campaign, and anyone can make a donation. You can use this donation to pay for your treatment or other related copays.

Fundrazr: Fundrazr allows for personal fundraising. There is a 0% platform fee tier, where donors have the option to provide tips. You can also make a wish list that shows fees for specific items, similar to how a wedding or baby registry looks.

How to Use Insurance to Pay for Addiction Treatment

If you have health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ensures that you have coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment services, just like you do for medical and surgical procedures and services. This is called parity.

Every insurance provider and specific plan is different in how they provide coverage, the level of coverage, and what treatment services are covered. Insurance coverage varies from state to state, provider to provider, and plan to plan.

The best way to find out what portion of your treatment is covered by your insurance is to let the staff at Footprints to Recovery contact your insurance provider. We can work with the insurance representative to ensure you are notified of the maximum amount of coverage possible.

In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Coverage

Most of the time, your coverage will depend on whether or not the provider is considered in-network or out-of-network. In-network providers often have contracts with insurance providers to offer services for a discounted rate.

If you have an in-network plan, it means you may have more coverage and fewer out-of-pocket expenses. Some insurance plans only offer coverage if you use a provider who is considered in-network. Any services you get from an out-of-network provider will not be covered. If they are covered, the cost will be at a lower rate.

An HMO (health maintenance organization) plan will typically expect you to use providers that are within a specific network, while a PPO (preferred provider organization) generally allows more flexibility to use the provider of your choice. However, you will typically pay more if you use a provider that is out-of-network than one who is in-network.

Plans and Level of Coverage

There are many types of plans to choose from. The plan type dictates:

  • Your level of coverage
  • What services may or may not be covered
  • The rate of coverage

In general, most insurance providers offer coverage through a set of tier plans that include:

  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze

Typically, higher-level plans cost more monthly, but they offer the best coverage. For example, a platinum plan may have more coverage than a bronze plan, but you pay a higher monthly premium. Higher-level plans may provide more coverage for addiction treatment services than lower-level plans. Your specific plan details can be best explained by your insurance provider.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses and Deductibles

Even if you use insurance to pay for addiction treatment services, you will still have some expenses that aren’t covered. These are called out-of-pocket expenses, and you’ll be responsible for paying these on your own.

Most insurance plans have deductibles that need to be met before coverage kicks in. This means you need to spend a certain amount of money on medical expenses—up to your deductible amount—before receiving coverage.

For example, if you have a plan that has a $500 deductible and offers coverage at 80%, you will have to pay for $500 worth of services out of your own money before the insurance starts to pay. You will also need to cover the remaining 20% of costs after the deductible is met.

Deductibles are usually annual. Once you reach the minimum amount, services are covered for the rest of the year. There is also usually an out-of-pocket annual maximum amount. Once you reach that amount, all services are covered until the next year.

Using Insurance for a Dependent

If your child struggles with addiction, you may be able to use insurance to cover their treatment. To do so, you have to add them to your insurance plan as a dependent. They can typically be covered on this plan until the age of 26.

Dependent coverage is offered through a family insurance plan, and services that are covered vary from plan to plan and by provider. We can help you determine if your insurance company will provide coverage for your immediate dependent.

Filing a Claim

To use insurance coverage to pay for addiction treatment, you often need to pay for services upfront and then file a claim to get them reimbursed. Most insurance providers have forms you can complete online. Make sure you get an itemized bill from the addiction treatment services provider and include it with your claim.

Some insurance plans ask that you obtain a referral before receiving addiction treatment services. You may need to see your in-network primary care provider (PCP) to receive this referral.

Finally, you may need to obtain prior authorization before you get help. Prior authorization helps your insurance provider decide whether treatment is medically necessary for you. The medical professionals at Footprints to Recovery will evaluate your current needs and send over the requirements for prior authorization if it is requested.

Finding Quality Care Within Your Budget

Cost can often be a barrier to getting effective treatment, so it can be important to budget for quality care. Intensive treatment is generally more expensive than outpatient treatment because it requires round-the-clock services and more individual support. A step-down approach can be a great way to budget for care, as these programs allow you to move between levels of care as you progress through treatment.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator tool to help you find addiction and recovery services near you. Trained addiction professionals at an addiction treatment center can review payment and financing options with you to help you get the most out of your care and figure out how to pay for it.

There Are Many Options to Consider

A lack of insurance or other financial difficulties does not mean you can’t get help for addiction and ongoing support in recovery. There are numerous options to help you offset the cost of rehab.

The Footprints to Recovery staff is available 24/7 to answer questions about how to pay for treatment. We are more than willing to assess all your options.

To start your recovery, it’s important to evaluate what type of payment help you will need. Feel free to contact us for assistance. Our goal is to make paying for treatment as easy as we can.



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