In the present U.S. political climate, a health insurance plan may not offer much support to drug and alcohol addicts seeking treatment. There is a growing uncertainty that Medicare and Medicaid will be eliminated entirely within the next few years. Some private insurers have already started reducing the benefits they offer to addicts seeking treatment, so deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are increasing.
Other insurance companies have redefined what they deem as “necessary” treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Clients are often covered only for the period of detoxification. At other times, they are asked to limit their stay at an in-patient rehab facility. So many addicts do not receive comprehensive treatment that, in turn, raises the risk of a relapse. Worse yet, many people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction don’t have any health insurance at all, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
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But here’s the harsh truth: alcohol and drug abuse treatment cost money–quite a lot of money. Without sufficient insurance coverage, many addicts do not go in for the treatment that would help them regain their health and rebuild their shattered lives, relationships, and finances. Worse, many people keen to quit addiction choose to self-detox, a potentially risky process if undertaken unsupervised. Others continue with their addiction that usually leads to terrible consequences for themselves and their loved ones.
The good news is, n
The cost of alcohol and drug rehab varies depending on the services these facilities provide. Luxury rehab facilities with bells and whistles like gourmet meals and spa cost more than centers that provide just basic accommodations.
Inpatient treatment programs cost more than outpatient services. But it is not for you to decide which treatment you will opt for.
Some addicts have to get enrolled in an inpatient program depending on the degree of substance abuse, the presence of comorbid conditions like a mental ailment, and the person’s ability to cope with the addiction triggers present in the environment he will return to and live in after his stint in the rehab. An addiction counselor or a doctor will decide whether you need treatment at an inpatient facility. However, you can let the counselor know about your financial situation. He can then gauge your level of recovery after a certain period and decide if you can avail the remainder of the treatment services through an outpatient facility.
Nonprofit organizations and state governments provide low-cost or free alcohol and drug abuse treatment services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) runs a 24-hour national helpline (1-800-662-HELP) to provide information on such treatment facilities. Additionally, the Directory of Single State Agencies (SSAs) for Substance Abuse Services, an online resource managed by the SAMHSA, lists the organizations that operate government-funded rehab programs. However, you need to qualify to avail the treatment services provided by a government-funded center.
The Salvation Army provides free treatment and rehab for six months for persons who are willing to and capable of working a certain number of hours every week to pay for treatment and accommodation. The work can be aiding with administrative tasks or simple sorting jobs at the warehouse.
Low-cost and free treatment centers usually have long waiting lists for their inpatient programs. Furthermore, government-funded treatment centers require you to furnish documents to prove that you are eligible for their programs. The paperwork takes some time. But waiting is not an option either. So you can avail the outpatient treatment and support services while you wait for the more intensive inpatient treatment. Any treatment is better than none.
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Most addiction rehab facilities realize that not everyone can afford to pay upfront for the cost of treatment. But they realize how determined you are about quitting the addiction and reclaiming your life, so they are willing to negotiate treatment costs and payment terms. Just let them know about your financial situation and ask for help.
Many rehab facilities have in-house lending packages to help you fund your treatment. Some institutions create customized repayment plans, so you can comfortably pay back the money after you complete the treatment program.
Depending on the state of your finances and current income, many facilities will happily negotiate repayment terms, so you can afford the treatment without breaking the bank. For instance, they may create customized automated monthly payments and graduated payment plans based on your current financial situation.
Other rehab facilities work with third-party lenders to create loan packages for you.
Sometimes rehab facilities can negotiate costs with you. Some others offer discounts on the cost of treatment if you pay with cash.
Sliding-scale rehab facilities charge fees based on your income to ensure the costs of treatment are never more than what you can comfortably afford. You can search for a sliding scale addiction treatment center near you on SAMHSA’s website or call their national helpline.
Some rehab centers offer full or partial scholarships to people who do not have the money to pay for their treatment. However, you have to apply for these scholarships and qualify based on certain specific criteria.
Your health and well-being are more important than the priciest item in your home.
Look around the house; there could be valuable but non-essential items that you can sell to raise money for your addiction treatment. Paintings, décor items, music collections, designer garments, jewelry, electronic appliances like flat-screen televisions and home theater systems, sports memorabilia and equipment like exercise machines, rare books, and antique furniture and collectibles can sell for quite a lot of money. Quitting addiction should be your highest priority; if needed, do not hesitate to sell off the second car, boat, or studio apartment you own.
You can ask your loved ones if they have items that they can donate to you, so you can sell these to raise money.
You can put up the items for sale on sites like Craigslist, organize a garage sale, or advertise in local newspapers.
Taking money out of your personal savings account, IRA or 401(k) plan to fund your treatment is a prudent option if you have a tidy sum of money stashed away. But make sure that you don’t empty out your accounts; you will want to have some money left for when you come out of rehab and get ready to begin your new life.
You can also tap into your life insurance fund to pay for treatment.
Addiction takes a toll on relationships. You may have fallen out with your loved ones over issues like using drugs, neglecting your responsibilities, or squandering money on alcohol or drugs. But here’s the truth, your loved ones still want the best for you. They want to see you go through a treatment program, quit the addiction, and take back your life. So if you are cash-strapped, just ask for help, and you will be surprised by how many will willingly lend you money.
Sometimes, relatives and friends may hesitate to give money to you, fearing that you will use it to fund your addiction. You can ask them to give the money directly to the rehab facility where you are seeking treatment.
You can also raise funds through crowdfunding. Create a free campaign on sites like GoFundMe, Crowdrise, and IndieGoGo, and share the link with your friends, family members, co-workers, and the local community. You will be surprised by the response and the support you receive.
The SAMHSA provides financial assistance to certain needy sections of the population to help them fund their addiction treatment. For instance, cash-strapped pregnant women who want to quit alcohol or drug addiction can get monetary aid. The assistance is in the form of grants that you don’t have to repay. These funds are provided through designated rehab facilities, usually government-assisted centers. You can apply for a grant through such a facility.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs extends monetary assistance to eligible veterans seeking treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. The VA’s Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program provides a broad range of therapies including detoxification, rehabilitation, psychiatric care, vocational assistance, and social support to help a person overcome his addiction, remain sober, and live a healthy and productive life as a responsible member of the society.
VA medical centers offer these programs. To qualify for these benefits, you need to be enrolled in the VA healthcare system and have no record of dishonorable discharge from the military.
If there is no way you can afford your addiction treatment with private financing, consider taking out a bank loan. Make sure that you choose a loan with the lowest interest rate and payback terms that won’t prove to be burdensome when you come out of rehab.
Beware of payday loans or vehicle title loans; they have steep fees and high interest rates.
Some specialized loan companies advance loans for substance abuse treatment. They usually tailor the loans to your treatment needs and costs and ensure that the repayment terms are manageable. However, you need to qualify for these loans; the lender will determine your eligibility by your current financial situation and credit score.
Loans from these specialized health companies have lower interest rates than personal loans from banks. Most companies do not charge loan origination fees and prepayment penalties. Some companies also let you use your vehicle as collateral, provided there is enough equity in your car.
Paying with a credit card can be a short-term funding option, but beware of the high interest rates and steep monthly payments. The interest rates on credit cards are usually higher than those on bank loans. Only consider credit cards if you have the means to pay off the debt quickly.
If you have a good credit score, you can qualify for a low- or no-interest credit card. A zero-interest credit card is one of the cheapest financing options available for your addiction treatment.
Some credit companies offer health care credit cards that cover the costs of addiction treatment. These cards too have high interest rates like conventional credit cards. But you can take advantage of the discounts that these companies may offer or opt for longer repayment terms to reduce the burden of interest.
If you own a home, you can offer it as collateral to take out a home equity loan. Banks consider these loans to be low risk compared to unsecured personal loans. So these loans typically have lower interest rates than personal loans and standard credit cards.
If you have health insurance coverage, you should always first speak to your insurer and find out how your plan will help you fund your addiction treatment. Find out if there is a maximum coverage limit or whether you have to seek treatment only in facilities that your insurance company. Ask if your plan will cover all the therapies that the staff may recommend as part of the treatment process. Do not be disheartened if your health insurance does not work for you. You now know of alternate ways to pay for alcohol and drug rehab. Explore what works for you, and begin your journey to become addiction-free.
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