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Free and Low Cost Rehab Guide

Free/Low Cost Rehab Guide

There are thousands of people across the United States who need to get help for their addictions. Whether they’re alcoholics, or they’re suffering from drug addictions, these individuals need help as soon as possible. Failing to get the help they truly need can be disastrous for them, and it can even end up with dangerous relapses that lead to overdose. The problem is that any type of rehab is perceived as being expensive, and this perception leads many to attempt useless, or even harmful at-home detox methods and trying to quit “cold turkey” as opposed to getting professional treatment.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the cost hurdles that prevent so many people from getting help through a professional drug or alcohol rehab. At Northpoint Recovery, we want you to know that we understand how it feels to realize that you need to get help for an addiction, but feel powerless to do anything about it. We know that there are many people in the United States who are living at or below the poverty level, who need to go addiction treatment in order to recover from their addictions. That is why we’ve compiled this guide. It is our goal to demonstrate to you that you do have options, and that there is a way to get help for your addiction without having to worry about funding the cost of it yourself.

Understanding the Cost of Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The cost of drug and alcohol rehab varies greatly, depending on the type of treatment that is being performed, and the type of clinic that is providing the help. For these reasons, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact cost of treatment. Every patient has different circumstances, and so the cost is going to vary from person to person.

There are a few different factors that can play a role in what treatment programs will cost, and these include:

  • Whether or not a luxury facility has been chosen for treatment
  • What type of post-rehab recovery services have been recommended for the patient
  • Whether or not an inpatient or outpatient treatment program has been determined to be the best route for recovery
  • The type of treatment program that is offering the services (for example, government programs vs. private programs)
  • The type of treatment that is needed, such as for a dual diagnosis
  • The other conditions that may be present and need to be treated for proper recovery to occur

At the low end, addiction treatment can cost a few hundred dollars in some cases, but even that amount can be a burden on someone who either does not have health insurance, or that does not have the means to cover any outstanding amounts that might not be covered under health insurance.

Inpatient treatment is considered to be the best and most appropriate way to treat addiction for most individuals. Less intensive programs usually don’t provide enough support, which means that relapse is much more likely to occur. The good news is that there are many different funding options that make drug and alcohol rehab virtually available to anyone who needs these services.

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The Benefits of Funding Addiction Treatment

There are so many great benefits to funding addiction treatment for those who need it, and research indicates that doing so can take a major burden off the shoulders of patients. It also takes other financial burdens away from the states as a whole. An excellent example would be the State of New York, which has opted to fund addiction treatment for those who are convicted of minor drug offenses. This is done as an alternative to putting them in jail or prison, and it has saved the state millions of dollars each year. Expansions of this program have been proposed that will result in even more savings.

Both in the short and long term, the benefits of providing treatment to those who need it, regardless of their ability to cover it, have been shown time and time again. Many studies have been conducted to demonstrate that crime rates and even drug abuse rates have been substantially lowered in areas where substance abuse treatment was provided for those who need it. The results of these studies have led to many states offering help to cover the costs of drug rehab and alcohol rehab, and this is a trend that is very likely to continue.

A great deal of work has already been done to provide as much assistance as possible to anyone who needs to obtain addiction treatment.

The Affordable Care Act Can Provide Free Drug Rehab

Unfortunately, there are still so many people who aren’t aware of what their health insurance policies currently provide for them, as far as coverage for addiction treatment. You may even remember a time when your health insurance company either didn’t offer you benefits to help pay for drug rehab, or when you had to meet a really high deductible before any kind of benefits would kick in. This is all changed now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act is our country’s newest healthcare law, and people know very little about it except for the fact that they were mandated to get health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members by a certain date. The ACA actually has done so much for our healthcare system as a whole, and one of the greatest benefits of it is that it defines certain types of health benefits that are deemed to be essential to good health. One of those is drug and alcohol disorders. Because of this, health insurance plans that are offered through the ACA are all required to include addiction treatment services.

This means that if currently have health insurance coverage through the ACA, you have benefits that will cover drug or alcohol rehab. What’s more, your health insurance plan will also cover additional services that you may need as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. For example, if your treatment team feels that you should go through drug detox treatment, that will be covered under your health insurance. The same is true for any follow up care that is recommended by your provider. It’s important to note that this is also the case for states that have expanded to include the ACA as a part of their Medicaid programs. Check with your state to determine their coverage, and whether or not this pertains to your situation.

Obtaining Insurance Covered Addiction Treatment

The best way to obtain insurance covered addiction rehab is to contact the state’s healthcare exchange. This presents several different plans that can be researched to determine the correct one for those who are enrolling. Again, all health insurance companies that are accessed through the exchange fall under the Affordable Care Act, and this law requires participation with substance abuse treatment services. 

It is important to recognize that many of the insurance plans that are accessed through the exchange do require co-payments, and some also require deductibles to be met before any type of payment will be made for substance abuse treatment. However, each plan is different. Additional assistance can be obtained to help offset these costs, but the ACA aims to keep any out of pocket costs as low as they can possibly be. 

Also, there are government programs that will allow for the reimbursement of health insurance premiums from your employer if these are too expensive for you to afford on your own. This is another option you should consider, if your employer offers the type of insurance plan that you’re interested. This plan may also cover addiction treatment.

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Going to Low-Cost Drug Rehab with Medicare or Medicaid as Your Health Insurance

Both Medicare and Medicaid are government health insurance programs that can help to cover drug and alcohol rehab, along with other components of treatment that may be recommended, based on an individual’s needs.

Medicare has different parts that all cover various aspects of treatment. Medicare Part A is designated for hospital treatment and Medicare Part B is designated for medical insurance needs. Medicare Part D covers a patient’s prescription needs. Together, these different plans can be utilized to cover all of the following:

  • Inpatient programs
  • Outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment
  • Medical drug or alcohol detox
  • Counseling during drug and alcohol rehab
  • The recommended method of post-rehab treatment 

Coverage can extend to both state and private facilities. It can also extend to specialized treatment facilities. In addition, Medicare will cover partial hospitalization treatment, which sometimes involves inpatient-type procedures in an outpatient setting. Regardless of whether someone is going to drug and alcohol rehab with Medicare because of his or her age, or because of a disability, having this health insurance coverage can dramatically cut down on the costs of care. 

Medicaid is a different type of government health insurance. It is generally given only to those who qualify for the program, and this might include: 

  • Pregnant women
  • Families who have younger children
  • Those who are elderly
  • People who fall under certain income levels
  • People who have disabilities 

Medicaid is managed at the state level, and every state’s Medicaid program is different. Some of them have expanded their Medicaid programs through the Affordable Care Act, which means they offer coverage to pay for addiction treatment programs. The same goes for the children’s Medicaid program, which is called CHIP. For anyone who does not currently have health insurance, but who believes they may be eligible to receive Medicaid, checking their state’s social services website should provide clear guidelines about how to find out about eligibility and how to fill out an application to apply.

Help from the Veteran’s Administration for Free Drug Rehab

Veterans often have very limited resources when it comes to obtaining treatment for drug or alcohol addictions. However, the United States government makes special concessions for their needs through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This department provides coverage for addiction treatment services to all eligible veterans. The Veterans Administration (or the VA) is the place they are able to go to for services, and there are many different types of services that are offered to them.

Veterans are able to obtain all of the services they need in order to recover from addiction, and these include:

  • Professional screening to determine whether or not they have substance abuse issues that require treatment
  • Outpatient treatment based on their needs, either for the short-term, or long-term
  • Inpatient treatment that is intensive and touches on each one of the patient’s needs
  • Detoxification for either drugs or alcohol as the very first step in treatment
  • Professional addiction counseling on a schedule that works for the individual
  • Peer counseling groups to address needs and promote group therapy

It’s so important for Veterans to get the type of help they really need; especially since their addiction treatment needs are often quite different from what others may be looking for. Many Veterans often have additional mental health issues (such as PTSD) that are co-occurring disorders along with their addictions. This situation requires a different approach to treatment in order to bring about recovery.

Getting Government Assistance for Alcohol and Drug Rehab

In addition to providing the American public with the Affordable Care Act to protect their ability to obtain addiction treatment, the United States government has also created government subsidy programs to assist even further. Research shows that most of the funding for drug and alcohol treatment comes from various state funds and funds from local municipalities. Of course, the funding varies, depending on how invested the entity providing it is. Public assistance for addiction treatment is usually managed by an agency that reports back to a behavioral health department, or a larger health department. Agencies are responsible for managing funds that are designated to assist with treating substance abuse, and the money is given out according to need, and according to local laws that have been put into place. For example, in most states, corrections departments, the courts and even child protective services are largely in control of where the funding goes.

There are also state-funded treatment centers that offer inpatient and outpatient treatment based on patients’ needs. These treatment centers do usually have certain requirements and qualifications that must be met before individuals can obtain help through them. Some of these might include:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of legal residence in the United States
  • Information regarding the individual’s addiction history
  • Proof of income to demonstrate the inability to afford treatment
  • Proof of no health insurance
  • Proof of state residence

There is usually a waiting list to get help at one of these centers, and those who manage to get on the waiting list do usually have to wait quite some time before they’re able to get started with treatment. People who have unique circumstances are sometimes taken in as a priority; such as pregnant mothers who need addiction treatment. It’s not uncommon for state funded treatment centers to provide outpatient treatment to those who have to wait for inpatient treatment to begin.

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Federal Government Grants for Addiction Treatment

While states do provide a great deal of funding for the purpose of treating addictions, the federal government also offers help. Their help is manifested in the form of grants that are given from a department known as SAMHSA. SAMHSA (or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) will offer grants to various addiction treatment programs as a way to provide help to people who can’t afford to pay for treatment, or who do not have health insurance. is a wonderful resource because it also offers information about how the grants work, information about various types of addiction treatment, and even some services to those who qualify for them.

SAMHSA grants (also known as Block Grants) are often provided to target certain groups of people who are deemed to be in the most need. Facilities need to apply for these grants themselves, and the application process can be started directly on their website.

Obtaining Rehab Scholarships for Addiction Treatment

There are some drug and alcohol rehab facilities that offer scholarships to individuals that can help to cover the cost of their treatment. Those who are interested in looking into this further should contact their local drug and alcohol rehab centers and find out about funding, and whether or not scholarships are being offered. There are some that will offer a partial match, and there are others that have means available to fully cover the care that’s required.

When contacting facilities to inquire about scholarships, it’s very likely that a number of questions will need to be answered before anything is granted. Individuals may need to talk about:

  • Current financial needs
  • Current insurance information
  • How committed they are to their recoveries
  • Additional resources that have been sought out for financial aid help
  • Their addiction or substance abuse histories

Also, it’s important to search for various foundations that offer scholarships for this type of treatment. Every state is different, as far as what they’re able to offer, but organizations like the Sobriety Optimization League do exist that can help with offering financial aid in the form of scholarships for addiction treatment.

For someone who is able to obtain rehab scholarships, their out of pocket cost for addiction treatment would be lowered substantially. However, money is usually only provided to those who demonstrate their willingness to be fully committed to an addiction treatment program.

Additional Advice for Covering the Cost of Drug and Alcohol Rehab

There are many other options that should be explored for getting financial help to pay for drug or alcohol rehab. These might include:

Taking out a loan – There are a lot of treatment centers that actually provide financing options in the form of a loan. Individuals can also consider the idea of taking out a personal loan from their banks or credit unions. Many people don’t realize that there are actually specialty loan companies that were created specifically for the purpose of funding addiction treatment for those who need it. Of course, the terms of the agreement should be carefully gone over, and those who opt for this choice should ensure that they’re able to pay the money back after treatment, based on the terms of the loan. 

12 Step Programs and Other Support Group Options – It’s important to mention that these types of support groups should not be viewed as a standalone way to treat addiction. However, they do serve as an excellent way to get additional support during recovery. Most 12 Step Programs are free to join and participate in. They can offer support and help both during drug and alcohol rehab, as well as afterwards. 

Getting Help From Friends and Family – People are often reluctant to ask for help from friends and family for a number of reasons, but these individuals are often excellent resources for drug and alcohol rehab funding.

How You Can Get Help for Your Addiction at Northpoint Recovery

At Northpoint Recovery, we want nothing more than for you to be able to recover from your addiction properly. Research over a number of years has shown that this usually just is not possible unless patients obtain professional treatment in a qualified facility.

We utilize the most modern treatment techniques in our addiction treatment program, and it’s our goal to ensure that our patients have access to the funds necessary to get the kind of help they need. If you have questions about how you can fund your drug or alcohol rehab, we’re standing by, ready to help you. We will work closely with your health insurance provider, and we’ll present you with a multitude of options that meet your individual needs and circumstances. There really should not be any barriers when it comes to getting help for a drug or alcohol addiction. If you’d like to learn more about our programs or get started on obtaining financial assistance for admission, please contact us today.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

Contact Us