When it comes to breaking free from the confines of addiction, you can’t put a price on treatment—health and recovery from addiction is priceless. You certainly don’t want to let money get in the way of your right to pursue a sober, happy life. But just like other medical facilities, recovery centers are expensive to operate, and treatment does come at a cost. Rehab can cost upwards of $35,000 for a 35-day inpatient program, and an average of $10,000 for outpatient.
The short answer to the big question of how to finance rehab is, “it depends.” The price each patient pays for rehab depends on a number of factors, including the type of treatment offered, the amenities of the facility, the patient’s individual treatment needs and his or her insurance. Here are some options to consider:
If your loved one suffering from addiction has health insurance, check with his or her insurance company first to ask about mental health and substance abuse coverage. Ask what the out-of-pocket costs would be, including the deductible and co-payments. There are often restrictions on how much insurance will cover as well as what types of treatment they will approve. Some treatment facilities will assist you in determining what your insurance covers.
Health savings account.
A health savings account (HSA) is a savings account that allows you to save tax-free money for medical expenses. Substance abuse treatment qualifies as medical care, and therefore you can use the tax-free funds from your HSA for the entire cost of your treatment, or to pay for deductibles or for any out-of-pocket expenses. These out-of-pocket expenses may include the cost of your meals and lodging while in a recovery center or transportation to support meetings as part of your post-treatment care.
Look for specific treatment programs that offer financial assistance.
To ask about affordable recovery centers in your area, ask your state’s substance abuse agency or call SAMHSA at 1800-662-HELP. Some facilities also offer reduced rates for families without insurance coverage.
Examine treatment centers’ financing options.
Many addiction treatment centers offer their own methods of financing to patients, either directly through the center or with the help of a third-party lender. These finance packages often include payment plans patients can use to easily pay back the funds they owe, either automatic monthly payments or graduated payment plans. Talk to the finance departments of recovery centers you are considering to explore your options.
Depending on your financial situation, you or your loved one with the addiction may be able to pay for rehab in cash from a savings account. If treatment works, it will be money very well spent. You shouldn’t completely wipe out your savings to pay for rehab, however, because you should always have an emergency fund available. If you are considering paying for rehab with savings, talk to a financial advisor about whether or not this is the best option for you.
If you don’t have enough money in your savings account to fund treatment, another option may be to tap into your 401K, IRA or life insurance fund. Again, talk to a financial advisor about your options.
Sell some of your assets.
If you have extra assets, such as a car or boat, you may want to consider selling one or more of these things to pay for recovery. Make sure to carefully consider any personal attachment you have to items before you sell them.
Personal loan from a friend or family member.
Someone who doesn’t have enough savings to pay for recovery may want to consider borrowing the money from a friend or family member and then paying the money back once the treatment is complete. Concerned friends and loved ones may be more than happy to help fund treatment.
Personal loan from a bank.
If you or your loved one seeking treatment has good credit, you may be able to obtain a personal loan from a bank or credit union at a relatively low interest rate. Call your bank to explore your options.
Health care credit.
Some credit companies specialize in covering medical expenses and offer credit to people who need addiction treatment. If you have good credit, you may be able to get up to $40,000 for a recovery program. If your credit isn’t so good, you may be able to get less. Be aware that the interest rates are usually high on these loans.
If you don’t have the money for upfront payments, you can put the cost of recovery treatment on a credit card. Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are significantly higher than loan rates; you should only choose this option if you will be able to pay off the balance quickly.
Some banks and loan companies cater to people seeking money for substance abuse treatment. These include Prosper Healthcare Lending and My Treatment Lender. These lenders typically offer lower interest rates than credit cards or health care cards.
Home equity loan.
Contrary to popular belief, home equity loans can be used to fund much more than home repairs or renovations. If you or your loved one has a home to offer as collateral, a home equity loan may be a better option than a personal loan for funding addiction treatment. Talk to your bank about how much of a home equity loan you qualify for and think about whether or not you are comfortable borrowing against your home.