Paying for Addiction Treatment without Insurance
The cost of detox and other addiction treatment is often one of the biggest barriers holding people back from getting the essential care they need. In 2020, roughly 1 out of 5 people who needed substance use treatment cited a lack of insurance for the reason they did not seek it.1
The reality is that you absolutely can go to detox or rehab without insurance, and it’s easier than you may think to find a treatment center that can help you or your loved one get on the road to recovery. Read on to learn more about the many options you have to help pay for addiction treatment and get the potentially life-saving treatment you need.
How Much Does Addiction Treatment Cost?
The cost of addiction treatment varies widely. Some detox and rehab centers offer free addiction treatment programs, and other luxury centers may cost thousands of dollars a day. No matter your financial situation, there is a treatment center that can help you heal.
There are several factors that affect the cost of addiction treatments, including the type of program you attend, such as:
- Inpatient/residential rehab.
- Intensive outpatient program.
- Standard outpatient program.
- Partial hospitalization program.
Other factors that affect the cost of addiction treatments include:
- Types of treatments used.
- Length of treatment.
- Geographic location of the rehab center.
- Amenities offered at the rehab center.
How to Get Drug or Alcohol Treatment without Insurance
If you don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay for treatment, it doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Many treatment centers will work with you to help you afford the treatment you need.
Payment Plans and Sliding Scales
Most treatment centers understand that the cost of treatment can be a burden. Contact the rehab or detox center you are considering attending and tell them about your financial concerns. Ask if they offer treatment on a sliding scale or offer a discounted rate to low-income people. Most rehab centers also offer payment plans that let you pay back the cost of treatment over time, rather than all upfront. You may need to show proof of income in order to qualify for a sliding scale fee or payment plan.
Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grants are another way to pay for addiction treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers grants that people without health insurance can apply for to access addiction treatment. Some SAMHSA grants provide funding for specific groups, such as pregnant women and mothers, IV drug users, and more.2
Not-for-profit organizations, such as the Face the Music Foundation, help people with limited means access addiction treatment.3 Some treatment centers also offer scholarships for low-income people. These rehabs waive all or part of the cost of treatment for those in need.
Government and State-Funded Programs
State-funded rehab programs are facilities that receive grants or subsidies from the federal government to run treatment programs. These facilities are typically no-frills and may not provide amenities such as a private room. Get in touch with your state mental health or substance use agency to begin the process of entering a state-funded rehab.
SAMHSA offers a search tool that makes it easy to find contact information: Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services. You may need to provide proof of residency, income, lack of insurance, and information about your addiction to qualify.
Many rehab centers offer financing options to help cover the costs of treatment. Financing allows you to get the full amount you need to pay for the cost of treatment from a bank or credit union. The bank will send the rehab program the funds directly and the rehab center will work with you to create a repayment plan. You will pay back the costs over time once you’ve completed treatment.
Some rehab centers give you a grace period after you’ve completed treatment to find a job and get settled before you begin making payments. Ask about interest rates and repayment requirements to ensure you fully understand what you’re responsible for paying and when. Further, some banks and credit unions offer loans and lines of credit to help cover the costs of medical treatments, including rehab. You will pay the bank or credit union the amount of the loan or line of credit over time.
If the cost of treatment is a barrier to entering treatment right away, community groups can offer much-needed support until you can enter a formal treatment program. Spending time with people in recovery who have been in your shoes can serve as inspiration and strength to help you stop using drugs or alcohol too.
Community support groups for addiction include:4
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Fellowship support group with meetings around the world. AA follows a 12-Step program for those who are in recovery from alcohol addiction.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA): Fellowship support group that follows a 12-Step model for people with substance use disorders.
- SMART Recovery: Global non-profit community that offers free mutual support meetings to people seeking science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety: Network of addiction recovery groups around the country that uses mutual support to help members recover from addiction.
Can I Get Insurance for Addiction Treatment?
You may still qualify for health insurance even if you don’t currently have it. Some health insurance plans even offer no- or low-cost options to qualified people.
Health insurance options you may want to explore include:
- Medicaid: The largest health insurance program in the United States, funded by the federal and state governments. Provides free or low-cost insurance coverage to low-income families, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and other qualified people. The rules vary depending on which state you live in.5
- COBRA: If you’ve recently lost your job-based health insurance coverage, you may qualify for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This program lets employees and their families continue their job-based group health plan for a limited period of time after they lose benefits due to job loss, reduced hours, or other rules.6
- Health insurance marketplace: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands coverage for people who don’t have other means of getting health insurance (for example, through your employer or Medicaid).7 You can apply for health insurance on the marketplace by visiting gov and enroll in a plan that meets your budget and treatment needs. If you miss the yearly open enrollment period you may qualify for special enrollment if you’ve moved, lost insurance coverage, had a major life event, or have been released from jail.
- Veterans Affairs benefits: Available to active-duty military and veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers insurance benefits that will cover alcohol and drug addiction treatment in some form.8
- Medicare: A federal insurance program that provides coverage for people who are 65 and older or who are living with a disability, end-stage renal disease, or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).9
How to Find Addiction Treatment Near Me without Insurance
Don’t let your financial situation hold you back from living the sober life you deserve. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of addiction treatment services in the United States. Our high-quality programs, including inpatient and outpatient detox and rehab, are available to you whether you have insurance or not. Call us at or text us for more information about addiction treatment and payment options, contact a hotline, or get started using the form below.