Outpatient Care

When You Need to Go to Rehab, but Can’t Afford It

Those seeking rehabilitation grow nervous about the thought of paying for inpatient and other types of services. What can you do if you can’t afford rehab?

For those recovering from substance dependency, rehab or inpatient care can be a life-changing experience. In an ideal world, everyone who might benefit from rehab would be able to enroll in a program or attend a facility. However, the reality is far more complicated. Inpatient care can be expensive, and not everyone has the means to cover the costs.

Even if you can’t afford inpatient care, your recovery journey doesn’t need to be put on hold. There are alternatives to the traditional inpatient experience. For example, outpatient treatment is often one of the more affordable possibilities when it comes to alternative treatments.

The Cost of Rehab in the United States

From one facility to the next, the cost of inpatient treatment can vary. Still, the price is almost always on the higher side. Generally, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $10,000 to receive a month of inpatient treatment without insurance.

Aside from the cost to attend rehab, it’s also important to consider the position many individuals are in when they’re considering treatment. When someone is dealing with an active addiction, it isn’t uncommon for them to also struggle with financial difficulties. They may have lost their source of income because they’re unable to attend their job or were fired from their position.

If you’re already struggling with a substance dependency, going into significant debt to receive treatment might seem like too much stress to handle. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to give up on the prospect of treatment and recovery.

What to Do If You Can’t Afford Rehab

At this point, you might be saying, “I need to go to rehab, but can’t afford it.” First, keep in mind that American health insurance providers are obligated by law to cover the cost of substance dependency treatment. The cost of this treatment must be covered just like any other form of medical treatment.

If you currently have health insurance coverage, it’s worth looking into the treatment options covered by your plan. If your deductible or copay is low, it might even be possible for you to afford inpatient care. But not everyone has health insurance. If you fall into this category, treatment options are still available to you.

Affordable Outpatient Care for Substance Dependency

Affordable Outpatient Care for Substance Dependency

As mentioned earlier, outpatient care options are usually far more affordable than traditional rehab or inpatient care. Fortunately, outpatient treatment can still be a highly effective way to combat substance use dependency. The quality of your care would not be defined or limited by the financial expense of the treatment.

If you decide to investigate and pursue outpatient care, you’ll quickly realize there are multiple forms available.

When you’re attending outpatient care for substance dependency, there are three primary types you can choose from including:

  • Standard Outpatient Care
  • Intensive Outpatient Care
  • Partial Hospitalization

Each of these offers a considerably different outpatient treatment experience, so it’s essential that you do your research and determine which is best for your recovery.

Standard Outpatient Care

Typically, someone attends standard outpatient treatment if they’re dealing with moderate substance dependency. This may not be the best treatment plan for those battling more debilitating drug or alcohol addictions. If you still have a good amount of control over your day-to-day life, standard outpatient care may be a possibility.

This is the least restrictive form of outpatient treatment, with only one or two days of care each week. Each treatment session will likely only last a maximum of two hours. In total, those in standard outpatient care can expect to remain in treatment for around three months.

Oftentimes, standard outpatient programs are provided to patients who have already completed more intensive treatment plans. This less restrictive treatment can then be used to provide additional maintenance counseling.

Intensive Outpatient Care

Compared to standard outpatient, intensive outpatient care requires more time and effort on the patient’s part. Rather than attending care for just one to two days per week, individuals in intensive outpatient therapy will receive treatment three to five days per week. Each treatment session will last four to six hours.

Similar to standard outpatient care, intensive outpatient care typically lasts about three months. Intensive outpatient care is also appropriate for those experiencing moderate substance dependency. However, these individuals require more oversight by professionals. Most of someone’s time in intensive outpatient care is spent one-on-one with a counselor.

Partial Hospitalization

individual and group therapy

Of the three main types of outpatient care, partial hospitalization is the most intensive. Patients attend treatment five to seven days a week, with treatment days lasting up to eight hours. Again, the total length of treatment is around three months. Partial hospitalization is a fantastic treatment option for those experiencing both moderate and severe substance dependence.

During someone’s time in partial hospitalization, they’ll participate in a substantial amount of both individual and group therapy – much like they might if they were attending inpatient care. Through individual therapy sessions, the counselor will help the patient uncover and work through the source of their addiction.

The therapist and patient will work together to develop effective coping strategies, personalized to the patient and their unique recovery journey. Group therapy gives the patients time to interact and learn from one another. Ideally, this will help patients develop future sources of support once they’ve completed their treatment.

Scholarships for Substance Dependency Treatment

When you think of “scholarships,” chances are, you’ll think about paying for college. However, scholarships also exist in the world of recovery. If someone is unable to afford rehab, they can apply for a scholarship. When the applicant demonstrates financial need and the drive to receive treatment, they could be given funds to support their rehab stay.

Some rehab facilities offer scholarships. However, it’s also possible to receive an addiction treatment scholarship through community organizations such as public assistance programs or religious organizations.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Chances are that your friends or family have witnessed your battle with substance dependency first-hand. It could have even impacted their lives since addiction rarely only affects the substance-dependent person.

Asking for financial help from a friend or family member can be difficult. Many people will be resistant to this method due to feelings of guilt, shame, or fear. However, asking for help is not a sign of weakness or incompetence.

Tell your friend or family member that you’re looking to begin treatment but aren’t able to afford it on your own. They might be willing to help you cover the cost of your treatment plan. In fact, they may even be happy to see you taking initiative and seeking treatment.

Take Out a Loan

Take Out a Loan

Loans are another method of paying for rehab that many individuals won’t be enthusiastic about. Still, just like asking a friend or family member for help, there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you need to take out a loan. Loans aren’t just for cars, college, and real estate. It’s also possible to take out a loan to pay for rehab treatment.

If your credit score is too low to take out a loan or if you’re concerned about being able to pay it back, consider asking a family member for assistance with your loan options. They may have knowledge about loans that you didn’t consider or would recommend an appropriate financial institution. In some cases, they may be able to co-sign a loan with you, or they may offer to take out a loan for you. If you are still spending a significant amount of money on your drug of choice, investing in yourself with a loan for treatment can actually save you money.

Mutual Support Groups

Although they are typically free or very low-cost, mutual support groups can be immensely helpful to many people experiencing substance dependency. These groups can be unique; some offer support for a broad range of substance use recovery, while others focus on therapy and recovery from a specific substance. This is especially the case if you live in a major city with more options and resources.

Two of the most well-known support groups are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Both groups have proven to help individuals achieve and maintain a sober lifestyle. If you’d prefer a support group without religious affiliations, there are plenty of options available. In some cases, a person’s local or state government may offer free addiction treatment.

Other examples of secular recovery groups are Moderation Management, Rational Recovery, and Secular Organizations for Sobriety. Even if you’re unable to attend in-person meetings, you may still be able to participate in an online support community.

Other Types of Addiction Resources

Outside of what has already been mentioned, there are other resources for someone beginning their recovery from substance dependency. In fact, even if you’re currently in treatment or are waiting to receive treatment, these resources could be a worthwhile supplement to your care at very little cost.

To start, try picking up some self-help books on addiction recovery and staying sober in the long term. The options can seem endless, so don’t be afraid to look around. With so many books available, there’s a strong chance that you’ll find something useful.

You can also check your mobile device’s app store. There is a wide range of smartphone and tablet apps designed to help those in recovery or just starting the process. Finally, do additional research. Look for programs, groups, or other resources in your own community. You might be surprised by what you find.

Do Medicaid and Medicare Cover Rehab Treatment?

Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both Medicare and Medicaid must provide coverage for substance dependency treatment. Military insurance plans are also included in this category, as well as any state-financed health insurance.

If you’re attending rehab using insurance coverage, be aware of how this can limit your treatment options. Some insurance policies (including private insurance) will only cover a maximum of thirty days in treatment. Often, this isn’t enough time for someone who’s lived through years of serious addiction. Insurance providers can also dictate the kind of treatment you receive, frequently limiting the options.

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