Finding Ways to Pay for Rehab

by SimpleFinance on January 19, 2015

When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, rehabilitation services (rehab) are an important and crucial part of the recovery process. Unfortunately, many people let the cost of rehab prevent them from getting the help they so desperately need. In an article published at, Michael’s House reports that nearly 23.1 million Americans were in need of drug treatment programs in 2012, but only 2.5 million actually received treatment. For many of those who did not get treatment, money was the primary cause.

Money does not have to be an obstacle for care, however, and there are options; even if you think you can’t afford rehab.


Health insurance is the obvious choice and, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance has become more accessible to much of the population. In fact, the rate of uninsured in the U.S. has dropped to 12.9 percent, from 17.5 percent, since the ACA became law in 2012.

However, some insurance plans might not cover drug and alcohol rehab, or might require you to prove that the service is medically necessary before they approve coverage.

An insurance company defines a treatment as medically necessary if:

  • It is required to diagnose or treat a specific illness or condition;
  • The treatment is appropriate for the condition and meets the standards of good medical practice;
  • The treatment is required for more than just the convenience of the requester or provider – meaning that it is the best option for treating the addiction; and,
  • It is not more costly than any other treatment that could produce the same result.

This mean that you might need to have your personal physician contact the insurance company to verify that a rehab program is medically necessary to treat your addiction. This could include claiming that you have medical issues that require you to be treated in a residential rehab, that your substance abuse is so severe that it interferes with other aspects of your life, and/or that your condition will worsen if you do not get this specific  type of treatment.

If you have been hospitalized for drug-related illnesses, that fact can often bolster your case; as can previous mental health hospitalizations.

Getting an insurance company to approve drug rehab can be difficult, but it can definitely relieve the financial burden if you can make it happen.

For Those Without Insurance

Although the ACA is closing the gap between insured and uninsured, there are still those who do not have insurance. If you are one of these people, you could still have options for getting into a rehab facility.

The first thing you should do is shop around. Not all facilities charge the same rates for treatment, and it’s not unusual to find that some facilities are much more affordable than others. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of location and amenities. For example, a beach-front facility is likely to cost more than one located several mile inland. A facility that has an on-site gym and offers massage therapy and yoga will cost more than one that has fewer amenities. When choosing a facility, it’s important to determine what locations and amenities you can live without, and take it from there.

There are some rehab facilities that offer services on a sliding scale based on need. They may also allow people to pay on an installment plan, or even offer the equivalent of scholarships to allow people to get care free of charge.

You can also try negotiating with the facility to see if they will offer discounts for cash payments, or allow you to make payment arrangements.

Individuals without health insurance might also qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, depending on their age and financial situation. However, just like with private insurance, individuals on Medicaid and Medicare might have to prove that going into a rehab facility is medically necessary.

If your condition has not yet affected your credit, you could also take out a loan, borrow against your retirement plan, or use credit cards to finance your treatment. While these last options carry the risk of high interest charges, which can substantially inflate the cost of the treatment, they are better than getting no treatment at all.

Other Considerations

You should also consider that an inpatient, residential rehab facility might not be the best option for you.

Inpatient programs take you away from familiar surroundings and allow you to focus on nothing but your recovery. They also provide round-the-clock care, and can provide supplemental care for those with other medical issues all of which comes at a premium.

Although many people thrive in an inpatient setting, some might actually have problems with being taken away from familiar surroundings, or with the comparatively rigid structure of the inpatient setting. If someone is employed, he might not get paid time off to go into a residential program, or could lose his job entirely, which could create more financial hardship.

If you believe that you will be able to focus on your recovery while living at home, and don’t need additional medical care, you might be able to recover in a more affordable outpatient program.

There are also community-sponsored group programs that are often free or low-cost. Like the outpatient facilities, these programs require people to be highly motivated to stay in recovery, while continuing to live in situations that might be contributing to their addiction.

While these options might not be ideal for someone with severe addiction issues, or for those without a strong support system, they can be beneficial to someone with mild addiction issues.


As you can see, recovery does not have to be out of reach. There are several options for paying for care, as well as several options for getting the care you need. What’s important is that you explore all of the options that are available to you, and be open to different possibilities.


New Year Resolutions That Will Make You Richer

by SimpleFinance on January 23, 2014

I recently heard a quote that stated, “A dollar saved is two dollars earned.” I stopped and thought about this for a moment. Of course I had heard the phrase, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” but what was this dollar saved is two dollars earned business? When I dug into the details of the quote, I soon realized that they were making a point about taxes. When you work as an employee and earn a salary or hourly wage, your take-home pay is roughly 50% of your gross pay. This is mostly because of federal and state taxes, as well as social security.

So, the premise of saving two dollars for every actual dollar saved began to make sense (or dollars if you will…get it? Cents, dollars?). If I avoid spending $100, how much would I have had to earn at work in order to take home $100? That’s right! $200! Suddenly saving money became a whole lot more important to me.

Immediately I began scouring my expenses to see what I could cut out in this New Year. Here are a few things I came up with:

  1. Phone Bill – I was paying $85 a month for my cell phone plan. Last year this seemed reasonable, but suddenly (now that my ears were opened to savings) I was hearing of others that paid only $55 a month for a similar service. The only catch was that I would have to buy a brand new phone when I switched providers to that $55 service. Instead of hastily making the change, I decided to contact my provider and let them know I was considering dropping them. Sure enough, my bill immediately dropped to $60 a month! Try it. It might work for you too.
  2. Car Insurance – I drive a fairly inexpensive vehicle and felt that I was paying too much for my coverage. Sure enough, when I got a few quotes from other insurance agencies I discovered that I could save $300 a month. It was definitely worth the 20 minutes that I spent on the computer.
  3. Optimize bank accounts – This would be an excellent time to check up on bank accounts to see if I am getting a good deal on those. I have had a lot of bank introduce some sneaky fees in the hope that it will go unnoticed. I do not have any high interest debt, if I did, I would definitely be looking out for 0% balance transfer credit card deals. Over the year this will definitely save a lot of money on interest.
  4. Fuel – It’s tough to save on gas when the price keeps going up, but I found that the absolute best way to save was to stop using my car so much! I now carpool a few times a week, which saves me about $20 a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s $240 a year!
  5. Food – I think that we are all guilty of going out to eat too much. $10 here and $20 there doesn’t sound like a lot until I started checking out my bank account and adding it up. It turns out that it isn’t too tough to spend $100 a month on restaurants. By canceling out a few trips to my local sports bar, I’m saving myself about $50 a month (and eating healthier at home)!
  6. Vacations – Are you drooling about a vacation to the sandy shores of the Bahamas? While this might sound like an amazing vacation, is it really worth the $3,000+ that you’ll spend for one week of enjoyment? I’m all about having fun and making memories, but I figured that I can make some awesome memories at a campground on a crystal clear lake that’s only a couple of hours away. At most, I will be spending $200 for this vacation and I won’t have to go through the hassles of airplane travel! Heck, I could repeat this vacation every weekend this summer and still be under my bill for the one-week Bahama trip.

In what ways are you making yourself richer in this New Year?


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