How Do You Pay for Rehab If You Don’t Have Insurance?

If you don’t live near government-sponsored free drug and alcohol rehab centers, then you might give up any hope of getting any help for a substance addiction issue from a rehab facility. However, since you deserve a sober, fulfilling, and uplifting life, don’t let the lack of health insurance prevent you from getting the help you need.

Although it’s possible to get some relief for a substance use disorder without going to rehab, using low-cost or free alternative methods rarely lead to a full recovery. Addiction is a complex issue that is not always easy to address on its own. Getting individual psychotherapy or joining a substance abuse support group, for instance, won’t help you break free from chronic drug addiction. Rehab is necessary for many reasons.

For instance, besides regular individual and group therapy, you’ll also need the right detoxification medications to manage the overwhelming withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience after quitting. If you don’t have insurance, you can still pay for rehab because there are many funding sources, such as grants, scholarships, the Affordable Act, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Apply for Grants or Scholarships

Both the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention support evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs aimed at reducing substance abuse. Either of these organizations can help you obtain a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) grant. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, offers a variety of grants for addiction treatment, including residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and primary and secondary prevention services. If you are not eligible for SAMSHA grants, the next best thing you can do is apply for subsidized coverage. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and Medicare are all examples of subsidized coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Because of the prohibitive cost of healthcare in the United States, health insurance is essential to living a healthy life. Until the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, many people could not afford the premiums of healthcare insurance policies. After the ACA was passed, individuals who met certain income, age, and disability requirements could now afford to pay for sufficient health insurance coverage. Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has given Americans affordable health insurance.

Since the ACA mandates that health insurance should cover preventative services, this includes mental health care issues like substance abuse treatment. With this legislation, individuals struggling with substance abuse, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders, can obtain drug and alcohol addiction treatment through various state-funded programs. Since the ACA contributes to improving the health and well-being of the population, many beneficiaries consider it as “the best thing” the United States has done for the American people in the past century.


Lyndon Johnson established Medicare in 1965, and it has been continuously updated and expanded since then. To be eligible, your income cannot exceed $1,357 per month. This program covers the medical needs of people over the age of sixty-five as well as people under the age of sixty-five with certain disabilities. Since Medicare covers most medical services and products, this means it also covers some alcohol and drug rehabilitation services.


Medicaid is a government-funded program that provides health-care coverage to low-income individuals regardless of where they live. Those suffering from substance abuse disorders have access to this safety net. As of 2021, 39 states have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Those in need of medical assistance can get the support they need to stay healthy, to work, and to take care of their families.

The Medicaid program, which has been dubbed as “Medicare for the poor,” is a government-funded health insurance program that assists those who cannot afford to pay for any other form of insurance. In 2021, a single adult in the United States will be eligible for Medicaid if they earn less than $17,774 per annum. So, you will be eligible if your monthly income is less than $1,481. Medicaid supports some costs of inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services. In closing, keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of ways you can pay for rehab.

You may also be able to pay for rehab by paying on a sliding scale, fundraising, getting personal loans from family and friends, or getting a loan from a financial institution. Covering the cost of rehab for drug or alcohol can be a tricky and complicated topic, and if you would like to discuss your rehab drug treatment options in more detail call us at 302-842-2390 to talk to our representatives.

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Essentials mission is to renew lives impacted by addiction through personalized and complete behavioral healthcare. Our main purpose is to provide services and education to the client and family that will support long lasting recovery of mind, body, and spirit.