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Financing Drug Rehab: What Options Do You Have?

Recovering from drug addiction is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of hard work. It also can be very expensive, and receiving the best care possible can put immense strain on the savings account. Fortunately, there are many ways to finance drug rehab, and it is critically important to know what options you have.

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Financing Drug Recovery

Many private recovery centers offer some form of financing to their clients. These cover the spectrum of in-house programs, which have their own affordable and flexible credit terms. Others outsource their payment systems to companies that specialize in medical financing, which cover the program costs to a partial or complete degree and makes it possible for clients to pay off what they owe over a long-term period.

Even with insurance, drug rehab can be expensive, but options exist. Modern innovations include crowdfunding sites, where an individual posts a public request for funds, and the request is shared on social media. GoFundMe, one of the largest crowdfunding services, explains that most people who need addiction help have already exhausted their financial resources by the time they are ready to begin treatment.

And treatment is not cheap. Outpatient detox bills can be as high as $5,000 after 90 days, and inpatient rehabilitation programs can run upward of $6,000 for a month-long program. The more severe the addiction, the longer the stay, the higher the cost, sometimes going well past

$50,000. Long-term aftercare services, such as methadone treatment, come with their own price tag.

Crowdsourcing and Traditional Payment Plans

GoFundMe notes that standard medical insurance plans cover most forms of drug treatment, but insurers tend to restrict coverage to particular types of treatment and the providers that offer that treatment. Even so, using insurance to pay for treatment comes with a lot of caveats, and people who do not have insurance (or the right insurance) will likely have to pay out of pocket.

This is one area where crowdfunding (also known as crowdsourcing) can be helpful. The process not only solicits funds for treatment, but it also helps the individual to build an “emotional support network” of friends, family, and even complete strangers who are invested in the long journey ahead. Individuals (or the owner of the GoFundMe account) can start withdrawing funds as soon as the first donations come in, and the website offers to help clients tell their story to get the word out.

Traditional ways of financing drug rehab include using the payment options offered by a treatment program, either internally or externally. Health care funding companies are financial institutions that specifically work with clients who need financing for drug rehab, working closely with the individual and/or the family to customize the treatment plan to better fit the respective financial situations.

As loan companies, they have affordable packages based on the nature and scope of the required treatment. The goal is to remove the burden of payment as much as possible and to allow the person to focus on their recovery. The repayment can be made over time and with lower interest rates than credit cards and health care cards.

Credit Programs for Drug Rehab

Health care credit does exist, through companies like Care Credit. These organizations cater to people who specifically need help paying their medical expenses, and they can offer credit to those who do not have a good credit score. People who do have good credit are eligible to receive more credit to help them finance their recovery. As with traditional credit cards, the interest rates for health care credit cards tend to be high, but promotions and longer repayment terms offer more affordable rates.

As for credit cards themselves, they come with high interest, but they offer short-term access to funds, which might help people bridge the immediate difference between their own finances and the finances necessary to enroll in the drug rehab program they need.

The Medical Detox Example

An example of the specifics of a drug treatment program and the different ways of paying for it comes with medical detoxification. Medical detoxification (or detox) is a vital part of the treatment program, gradually weaning the client off their physical dependence on the drug of addiction. Without detox, it is very difficult and inadvisable to move on to counseling and long-term treatment planning. This is why, in most situations, medical detox is the first step of the recovery process.

However, many people put off starting their detox because of concerns of how to pay for it, or they have concerns that the full process would bankrupt them, so they give up on the idea entirely. But there are insurance plans that include medical detox as part of their coverage.

When a client selects a rehab center at which they will undergo treatment, the benefits coordinator at the center will have the necessary information on the degree to which medical detox is covered. Private insurance programs that include medical detox cost more than public programs, but private insurers can offer many more options than programs funded by the government.

For instance, those with the appropriate private insurance might have a greater selection of treatment facilities, some offering benefits for particular lifestyles, identities, or tastes. Private drug rehab plans may pay a significant amount of the overall cost of treatment; clients may have to spend only a minimal amount of their own finances. Some of the more luxurious, comfortable, and relaxing rehab experiences would fit into this category. Generally, the medical aspects of treatment are covered, whereas luxury amenities would not be covered.

Loans and Insurance

Some banks may also offer useful personal loans with an interest rate much below what credit cards and health care cards bring with them. Those who own their own home may qualify for a home equity loan; these loans are low-risk and are in the form of a guaranteed payment of the loan amount that is equal to the value of the home. This means the bank’s risk is low, so they might offer individuals a loan even if they do not have a great credit history.

For people who cannot afford private insurance plans, the United States offers public insurance in the form of Medicaid. Medicaid is run on a state-by-state basis, and it helps people who have low incomes and meet other qualification criteria to pay for their treatments. People will likely have to pay a minimal amount for the specific treatment (if it is covered by Medicaid), and the program itself pays the health care provider.

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Another public insurance program is Medicare, which is offered to people over age 65. People who have specific disabilities or health issues will also qualify for Medicare.

Both Medicare and Medicaid will cover some of the medical costs for people who qualify for their respective services, but not all the costs. The rest will have to come through some of the options described earlier. 

States use health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, for the patients paying through Medicaid. HMOs only pay for rehab treatment within a preselected network of health care providers, so they are more affordable than plans that offer a greater selection of providers. Some plans offer HMO point-of-service plans, which allow patients to go out of the network for certain forms of treatment, but this often comes with a higher cost. 

On the other hand, preferred provider organization (PPO) plans do not require patients to use in-network providers, and they do not require a referral to consult a specialist. PPOs cover a wider range of medical costs, but only if patients stay within the network. For emergencies and specialists outside the network, the PPO will pay for the specifics. 

Patients also have the option of indemnity plans, wherein they have no restrictions on their choice of doctors or hospitals, and the health care provider receives payment every time a patient gets treatment that falls under the indemnity plan. This flexibility does mean the patient’s personal costs might be much higher than they would be on a managed care plan. 

Paying for drug rehab can be a daunting prospect. Treatment is often a slow process, sometimes fraught with setbacks and false starts. But investing in the right program makes the difference between a continued struggle with addiction and the chance of a happy and healthy life. Numerous options exist to make this affordable for individuals and their families.


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