How to Pay for Rehab

By: Jennifer McMillen Smith, MSSA, LISW-S, Division of Infectious Disease and medically reviewed by Ann Avery, Infectious Disease Physician at Metrohealth Medical Center

This has been a time like no other. Oh, the pandemic blues.😅 😭 😖 So many of us have been socially isolated indoors and haven’t had our normal comforts. UGH! Everything can seem out-of-whack. Lonely feelings can spring upon us quickly, especially when many of us haven’t hung out with friends and family or we are trying to stay as safe as possible at our essential jobs. Many of us lost jobs too. And we’re all trying to cope somehow, someway.

As you’ve tried to cope during this past year and some change, maybe things have gone too far for you and you want a break. Coping could include drinking, smoking, a touch too much of Tina - anything you’re using to cope but you feel you’re not in control of anymore. We aren’t judging one bit. We are here to support you in getting back to a healthier YOU!❤️

Rehab may be the first step to helping you get back to your badass self. And it’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about – please know that going to rehab is a brave and strong thing to do. It’s self-care, boo! And while rehab might not be for everyone, it can be super important for someone who is has been struggling with addiction for a while. Choosing a rehab center can be a draining process. Paying for that rehab may bring the headaches.

A lot of the time, it boils down to this question: Do you have insurance?

If Yes, you have options.

If No, you have options.

This is key, and we are here to spill all the tea! 🍵 So keep reading, y’all! 🙌🏾

If you have insurance, you can call the hotline on the back of your insurance card or go to the insurance company’s website. Ask about substance use and ask about providers within your network. They will give you all the answers you need to most of your questions.

If you don’t have insurance, there are free or low-cost rehab centers available for you. They usually come with waiting lists, but you never know, so what’s the harm in signing up? If you have a low income, you may qualify for Medicaid in your state. Try googling your state + Medicaid to get to the right online application. Medicaid will often pay for certain rehabs.

SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) keeps an updated list of thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness. These include private practices and rehab centers. The website is You can also call their hotline at 1-800-662-4357.

Ready for a shameless plug?☺️ 👉🏿 MetroHealth is a great resource too, y’all. If you’re in the Greater Cleveland, OH area, MetroHealth offers substance use assessments, medication-assisted treatment, intensive outpatient programs, and individual addiction counseling. There are three locations: two in Cleveland and one in Parma. MetroHealth Medical Center accepts all Ohio Medicaid plans and works with most major insurance companies. We offer finance options for treatment costs not covered by insurance, and the hospital services are open to anyone at least 18 years old who is willing to participate in treatment. Pretty dope, huh?!

If rehab just isn’t your jam, or you aren’t ready to go that route (and that’s okay if you aren’t ready!), The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland hosts meetings for folks in recovery we sooooo recommend checking out. SMART Recovery is another great option worth checking out. You type in your city or zip code and BAM!💥 - recovery meeting info in your area at your fingertips! 👏🏾

Another option includes sober houses, many of which will have beds for uninsured individuals. If you’re in Cleveland, OH, our friends at Recovery Resources have helpful listings you can find here: . (Shout out to the LGBTQ-affirming sober house in Cleveland, B. Riley House!)

The best way to make sure you choose care that you can afford is by asking questions, taking notes, and making sure you know what kind of support you’re eligible for. Don’t let money stop you from finding treatment. There are free and low-cost options across the country, and many others accept Medicaid or private insurance. Your state – Ohio or not -- also has funding set aside to help people without insurance afford treatment.

Taking on debt is usually not the first choice. I totally understand. There is also the cost to your health and well-being if you’re delaying the treatment you want because it’s too expensive. It’s an investment. If and when you choose to go to rehab, financing it is possible!

WARNING: ⚠ Just a heads up, your insurance company can’t tell you “we don’t do substance abuse treatment” or “mental health isn’t covered." If they do this, they’re breaking the law.

Listen boo, you deserve quality care because you’re the best of the best! If you’re thinking of rehab, there should be (and there is) a way for you to get there. Financing comes in all sorts from insurance, Medicaid, grants, to scholarships. Props to you for making this investment into yourself – it will be well worth it! We’re over here cheering you on, supporting your amazing decisions! ❤️