Will Insurance Pay for Sober Living?
The short answer is no–at least in the State of California. This is because California does not offer licensed certification for these types of facilities. This also applies to halfway houses or any type of sober living environment or facility. However, some outpatient and treatment centers can offer discounted, subsidized or free rent to those sober living clients who attend their rehab or detox program. The exact details depend upon the individual’s situation and needs.
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, it required insurance companies of all types to provide coverage for mental health treatment, which in theory, includes treatment for substance use disorders. Sober living homes are safe environments designed to help people recover from addiction in a supportive place, but they are not treatment facilities. As a result, they typically are not covered by insurance.
In most states, sober living homes are expected to be completely financially independent, so they typically do not accept health insurance from any provider, nor do they accept state health coverage (ex: MedicAid) to cover costs. Of course, insurance coverage does vary according to the provider and specific plan, so it’s worth checking your individual plan to check eligibility. Some insurance plans do cover at least part of ongoing addiction treatment, such as therapy visits, which residents continue to participate in while residing in a sober living home. Most sober living homes require residents to pay rent and cover their own additional costs. This is part of the reason sober living homes encourage residents to find employment or job training; it helps them integrate paying bills and rent into their routine just as they would in the outside world.
Other Ways to Pay For Sober Living
Most people that go to a sober living home have likely just come from a detox or rehab program, so it’s unlikely that they have current employment. If residents are coming up short with funds to cover their rent at a sober living home, these sources could help:
- Personal funds, loans, or credit cards: Savings accounts are often used to pay for their first few months in a sober living home until the person finds regular employment. If the individual has good enough credit to get a loan from a bank, they may be able to apply this financing to their sober living home expenses and begin to repay the loan once they find a job. Those with high-limit credit cards may also be able to use this source of funding for sober living, but it is important to begin paying down the balance as soon as employment is secured.
- Personal loans: Family or close friends may be able to band together and finance the first few months of their loved one’s stay in a sober living home. In fact, this is usually the case.
- Crowdfunding: This is relatively new to the scene, but a lot of residents have had success with this. This source of income is collected online, so the person can set their limit for the amount they will need to cover their expenses for a few months until they can find a job. Some platforms like YouCaring and GoFundMe will help recovering addicts for at least part of their stay. Funds are collected for a certain period of time, then the entire amount raised is released to the person when the time is up. With crowdfunding, a person can post the link to their page on social media or through email, and this information can be shared beyond the person’s immediate friends and family.
- Selling assets: If the person still has assets they won’t need immediately, including stocks, a vehicle, or collectibles, these valuable possessions could be sold to finance a stay in a sober living home.
- Employment: Most residents of sober living houses get work soon after entering the program. In fact, many sober living houses work extensively with local businesses to help find jobs for addicts in recovery. It’s wise to check with the facility you’re considering to explore their job placement services.
It might take some planning to obtain financial coverage for the first few months in a sober living home, but the benefit of staying in a sober living house is that residents can stay for as long as they wish. Since sober living homes don’t depend upon insurance or state funding, and residents must find a job and pay rent and bills, people who live in sober living homes fall under the protection of many states’ housing discrimination acts. Insurance cannot end their stay in the home, and Medicaid cannot deny them funding. [cta id=’269′]
Talk to Others
One of the best tools at the disposal of recovering addicts is the testimonials of those who have recovered. You can view some testimonials from individuals that have used our facility on their journey to sobriety. Almost every sober living facility will provide you with some sort of access to former residents. Since each individual is unique, each has their own wish list of what they’re looking for in a sober living facility. In addition to testimonials, it helps to call the facility directly. At TDRC, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s not uncommon for us to get on a plane and come escort someone to one of our facilities.
The Cost of Relapse
The personal and financial burden of addiction can be immeasurable–no one disputes that. The importance of aftercare through sober living greatly reduces the risk of relapse and as such, can help prevent further financial burden on an individual and his family. What is that worth to an individual? What is it worth to a family? The statistics on alcohol and drug rehab success rates are unfortunately difficult to come by, but some report a 70 percent rate of varying degrees of success for addicts who go through rehab and sober living environments. Given the success rate of sober living communities and the ability to select one that exactly matches the needs and desires of an individual seeking recovery, the choice is clear.