no insurance

no insurance

gary's picture
3 answers

How do you get help for somebody with no insurance ?


Str8tcntrygrl's picture

I am with you on that Question there are many drug rehab centers and detox centers in my area but they all want insurance or a whole bank role to help someone....What about the people that cant afford the help what are they supposed to do? Retire to the streats and become an official crack head.

Olivia's picture

Dear Gary and Str8tCntryGrl,

We're here for you.

It's shocking how expensive some treatment programs are. But there are options available that can help handle the financial burden of paying for substance abuse treatment. We know it isn’t easy but the more information you have the better able you will be to make good decisions for your child and family.

There are several options when it comes to paying for treatment for your child. These include private health insurance, medicaid, Veterans Administration benefits (if you’re a military family), employee assistance programs, student health services, clinical trials, financial aid, payment plan and a sliding fee scale. These options don’t cover everyone, but you may be able to cut personal costs by using one or more of the following:

• Most private health insurance plans provide coverage for some substance abuse treatment. Note that coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment varies state by state and by health plan. If you have private health insurance, call the toll-free number on the back of your card and ask about your treatment benefits, or talk to your employer’s employee assistance program (EAP). Precertification may be required before the child enters a program. Make sure you know all the out of pocket costs you will be responsible for before making any arrangements. You don’t want to be blindsided by hidden costs. In the event your insurance denies treatment, refer to your benefits plan for instructions on how to appeal. The appeal process varies by state, and there is often a time limit for you to file. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a guide for handling disputes with your employer or private health plan

• Medicaid is an insurance program for people who lack private health insurance and meet certain financial thresholds. Your child may be eligible for Medicaid which should pay for substance abuse treatment. Individuals must apply for coverage in their state, and Medicaid services and the types of individuals covered vary by state. To find out if you’re eligible, visit: If your family is ineligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may be an option for your family. CHIP was previously known as the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). CHIP is available for families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to purchase private health insurance. Coverage and services provided under CHIP varies by state. Some states treat CHIP as an expansion of Medicaid services and other states treat it as a free standing program. Start with your state’s Medicaid Office web site to learn about the options available to your child and family.

• veterans Administration benefits are available to veterans and their families. To learn more, call 1—877—222—VETS (8387).

• Some companies have employee assistance programs available for employed individuals. Services may be provided on-site, or you may receive a list of substance use professionals in your area. Contact your company’s human resources office to learn more about this option.

• For college students, student health services often provide group and individual counseling for people with substance use problems. Contact the health or counseling center at the school.

• Clinical trials are research studies used to determine the safety and effectiveness of a range of treatment methods, including counseling and medications. These services are provided free of charge because they are part of government funded research. Your child may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial. If you live in or near a college town, addiction expert Gayle Dakof, Ph.D., suggests contacting the university. Schools often have safe and free clinical trials, and your child may be able to participate in one. To learn more about clinical trials go to To find a clinical trial, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trial Network at

Points to Discuss with a Specific Treatment Program:

• Many treatment centers have financial aid that helps defray the expense. Contact treatment centers directly about the availability of these funds. • Ask your treatment provider to help you create a payment plan. Treatment providers will often work with family members who need to pay for treatment out of their own resources so that the entire sum does not need to be paid at the beginning of treatment.

• Many treatment programs offer a sliding fee scale — a flexible payment scale based on income — so be sure to should ask about this option. Because the fee depends on your family’s income, the treatment provider will ask to look at your pay stubs and tax returns to decide what percentage of the actual cost you would pay out of pocket. If you want to only research programs with a sliding fee scale, use the SAMHSA Treatment Facility Locator (see page 22 of this guide) and select the “sliding fee scale/payment assistance” box in the detailed search.

For more information, please read our Treatment eBook:

I hope this helps.

imamom's picture

I was referred to the Salvation Army rehab programs by a counselor, in case my daughter needed inpatient rehab and the copay was more than we could afford.