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EDUCATION - KEY TOPIC

Finding Your Next Step

5 Tips For Finding Help You Can Afford

Some treatment and counseling resources are not cheap. However, there are options available for support and, often, treatment, in the vast majority of communities regardless of our financial resources. Higher-end addiction centers usually rely on private insurance or private, out-of-pocket pay, and can range from $5,000 – $50,000 per thirty days. But the same experiences of connection, safety, and healing possible at these centers can be found at other locations that provide free or government-funded services. It may not be as quick or cushy, but help is out there. The crucial elements of finding a safe environment, community, and the opportunity for therapeutic healing can happen in a range of settings.

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Introduction

Financial need should not prevent us from getting help. There are treatment and care options around mental health and addiction for every price point, including some that are free. It is worth doing your homework to find a resource that best fits your needs and financial situation. Treatment opportunities that are affordable abound, but navigating the process, and understanding costs even when insurance is involved, requires some work.

If you search the Internet, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices and options available. Many are unclear when it comes to the actual cost to the patient, and, as previously mentioned, the opportunities for profit in the recovery industry has created a crowded and confusing environment.

Along with the ethical challenges previously shared, there have been cases where online resources or call centers don’t provide fully accurate information on all costs and fees associated with their programs. This applies to programs covered by private insurance as well. There may be additional fees, or limitations attached to the coverage offered by insurers. Intentional or otherwise, staff members from providers that stand to make profits via patient care might neglect to mention all fees, promise that fees will be waived, or overestimate the coverage of insurance.

OneStep is passionate about helping individuals and families find providers that put patient well-being at the forefront of their work, be it a non-profit, for-profit, or public agency.

Payment Models for Recovery Services

At OneStep, we like to group providers into three different categories:

  1. There are providers of treatment, either inpatient / residential or outpatient, that accept out-of-pocket pay or private insurance. These typically are the most expensive, but may also have the most amenities.  They are also the most likely to be for-profit companies, although some may be non-profits. Because of the payment method in this category, there may be greater potential for ethical challenges due to financial incentives.
  2. There are providers of residential / inpatient or outpatient care that offer either free services or services paid for by government grants or public health insurance. Many of these providers are non-profit organizations or government-run organizations, but some may also be private companies. Falling into this  category does not guarantee ethical or quality care, but it may indicate less potential for obvious financial conflicts of interest.
  3. There are providers of a range of additional services that support treatment, but do not actually include clinical care. This broader category includes sober living homes and facilities, additional counseling services or centers (not already included in a treatment plan or program), experimental therapy providers, or otherwise. Payment methodologies vary broadly for those providing services under this category.

5 Tips for Finding Low-Cost Help

What can you do to find cost effective resources around mental health or addiction?

  1. Remember that free resources exist. The vast majority of support groups are free. Many communities have clinics offering various forms of treatment and support for free or via government funding. Check out our Connection Resources for listings of free or government-funded resources.
  2. Talk to someone. A medical professional such as a doctor or counselor,  or a trusted friend or mentor, may have ideas on providers that fit your budget.
  3. Insurers / EAPs can help. If you have insurance, contact your insurer or your company’s Employee Assistance Program to better understand your coverage.
  4. Read the fine print. Be cautious around treatment centers that promise to take care of additional costs or fees, such as travel expenses. There have been cases of misrepresentation of fees and insurance coverage that has left families in major debt.
  5. Be persistent. Some providers may not have initial openings, but space may open sooner than expected.

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