Sober Living Costs & Health Insurance Coverage

Individuals who are newly in recovery often need additional support after completing treatment. Sober living is one such support, where individuals can live in a safe, drug and alcohol-free residence with others who are also working on their recovery.

The cost of sober living should never deter anyone from obtaining the care they need. Thankfully, there are several ways to pay for sober living, ranging from utilizing insurance coverage to developing payment plans.

How Much Does Sober Living Cost?

Just like standard apartments or homes, residents of a sober living home are required to pay rent each month. It is this rent that serves as their payment for sober living and rates can depend on factors such as the region where the home is located and how many residents there are. Depending on the home, residents may have private rooms or share a room with another individual, but the price to have a private room may be a bit higher.3 Residents generally need to contribute to utilities as well, and this may be included in the price of rent.3

Does Health Insurance Cover Sober Living?

Thanks to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, health insurance issuers are required to provide coverage for addiction treatment.4 However, the extent of that coverage can vary based on the type of plan that an individual has. Many policies stick to providing coverage for treatment they deem “medically necessary.” Since a sober living house isn’t technically “treatment” but rather a supportive transitional living environment, an insurance policy might not cover a stay at one of these residences. Although some people may find their insurance policy covers some of the expense, this is likely to be the exception and not the rule.

Ways to Pay for Sober Living Without Health Insurance

If an individual does not have insurance or does not receive enough insurance coverage to adequately pay for sober living, they may need to consider other ways to pay. Thankfully, there are additional options, including:

  • Financing. If an individual has good credit, they may be able to take out a loan at a bank for the amount they need for sober living. This can be a simple way to fund this type of aftercare service, however it is important that if an individual takes out a loan, they are aware of its interest rate as well as when repayment begins.
  • Savings. Addiction treatment and aftercare services should be viewed as an investment in one’s health and overall wellbeing. If an individual has savings stored away, utilizing it to pay for sober living can be a viable option. While it may be hard to part with savings, doing so in this instance can be priceless in the long run.
  • Asking a loved one. Asking a loved one for help paying for sober living may not be what you want to do, but remember, your recovery is an investment. Talk with your loved one about how much you may need to borrow and develop a repayment plan with them for the future.

It is important to note that many sober living homes require that residents have jobs or are at least actively seeking jobs if they are not in school.3 Regular employment provides a set schedule and responsibilities, which offer structure that is crucial in early recovery, as well as income to cover the cost of rent. Government assistance is limited for those who need help covering the expenses of a sober living home. However, in some states, rental assistance may be an option for a limited amount of time, after which you’ll be expected to pay rent on your own.5

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