3 Ways to Pay for Sober Living

Sober living can be a helpful transitional step for people who are finished with treatment at a facility but not ready to confront the temptations their daily lives quite yet. Data shows that living in sober living facilities largely leads to fewer arrests and lower alcohol and drug use.1

Like any type of healthcare service in the U.S., sober living does come at a cost. Just like with the price of drug rehab, the bill for sober living can have a major impact on which sober living home will be a good fit.

The goal when choosing where to go to sober living is to strike a balance between affordability, level of care, and the in-person experience and environment.

Here you’ll learn about a few different ways you can pay for your time in sober living, such as through:

  • Your health insurance.
  • Paying out of pocket.
  • Financing your stay. sober living homes that accept insurance

1. Using Health Insurance That Covers Substance Abuse

woman trying to figure out how to pay her sober living billsSubstance abuse treatment is classified as an “essential service” under the Affordable Care Act, and as such, preventative efforts as well as treatment for the disorder must be covered by approved providers as a general rule.

The reality is that what providers will easily pay for is less clear-cut, and many families struggle with insurance companies who push for the least expensive treatment option and require elusive proof of “medical need” when agreeing to more intensive measures of care. It can be an arduous task.

For this reason, when it comes to getting the cost of sober living covered by insurance, there may or may not be support. The final dollar amount (or percentage) of costs covered for sober living will vary from provider to provider, and in some cases, it may not be covered at all unless it can be shown that there is “medical need.”

No matter what your financial circumstances, your first step is always to determine how much your insurance company will cover. This is a medical need, and your family should have some amount of coverage. After verifying your insurance coverage, the next step is to find sober living homes that accept insurance. You can:

  • Contact your insurance provider directly and get a better of idea of what they will cover and what they will not.
  • Talk to the administrative staff members at the sober living home to see if they can offer any advice or assist you.
  • Discuss the issue with your family doctor to see if you can get help with the proof of medical need, if requested.
  • Follow up as needed and ask for clarification.

Verify Your Insurance Benefits Today

By filling out the form below, you can see if your insurance would help cover some of the costs of your sober living expenses.

2. Family Resources

If insurance falls short, or the facility you choose is out-of-network with your insurance provider, the next step to covering the cost of sober living services is to take a solid look at your family finances.

You may be able to quickly tap funds that may have been allocated for another purpose (e.g., college savings or retirement) for a bit of assistance if that is appropriate to your situation. If you have an emergency savings account, now might be the right time to use it.

It may seem counterintuitive to dive into your retirement or emergency savings account for sober living. But your continued recovery and sobriety is important, and key in helping you get to retirement age.

If these are not options, consider turning to your family members for support. They are probably emotionally invested in your recovery, and may be willing to help you financially, as long as you make a good-faith agreement to pay them back when you can.

Taking a look at your family budget and cutting unnecessary expenses or minimizing necessary expenses can also help you meet your financial goal for sober living.

3. Financing

In some situations, people are fortunate to have the help of family members or other loved ones in paying for their rehab and recovery treatment if insurance doesn’t cover the full cost, but there are still options available to those who must finance treatment themselves.

If you have a health savings account (HSA), start with that. You can see how much you have saved up and apply it to the balance for your sober living facility.

If, after all resources have been tapped, there is still not enough to cover the cost of sober living, financing is always an option for the remainder of the bill. There are a number of private institutions that offer personal loans in different formats with various repayment structures; with a little bit of research, it’s possible to find one that best suits your family’s needs.

Make sure to read all of the fine print to know exactly what you’re getting into. Financing sober living or other types of treatment may help you reach sobriety, but the debt from doing so may create unhealthy stress in your life during a time you should be focusing on recovery.

Though it is an option to finance the entire amount, most families prefer to minimize their bills and pay as much up front as possible and then finance as small an amount as possible.

Weighing Cost with Care Options

sober living roommatesIn most cases, the more intensive the level of support provided by a sober living program, the more expensive it will be. That is, when staff members are on site regularly facilitating house meetings, helping to manage conflicts that arise, and enforcing rules, the bill will likely be higher than a sober living home that provides minimal staff support and is relatively lax in terms of therapeutic expectations. This is most often a case where you “get what you pay for.”

American Addiction Centers, River Oaks’ parent company, is proud to offer sober living facilities called “Resolutions” at a handful of its locations. West of the Mississippi, Desert Hope’s Resolutions facility in Nevada and Greenhouse Treatment Center’s Resolution Arlington in Texas both provide sober living quarters. If you’re closer to the East Coast, Oxford Resolutions in Mississippi and Sunrise House’s Resolutions Franklin in New Jersey may have what you’re looking for.

Choosing the least expensive option without consideration for other factors provided can ultimately be a waste of money if it doesn’t provide the necessary level of support. It is a far better choice to choose the program that provides the type of attention and atmosphere that will most benefit the person in residence.



  1. Polcin, D.L., Korcha, R.A., et al. (2010). Sober living houses for alcohol and drug dependence: 18-month outcomes. Journal of Substance Use Treatment 38(4), 356-365.


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