Sober living homes serve as a form of transitional housing, typically involving a much smaller group of recovering individuals. After a person completes their rehabilitation program, they may not be ready to dive back into daily life leading to the need for transitional housing.
Sober living may be necessary because the patient’s home environment may not be safe. This could be due to friends who are also struggling with addiction, stresses or emotional triggers that could lead to relapse, and places that remind the recovering person of ongoing drug use. In a sober living home, residents can live in a sober, safe environment as they find strong footing in their newfound sobriety.
But does health insurance pay for sober living homes?
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Sober Living Homes?
The short answer is most likely no.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurance companies of all types to provide coverage for mental health treatment, which includes treatment for substance use disorders. While sober living homes are safe environments designed to help people recover from addiction in a supportive place, 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 financially independent, so they typically do not accept insurance or state health coverage to cover costs. Insurance coverage does vary according to the provider and specific plan, so it is important to check your individual plan to verify coverage.
Also, insurance should 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.
How Sober Living Homes Work
At a sober living home, there are typically fewer than 10 residents. While group meetings, such as 12-Step meetings, may take place in the common space, residents do not receive treatment on the premises.
Instead, everyone who lives at the home attends therapy or outpatient programs while also maintaining or seeking employment. In some instances, people who live in sober living homes may seek educational opportunities instead of employment.
Regardless of whether it’s work or school, residents in these facilities are encouraged to find a normal daily routine, which includes regular ongoing treatment for their addiction.
A manager or coordinator often lives in the sober living home. This person is often someone who has recovered from addiction and learned to maintain their sobriety, so they understand the struggles the other residents are going through. The manager maintains the safety, health standards, and rules of the sober living home. They are typically a paid employee of the company that manages the sober living home.
To provide a full continuum of care, Greenhouse offers a sober living facility called Resolutions Arlington. Open to people who have completed addiction treatment with us, and those in the community who need transitional living, Resolutions Arlington could be just the thing you need to help continue your recovery journey successfully.
How to Pay for Sober Living
Many people who enter sober living homes have recently left rehabilitation programs, so they likely do not have current employment. If residents are coming up short with funds to cover their rent at a sober living home, these sources could help:
- You can try your insurance. Although the trend in the industry is that insurance usually doesn’t cover sober living, it couldn’t hurt to try. Give your insurance company a call to see, or work with the transitional living home to see if it’s an option.
- Dip into your savings or emergency fund. Savings accounts are often used to pay for their first few months in a sober living home until the person finds regular employment.
- Try financing, but pay attention. 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. Be aware of the interest rate on the loan, and how much it will ultimately cost you before paying it off.
Although financial coverage for the first few months in a sober living home can take some planning, the benefit of living in this type of housing is that residents can stay as long as they want.
Because they do not rely on 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.