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Does Insurance Pay for Sober Living Homes?

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents


Sober living homes or recovery housing are group homes that provide a safe, drug-free, and supportive environment for individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

They’re not formal treatment facilities but transitional living spaces that help residents maintain their newfound sobriety and reintegrate into society.

Residents pay rent, follow house rules, and participate in recovery activities such as support groups or aftercare programs.

These homes help residents remain sober, foster peer support through group meetings and house meetings, and provide access to additional resources.

Transitional housing, like sober living homes and halfway houses, usually serves people who have completed detox or rehabilitation programs. They’re also great for people seeking safe and stable housing, those without a safe home environment, and those committed to their recovery journey.

Is Sober Living Covered by Insurance?

No, sober living is not covered by insurance.

Sober living homes are not considered a formal treatment program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires insurance companies to provide coverage for substance abuse and mental health services.

Therefore, most insurance plans do not cover the cost of sober living homes, which can vary depending on the home’s location, amenities, and funding.

Who Pays for Sober Living Homes?

The residents of sober living homes pay and cover their costs, typically including rent and other living expenses.

Sober living homes are designed to be financially independent. They usually do not accept direct payments from private insurance companies or state health insurance coverage to cover the expenses.

This is primarily because they are not considered formal addiction treatment programs.

Insurance should cover certain aspects of addiction treatment, such as individual therapy or outpatient programs, which residents continue to attend while residing in a sober living home.

However, these policies generally don’t extend to cover the expenses directly associated with staying in recovery housing.

For this reason, many sober living homes encourage residents to find employment or job training to help them integrate paying bills into their routine just as they usually would.

How Much Does Sober Living Cost?

Sober living costs range from $300 to $2,500 per month.

However, this is only the rent and does not include other expenses that residents may have to pay, such as utilities, food, transportation, personal care, medication, or therapy.

Depending on the sober living home and the person’s needs, these additional expenses can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars monthly.

Some sober living homes may also charge different fees based on the level of support the resident needs, such as intensive outpatient programs (IOP), partial hospitalization programs (PHP), or aftercare programs. The higher the level of support, the higher the fees may be.

The cost of sober living also depends on the luxury or quality of the home.

Some sober living homes may offer basic or standard amenities and services, such as shared rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry facilities, cable TV, internet access, and 24/7 staff supervision.

These homes may charge lower rent and fees than other homes.

However, some sober living homes may offer more luxurious or high-end amenities and services, such as private rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, pools, gyms, spas, concierge services, gourmet meals, transportation services, and individualized care plans. You can expect these homes to charge higher rent and fees.


How to Pay for Sober Living?

Even without insurance coverage, you can pay for sober living in many ways, including:

Self-payment Options

Many people utilize their savings or emergency funds to cover the initial months in a sober living home until they secure regular employment.

Some sober living homes may offer self-pay discounts or payment plans for individuals who can pay their sober living costs upfront or in larger installments.

Financing Options

You may be eligible for a bank loan to help cover sober living expenses if you have good credit. Review the loan terms, including interest rates, to understand the full cost.

Scholarship or Grants

Some nonprofits offer scholarships or grants to qualified applicants to assist with the cost of sober living. Additionally, some sober living facilities may offer their scholarship programs.

Government Assistance

Government agencies or local organizations may sometimes provide financial assistance or resources for individuals seeking recovery support.

You can check with Medicaid Services, Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits with help from your social worker or case manager to find out if you qualify.

Note that these programs have strict eligibility criteria and may not cover all types of sober living environments or services.

Tip: Check With Your Insurance Anyway

Although sober living is typically not covered by insurance, you should still contact your insurance provider to explore potential coverage options.

While sober living homes generally don’t accept insurance for payment, some insurance policies may offer partial coverage for certain addiction treatment services.

Policies can vary, so it’s essential to clarify the specific terms of your health insurance plan.


What Are the Potential Financial Challenges and Solutions for Sober Living?

Paying for a sober living can financially challenge many recovering from addiction. Some of the potential challenges and solutions for sober living include:

Finding Employment

Many people recovering from substance use disorders may have difficulty finding a job due to their criminal record, lack of education or skills, or stigma and discrimination.

However, having a job can help them pay for sober living programs and improve their self-esteem and sense of purpose.

Try seeking help from a career counselor or a job placement agency, enrolling in vocational training or education programs, volunteering or interning at a local organization, or joining a peer support network that can offer referrals and recommendations.

You may also want to consider a sober living home that offers assistance in finding suitable job opportunities.

Managing Debt

Many people recovering from addiction may have accumulated debt due to substance abuse, such as medical bills, legal fees, credit card bills, or loans.

Having debt can add stress and anxiety to their recovery process, making it harder to pay for sober housing.

You can negotiate with your creditors to possibly lower interest rates or payments, consolidate debt into one manageable payment plan, seek help from a financial counselor or a debt relief agency, or file for bankruptcy as a last resort.

Also, make sure you create a comprehensive budget and financial plan with the assistance of the sober living facility staff or addiction treatment team to ensure you can cover costs throughout your stay.

Saving Money

People recovering from addiction may have difficulty saving money due to low income, high expenses, or poor financial habits.

However, saving money can help them afford sober living and prepare them for future emergencies or goals.

Some possible solutions are creating a realistic budget and tracking expenses, setting aside a portion of income for monthly savings, opening a savings account or an emergency fund, cutting down on unnecessary spending, or finding cheaper alternatives.

To reduce expenses, you can also consider sober living homes in more affordable areas or with shared room arrangements.


How to Find a Sober Living Home Near You?

One way to find a sober living home is to ask for a referral from your substance abuse treatment team.

They can help with your aftercare planning and suggest options compatible with your goals and preferences.

You can also find a sober living home using the online tool provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). You can access their treatment locator and filter your search by selecting “transitional housing” as a service type.

Keep in mind that not all sober living homes are the same.

There are several factors that you should consider before choosing a sober living home, such as the location, the cost, the rules, the amenities, the staff, and the quality of care.

One sober living home that meets high standards of quality and care is Design for Recovery.

DFR is a sober living home in Los Angeles that offers a structured and safe environment for men who want to maintain their newfound sobriety and achieve personal growth.

Design for Recovery sober living offers more than just a place to stay. It provides a comprehensive program that includes one-on-one mentoring, medication monitoring, family services, employment support, and money management.

Ready to Begin Your Recovery in a Supportive Sober Living Home?

At Design for Recovery, we’re committed to your well-being, offering a structured and caring environment that promotes lasting sobriety.

Our experienced team includes medical professionals who understand individuals’ unique challenges when recovering from addiction.

We know navigating insurance coverage for sober living homes can be complex, but our team is here to assist you.

Don’t let financial concerns hold you back from this essential step in your recovery journey. Contact Design for Recovery today, and let us help you find a solution that works for you.

Holtyn, August F., et al. “Factors Associated with Obtaining Employment among Opioid Use Disorder Patients Enrolled in a Therapeutic Workplace Intervention.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 226, 2021, p. 108907, Accessed 7 Sept. 2023.

Mericle, Amy A., et al. “Sober Living House Characteristics: A Multilevel Analyses of Factors Associated with Improved Outcomes.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 98, 2019, p. 28, Accessed 7 Sept. 2023.

Mericle, Amy A., et al. “The Role of Recovery Housing During Outpatient Substance Use Treatment.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 133, 2022, p. 108638, Accessed 7 Sept. 2023.

Polcin, Douglas L., et al. “Understanding Challenges for Recovery Homes during COVID-19.” The International Journal on Drug Policy, vol. 93, 2021, p. 102986, Accessed 7 Sept. 2023.

Rosen, Marc I., et al. “A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Money Management–Based Substance Use Intervention.” Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), vol. 60, no. 4, 2009, p. 498, Accessed 7 Sept. 2023.

“Understanding the Affordable Care Act.” American Medical Association, 3 Dec. 2019,,a%20better%20health%20care%20system.


Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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