How Do I Pay for Residential Treatment?

There are many ways to pay for residential treatment.

Residential treatment is expensive. When you factor in 24/7 residential staff, all the clinical support to help someone heal, a fully accredited school that is completely self-contained and nursing, the total cost can be overwhelming. Over the years, we have observed that many families look at the following as avenues of getting some financial help while on this journey:

  1. Insurance — depends upon your mental health benefit. If you have excellent mental health benefits, insurance may reimburse a percentage of the full tuition amount (less common) up to a certain number of days. You should call your insurance to find out if you have a “residential treatment benefit”. However, some policies define “residential treatment” as a short-term, hospital stay. If so, they will tell you what steps to follow to get pre-authorization. More common is that they will not pay for residential treatment, but they will reimburse itemized therapy sessions by a licensed clinician up to an annual limit. Because so much item therapy happens in a CERTS residential treatment program, this can add up to a large amount of reimbursement for many families.
  2. School districts — some school districts will authorize payments of at least the educational portion of the stay if your daughter has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with them.
  3. Home equity loans — generally the best way to borrow for many families, but we recommend consulting your tax adviser on your unique situation. Often, interest rates tend to be lower and the interest is often tax deductible.
  4. Educational loan programs — there are several excellent companies that offer educational loan programs for families for this type of treatment. Although they typically have higher interest rates than home equity or other secured loans and do require good credit, these types of loans have provided a real service to many families who can afford to pay hundreds of dollars a month for treatment, but not thousands. Most schools and programs, including those in the CERTS family, are already set up with certain companies to provide these loans where appropriate. For more information on these types of loans and the names of companies that provide them, call 888-406-5968.
  5. Retirement plan loans — some families have taken loans against their 401(k) or IRA assets to pay for treatment. One advantage to this is that the interest paid on the loan is paid to you instead of to somebody else. A disadvantage to this is that you have less money compounding at market rates over time to fund your retirement (consult your tax adviser on what is best for your situation).
  6. Trust or education funds — some families have the educational money or trust funds available that they have used to pay for treatment. One dad observed, “Unless we do something, there won’t be an education to worry about paying for!”.
  7. Family members — often in conjunction with some of the above, many families pool resources together to help by co-signing a loan or helping with monthly payments.
  8. Financial assistance — many treatment programs have scholarship programs. Though funds are often limited, these must be qualified for but these funds can be used to pay part of the monthly tuition so that you don’t have to.
  9. Credit cards – most programs are equipped to accept credit card payments.

Get Your Daughter the Help She Needs

If your child is suffering from a behavioral issue or addiction, the CERTS Group wants to help. We understand how stressful paying for this treatment can be. That’s why we try to offer resources and solutions to the best of our abilities. Do you think your daughter would benefit from the residential treatment programs we offer at the CERTS Group? You can contact an admissions advisor now. For general information, email us at