Eating Disorder Treatment Cost

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Eating disorders may persist for years, requiring long-term or recurring treatment. Hospitalization, residential and day treatment and outpatient therapy all contribute to a solid continuum of care. But many families and individuals do not seek help because of the daunting financial burden. The obvious danger in delaying medical and psychological attention is clear – eating disorders can be deadly and they require treatment intervention for healthy recovery. Care is expensive because treatment is specialized. Most general practice doctors and family therapists are not trained to treat eating disorders. The level of care and duration of treatment needed is dictated by each person’s need.

Eating disorders become worse over time. It is also true that treatment becomes more difficult and recovery harder to achieve if the patient has been engaging in her eating disorder for a long time. Though eating disorders can be undetected for years, once the need for help is recognized, it is imperative to seek help quickly as the physical and psychological effects of eating disorders can be serious, even life threatening.

Most health insurance companies now offer coverage for eating disorders treatment. Coverage may be very good or it may be limited, leaving the financial burden on the patient. As treatment may take months to years, some families have exhausted retirement savings accounts, liquidated assets and borrowed money in order to help a loved one.

If you are planning to use your insurance to help fund treatment, be prepared to communicate with your insurance provider yourself. Learn all you can about what your policy covers and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have insurance through your employer, seek council from your employee assistance representative for more information. Most treatment centers’ intake staff can also help answer questions on how authorization for coverage works.

You may seek support from your bank or credit union, or a private, unsecured loan through a behavioral health finance company. Information about these businesses is available online; you can call and speak with a specialist. Some treatment centers and a few private foundations provide financial assistance or scholarships.

Finding the answers to your questions may take some effort, but there are solutions to funding treatment. Eating disorders can be treated. Recovery is possible. Seek help as early as possible – but seek help.