An eating disorder can be highly distressing for the person going through it and, at times, can end up requiring a hospital or rehabilitation treatment. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, you may be curious how much it truly costs to get help. Is it something you can afford? How can you get started?
Your health insurance plan and whether you decide on a private or government facility can impact the price. Let’s look at the cost of getting treatment for an eating disorder.
If you want more information on what an eating disorder is and how to get a diagnosis, check out BetterHelp’s advice sections here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/eating-disorders/.
Eating Disorder Treatment Options
Before informing you of the cost of treatment, you’ll need to look at the different treatment options. Each one comes with additional costs and requirements.
1. Rehabilitation Center
A rehab center for eating disorders is often structured more as a calming and open-living situation where you will live onsite with doctors, nurses, and therapists. Other patients will often live in the same area as you, and you may have a roommate.
Your nutritionist and doctor will help develop a plan for your meals and get you healthy. Depending on the eating disorder you have, your treatment may look very different from others in the facility.
Depending on the length of your stay, the cost to stay in a rehabilitation facility can range from $3,000 on the low end to $10,000+ on the high end. Some insurance plans do cover up to 90 days in a rehab inpatient setting.
2. Psychiatric Hospital
If there are no eating disorder treatment facilities close to you, you may spend time in the hospital. If you have health issues, you may spend time in the regular hospital before being moved to a psychiatric unit for monitoring.
Hospital costs are often more expensive than a rehab center. However, the hospital does accept more insurance plans, including government insurance. If you’re paying out of pocket, the overall stay may surpass $20,000.
3. Outpatient Therapy
Outpatient therapy is another option. This option is best for those who are not at physical risk of organ failure or extreme malnutrition. Many therapists offer eating disorder treatment in person or online. You may want to also see a nutritionist to get advice on eating and what works for you.
A therapy session will often cost anywhere from $90 to $400 an hour. You can find cheaper therapists online to speak to through chat, video chat, and phone calls. There are also nutritionists who offer telehealth. Ask your therapist what insurance plans they accept.
Health Insurance Options
When selecting the eating disorder treatment that’s right for you, you’ll need to take into account whether they accept your insurance or not. There are many health insurance plans available.
If you do not currently have health insurance, check out the options below to see which one applies to you.
1. Government Health Insurance
Government health insurance plans generally include Medicaid and Medicare. Medicare is for those over a certain age, which can vary by state. It can also be used for those with some disabilities.
Medicaid is also used for those with disabilities, including mental illness. They cover most treatments in your home state. You can get Medicaid in some states if your income falls under the poverty line. You may have to pay a small co-pay, but it’s much more affordable than private insurance.
2. Co-Pay Insurance
Private insurance with a co-pay is more affordable than higher-priced private insurance plans. With this plan, you’ll pay a certain amount every time you visit the doctor. The insurance pays the rest. Some plans may have you pay the co-pay once a month or once a year in a lump sum.
These co-pays are something you can negotiate before signing up in most cases. You can pay more each month to get top-notch care if you want to have higher coverage. However, if you don’t use the doctor much, you may want to pay a low co-pay and get less coverage.
3. Insurance Through Work
Many jobs offer benefits to those who work full-time. You may be able to get an insurance plan for hospital care, outpatient care, and dental and vision through your workplace. Often, these plans have a small deduction from your paycheck, or you have to pay the insurance company directly. However, the co-pays on these insurance plans are lower, as your workplace has a deal with the insurance company.
4. University Health Insurance
If you are a student, you may be able to sign up for a student health plan. This often gets taken out of your loan and allows you to visit the doctors on campus, as well as see a therapist. Although this usually doesn’t cover hospital treatment, it’s an excellent plan for those looking for outpatient care.
5. Private Health Insurance
Finally, private health insurance will cover all of your requirements, but your monthly cost may be high. These plans can cost upwards of $500 a month. You will choose your deductibles, as well as the coverage level you want. You’ll want to speak to an insurance provider and make sure it covers rehabilitation if you’re looking for that service.