Costs of Treating Eating Disorders In America Are Alarming

Eating disorders are severe mental health conditions affecting millions of people in the United States, and the cost of treatment is an alarming issue for many families. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the cost of treatment for eating disorders can range from $500 to $2,000 per day, depending on the level of care needed. The financial burden can be overwhelming, with many requiring months or even years of treatment.

Several types of treatment are available for eating disorders, including outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment, and hospitalization. Each type of treatment varies significantly, with inpatient care being the most expensive. For example, residential treatment can cost up to $30,000 per month, while hospitalization can exceed $1,000 per day.

Unfortunately, many insurance plans do not cover the total cost of eating disorder treatment, leaving patients and their families to cover the remaining expenses. According to NEDA, insurance coverage for eating disorder treatment is often inadequate and inconsistent, with many plans offering a limited range or denying coverage altogether.

The high cost of treatment can create significant barriers for individuals seeking care, leading some to forgo treatment altogether. It can have severe consequences for their physical and mental health, as eating disorders can cause long-term damage to the body and be fatal if left untreated.

In addition to the financial burden, the stigma surrounding eating disorders can also prevent individuals from seeking treatment. Many people are ashamed or embarrassed to admit they have an eating disorder and may delay seeking treatment until the condition has worsened.

Policymakers, insurance providers, and healthcare professionals must work together to address the high cost of eating disorder treatment and improve access to care. By reducing the financial burden and increasing awareness of these conditions, more individuals can receive the treatment they need for long-term recovery and improved quality of life.