Family Finances Being Strained by the Cost of Eating Disorder Treatment

Blog Contributed by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC of Eating Disorder Hope

If someone in your family has suffered with an eating disorder, you have likely discovered the cost associated with treatment and recovery. Unfortunately, finances are one of the biggest deterring factors that prevent individuals from receiving the help they need to recover from their eating disorder.

With insurance coverage challenges and the costs of eating disorder facilities, it can be difficult to bridge the gap of resources that often lack for treatment. Whether your family has considered residential treatment, outpatient care or anything in between, it is likely that you have faced financial hardship as a result of seeking treatment.

Help Is Available for This

Above all things, it is important to understand that you are not alone in this struggle. If you are a parent, sibling, or child of a loved one suffering from an eating disorder, you undoubtedly would do or give anything to see this person recover and be well again.

Even the best intentions and well-meaning heart cannot alter or deny the reality of a situation, especially if finances, or lack of resources, are preventing treatment.

If you and your family find that your finances have been strained as a result of treatment costs for your loved one, how can you best deal with this situation? Know that there are varying options that can help ensure you and your family is protected during this time:

Research treatment options:

In coordination with your doctor or therapist, research and compare the various options that may be available for treatment. It is important to follow the recommendation of your health care professional and find a level of care that is appropriate for you or your loved one.

Understand your insurance policies inside and out and research what mental health benefits may be available under your policy. Work with the intake coordinators of treatment centers to learn what your options are for finances, such as a sliding scale, payment plans, etc.

Loans or supplemental income:

If treatment costs have severely cut into the finances you have for living expenses, consider the option of a loan to help supplement financial needs. While this option is dependent on a variety of factors and not appropriate for everyone, it may help bridge the gap of resources while your loved one is in treatment.

Other supplemental income options include:

  • Fundraising
  • Scholarships for treatment
  • Finding additional work for a period of time

Reassessing assets:

hair-105287_640What assets does your family currently have that could help provide additional income for your family during this time of treatment? This could include equity in a home, a car, or long-term savings that may be used in emergencies.

In a dire time of financial need, it may be in your interest to determine if any family assets can be rearranged to create additional income for the family.

Make it a Necessary Expense

Dealing with the financial aspect of eating disorder treatment is never easy but very necessary. Above all, be sure you have support during this very difficult time, as well as trusted friends and loved ones you can confide in for trusted counsel and advice.

While monetary issues can be straining, remember you are making an investment for your loved one that can be life-changing.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are resources where you have found financial support for Eating Disorder Treatment costs?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 5th, 2014
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.