Does Insurance Cover Eating Disorder Treatment if I Have BCBS

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

How Do I Use Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance to Pay for Eating Disorder Rehab?

The best way to learn about the details of your coverage is to call Blue Cross Blue Shield so that you know exactly what your out-of-pocket costs will be. The good news is that the majority of Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance plans provide at least partial coverage for the treatment of eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia. The extent of coverage can vary according to state and individual plan.

(Please note: strives to provide you with the most updated information on each carriers’ addiction insurance coverage but policy changes and errors do occur. Please check with your insurance carrier directly to confirm coverage levels. is an informational site only and is not affiliated or sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield.)

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Cover Treatment for Eating Disorders?

Woman with tape measures as handcuffs, concept of eating disordersStatistics show that up to 24 million people suffer from an eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia or a binge eating disorder. Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance is administered by different providers across the country, so coverage varies according to the state, specific provider, and individual plan. Many plans do offer at least partial coverage for treatment related to eating disorders, as this is an important component of a person’s mental and physical health.

Type of Rehabs Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Will Pay For

The policies that individuals have with Blue Cross Blue Shield can vary significantly. In general, this medical coverage provider does offer provisions for mental illness, which often include eating disorders. The rehabs covered under your plan might include inpatient or outpatient treatment centers, so consult your plan administrator or policy documents for details. Though it is unlikely, some plans may cover luxury treatment or executive treatment plans.

How Much of the Cost is Covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield?

Again, every Blue Cross Blue Shield policy is different in terms of coverage levels and how much of the cost they will absorb. If you are receiving medically necessary treatment, it is likely that at least a portion of your costs will be covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Medical coverage providers also update their policies frequently. It is important for the policyholder to review what their individual policy specifies. In some cases, treatment relating to eating disorders may fall under the mental health category.

If left untreated, eating disorders can lead to some serious physical consequences. The length of the illness and resulting physical effects will dictate the level of treatment that is needed. Treatment could include counseling, intensive outpatient therapy, hospitalization and a stay in a rehab designed to address this health issue.

Can I Cover Above What Blue Cross Blue Shield Will Cover to Receive Treatment?

Many patients who suffer from eating disorders want the best eating disorder rehab program available to them. In these cases, you absolutely can pay out of pocket above what Blue Cross Blue Shield will cover. This is especially true if you’re interested in luxury or executive treatment or other special treatments.

What Treatment Lengths Will Blue Cross Blue Shield Pay For?

Your specific policy will dictate what level of coverage you have, including the length of treatment Blue Cross Blue Shield will cover. Blue Cross Blue Shield may cover, at least partially, any length of treatment and aftercare that is deemed medically necessary; however, it’s always best to check your specific plan. Treatments most often last 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months. Other special treatments, such as therapeutic communities, may last longer.

Like any other medical problem, eating disorders differ greatly in each person it affects. Length of treatment is based on the individual needs of the person suffering with this problem. There are also different types of eating disorders, and each type has a specific time demand for successful treatment.

Eating Disorder Inpatient Therapy vs. Outpatient Therapy

“Statistics show that up to 24 million people suffer from an eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia or a binge eating disorder.”
Since there is a high risk of physical complications arising from eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia, inpatient therapy in a hospital setting may be the best option for a patient. Inpatient therapy sequesters patients away from triggers and other issues that may affect his disorder, giving him a chance to relax and focus on healing. Once a patient has recovered, he often continues treatment as an outpatient, during which he visits a facility for treatment but lives at home. For less severe cases, it’s also possible for someone to start as an outpatient.

Should I Choose a Residential Rehab Center?

If you are suffering from an eating disorder, you should speak with your doctor or medical consultant to decide which treatment will be best for you. It is important that you choose a treatment you are comfortable with. Some individuals feel that being in a controlled setting like a residential rehab center would give them a greater chance of dealing with their disorder.

Will Blue Cross Blue Shield Pay for Local Rehab and Out of State Treatment?

You would need to refer to your specific policy to see exactly what it covers and whether it will give you the option of seeking out-of-state treatment. Regardless of location, sticking with a treatment center that’s considered in-network for your particular plan will give you the greatest level of coverage. Eating disorders are becoming far more recognized as a serious problem; because of this, there are more treatment options and rehab centers offering quality treatment for these disorders in many convenient locations.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Pay for Private or Luxury Treatment?

If you think private or luxury treatment would be beneficial for overcoming your disorder, speak with Blue Cross Blue Shield to see if it will cover any part of this treatment. Most likely it will not cover the full cost, but it may cover part of it, depending on your plan. If you think the amenities offered by these treatment programs will help you get healthy, consider paying out of pocket or discussing a payment plan with the specific facility.

What Does Executive Treatment Offer Over Other Rehabs?

executive rehabEating disorders do not just target a specific type of person, profession or gender. Executives who suffer with this disorder may opt for a rehab that caters to their professional needs. Treatment may focus on the type of daily atmosphere that an executive has to deal with on a daily basis; moreover, executive treatment will allow executives to continue necessary work.

What if I Have No Insurance?

Treatment costs differ according to the specific program. You may want to first look at those eating disorder treatments that offer a good program within your price range. Then secondly, think about utilizing those treatment centers that offer flexible payment options.

Questions and Answers

  • Will Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Multiple Stays?

It is not unusual for an individual suffering with an eating disorder to relapse or require more help. Your individual policy will determine just how much coverage is available for repeat treatments. If treatment is medically necessary, you will likely receive more coverage.

  • Does Insurance Pay for Aftercare?

Insurance might pay for aftercare services if it is medically necessary for you overcoming your disorder.

  • Could Rehab Make my Insurance Higher?

Plan costs are typically set for a period of at least a year, so you should not need to worry about any immediate change in rates. Regardless, worrying about future coverage should not deter you from seeking the help you need to get healthy now.

  • Has the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Affected Substance Abuse and Mental Health Insurance Coverage?

Obamacare has outlined that mental illness count as essential coverage. Effectively, Obamacare has expanded substance abuse and mental health insurance coverage.

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