National Eating Disorders Association

Insurance Issues

Recovery is hard work. It can be challenging enough without having to face the uncertainty of insurance approval. We are sorry that you are facing denial of payment by your insurance company, and hope the following resources will prove empowering in your attempt to access full benefits you are entitled to under your health plan for the treatment that has been recommended by your expert treatment team.

The first step toward accessing benefits, whether or not your claim has been denied is to take a look at our Parent Toolkit. In addition to the many topics covered by the toolkit you will find valuable tips to help you get your documents in order, contact the appropriate government officials for help, and begin the appeals process. Direct your browser to the following link and read section 3 Insurance Issues

As an addendum to the Parent Toolkit Insurance Section, NEDA has published its handout, Securing Eating Disorders Treatment: Ammunition for Arguments with Third Parties which offer up to date research supporting the need for treatment for eating disorders. Find out more here:

Working to Obtain Insurance Coverage for Care:  Guidelines for Providers and Families 


Please know that the information we are providing to you does not take the place of your own doctors’ advice, your own decision making, and we are not endorsing or recommending this/these particular provider(s) for your situation.  We are offering this particular information, as given to us by the provider, based upon your questions and on the express understanding that you agree to the terms of our disclaimer (for a full explanation and the terms of our disclaimer, please clickhere.) By accepting this email it is our understanding that you accept that NEDA has no liability for any acts, omissions, decisions or services attributable to this information, the facilities or treatment providers listed.


People seeking treatment for eating disorders seldom have the resources to pay for intense residential therapy necessary to recover, and few insurers or health plans understand the disease and are reluctant to pay for treatment. In this presentation, Lisa Kantor, JD, Stacey Brown, RN, and David Christian, PhD, LP, present critical information for families and loved ones, treatment providers, and facility staff.

To contact the law firm of Lisa Kantor, call (800) 446-7529. 

Battling with your insurance company? You are not alone. Help us raise awareness about this common and unconscionable practice. Let others gain from your experience and help us improve access to treatment. Share your story by emailing it to [email protected].

NEDA’s Legislative Advocacy Program fights for awareness, education, early intervention and prevention programs, funding for research, and improved access to treatment of eating disorders by speaking with legislators, mobilizing members, and forging alliances with other groups who share our vision. Find out more here:

It seems that insurance issues are common with eating disorders, because there are so many organizations that offer support and guidance on the issue. Here are a few others that may be helpful in your fight:

When appeals fail some patients and families choose to seek advocacy or take legal action. Below are a few law firms and advocacy organizations that have experience with health care law, and have taken special interest in eating disorders cases.

Law firms




We hope that this information proves to be helpful for your needs. You have made a big step by contacting NEDA. Facing an insurance denial can feel daunting. Appealing the denial may seem futile, still many families have discovered through organized, thoughtful and persistent appeals that denials are not always final. NEDA encourages you to stay persistent and get support. You have rights when it comes to your insurance, and we want you to succeed!