BPD causes symptoms like emotional and relationship instability as well as higher anxiety levels. Insurance coverage for treatment may vary, requiring you to check your specific plan.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a cluster B personality disorder marked by heightened sensitivity to rejection, instability in relationships, and challenges in managing emotions, self-image, and behavior.

Here is information on how BPD is diagnosed and whether it’s covered by insurance providers.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) categorizes BPD as a cluster B personality disorder. Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, emotional, or erratic behavior.

Along with BPD, cluster B includes antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder. These disorders share common features such as difficulty regulating emotions, impulsivity, and challenges in maintaining stable relationships.

BPD causes considerable distress and impairment, often co-occurring with various medical and psychiatric conditions. It occurs in about 1.6% of the general population and around 20% of inpatient psychiatric settings.

The DSM-5 outlines the criteria for BPD as a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions, accompanied by marked impulsivity from early adulthood.

Diagnosis requires the presence of at least five of the following:

  • efforts to avoid abandonment, whether real or perceived
  • identity disturbance with a persistently unstable self-image
  • unstable and intense interpersonal relationships involving idealization and devaluation
  • affective instability marked by intense mood reactivity lasting hours to a few days
  • chronic feelings of emptiness
  • inappropriate, intense anger, or difficulty controlling anger
  • impulsivity in at least two areas that can be self-damaging (e.g., reckless driving, substance misuse, overspending, or overeating)
  • transient paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms (excluding suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in another criterion)

The criteria for insurance coverage of BPD can vary among insurance providers. Generally, insurance coverage may depend on factors such as the severity of the diagnosis, the presence of co-occurring disorders, and the specific terms of the insurance plan.

Insurance providers may hesitate to cover BPD due to its classification as a nonacute, constant condition. This reluctance is influenced by the historical challenges faced by Axis II personality disorders (a classification previously used in the DSM-4) in terms of limited coverage. Axis II disorders include personality disorders and intellectual disabilities.

Individuals with BPD are most likely to receive coverage for treatments that address specific symptoms and co-occurring disorders rather than the overall BPD diagnosis.

Insurance companies often cover therapies and interventions related to conditions such as anxiety, depression, substance misuse, and eating disorders, which frequently accompany BPD.

Psychotherapy is a commonly covered treatment, and various therapeutic approaches, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), may be included. Medication, if deemed necessary and sometimes with prior authorization, is another aspect of treatment that insurers may cover.

Getting insurance coverage for BPD

The classification code for BPD in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) is F60.3. This code is used to identify and classify the disorder for billing and coding purposes in healthcare settings.

While having an ICD-10 code for BPD is important for communication among healthcare professionals and insurers, it doesn’t guarantee automatic insurance coverage.

If you have BPD and need insurance coverage, start by contacting your insurance provider directly. Inquire about specific terms, limitations, and covered treatments in your plan, to get better clarity on BPD-related care.

If you suspect BPD in yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

A mental health professional can give you a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis and help you get started on a treatment plan. Early intervention can lead to effective management and improved well-being.

Open communication is key — discuss your concerns honestly with your provider. BPD is associated with severe psychosocial challenges, increased disability, and heightened suicide risk — 50 times higher than the general population. A skilled therapist can provide valuable support in navigating these difficulties for you or your loved one.

If your symptoms turn out to not be BPD, a therapist can still assist in managing your stress and anxiety levels, as well as helping you improve your relationships with others.

BPD falls under cluster B personality disorders, marked by interpersonal relationship instability, self-image challenges, and emotional and impulsive difficulties. Symptoms usually emerge in early adulthood, causing distress and impairing daily functioning.

If you suspect BPD, seek an evaluation from a mental health professional, openly discussing your concerns. Note that insurance coverage for BPD treatment varies, so it’s important to check your plan’s details.

Early intervention and proper treatment can have a positive impact on managing the condition.