Friday, October 14, 2011

Insurance Wars

Yesterday's article from the NY Times - it's regarding eating disorders and insurance coverage for residential treatment in the USA. Just keeping you aprised:Eating Disorders a New Front in Insurance Fight

3 comments:

Cammy said...

What were your thoughts on it? My gut reaction was "yes, cover EDs to the hilt," but I did sort of see some of the points about reasons they don't like to cover residential treatment. I'm sure it all depends on the case, though, which is why blanket policies are so frustrating...

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Well, number one - it's a huge thing that this was the article on the front of the NY times. So that's a big plus for eating disorders regardless. As for coverage of residential treatment, I think more research needs to be done to see how beneficial it is for those struggling. The more research, the more informed all decisions can be. One thing I DO hate is that people are often turned away or denies coverage for reasons like not being underweight enough. That sickens me because people can be so at risk and the weight is often what stops them from being covered residentially. In a nutshell, I can see validity on both sides, but do feel eating disorders are lumped into a strange category with not enough attention given to the right things, and I think it's amazing how much discussion this article has generated PERIOD. It's circulating rapidly and that means a lot to me.

Cammy said...

I definitely agree with you about being glad the article seems to have gotten so much attention. I think that people too often chalk EDs up to some kind of weird behavioral quirk and don't realize how disturbingly high the mortality rate is, or how biologically based the issues can be.

I agree with you too about having weight as a criteria for insurance coverage; that just feeds into the common fear in recovery that one isn't "sick enough" for their problems to be valid unless they're emaciated, which creates a huge risk for relapse. I found that I couldn't even start to work on a lot of emotional issues until I'd gained a significant amount of weight back--just the time when a lot of people would probably run out of insurance coverage in a residential program.

I suppose having a more standardized form of accreditation or even "curriculum" for residential programs would be a help for policy coverage, but a program that works for one person may not be right for another...tons of issues to consider. But you're right, it's fantastic that it's out in on a high-profile forum of discussion!