Yesterday I was in Washington, DC with the Eating Disorders Coalition and many eating disorder/mental health advocates from across the country for the 2015 Spring Lobby Day. This time we were focusing our energies on the Anna Westin Act of 2015. This legislation would clarify the mental health parity act (so that insurance companies stop unjustly denying patients treatment), increase training about eating disorders for health professionals, and encourage truth in advertising.
However — I will write more about that at another time! For now, I wanted to share with you a post that I wrote for Proud2BMe.org on a pertinent topic (a topic that, as you’re acutely aware, can get me quite vociferous): Insurance coverage and eating disorders.
If you’ve had treatment for an eating disorder, then you’ve also had to deal with the frustrating realities of the lack of insurance coverage for these illnesses. When I was first thrown into the process, I had no understanding of the system whatsoever. When I realized just how little my health and wellbeing mattered to my insurance provider and how I would need to fight for treatment almost as hard as I was fighting for my life, I was deeply discouraged.
Over the eleven months of treatment, however, I got better at fighting my provider (Blue Cross Blue Shield) to get what I needed. It was heartening to realize that I was not completely powerless against Blue Cross Blue Shield’s whims. Sometimes I could fight back and win. Often, all it took was my persistence.
So, I wrote a post for Proud2BMe listing what I think are the top five things that anyone in this situation ought to know about their insurance coverage based on what I’ve learned through this process (thank you to Kathleen MacDonald of the Eating Disorder Coalition for your input!). Follow the link below to read the full post.
The takeaway, though, is this: It is possible to fight your insurance company. And win.
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