Eating disorder treatment specialists in Vancouver, WA. are celebrating the state of Missouri for signing a bill compelling insurance companies to cover the treatment of certain types of eating disorders.
Even though eating disorders affect approximately 30 million men and women in the United States (ANAD, 2015), most individuals seeking treatment will discover that it’s hard to get an insurance company to cover these potentially life-threatening mental illnesses. Missouri is changing that.
Last week Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, signed a bill that will mandate insurance companies in the state to cover certain types of eating disorder treatments. This is a huge step for the eating disorder community. Across the country, specialists in the field are rejoicing that at least one state is seeing the light.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re in Vancouver, WA. like I am, it might not directly affect you right now, but it means there is hope. With insurance companies in another state covering eating disorders, it sets a precedent for our state to fight for coverage.
Why is it important?
Let me repeat what I said above to reinforce its importance: Eating disorders are potentially life-threatening mental illnesses that affect approximately 30 million men and women in the United States. Research has shown that anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, and all the combinations of eating disorders between are equal opportunity, meaning they do not discriminate by gender, age, race, sexuality, origin, or religious preference. With this many people fighting for their lives, and so many others at risk, why is it taking so long for insurance companies to jump on board?
What can you do?
Get involved with groups like the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA). Organizations like these, and many others, are working with legislatures to change the way people think about and treat eating disorders.
Not into speaking in front of Congress or public marches? That’s okay! There are other ways to let your voice be heard. You can write letters or sign petitions. Everything helps!