Insurance is catching up

eating disorder treatment coverage

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!

Get involved today, and then jump on my Facebook page and tell me about what you are doing to help bring about change. Together we can make a difference!

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Tamara Duarte

Tamara Duarte is a counselor, author, speaker, and activist. Her private practice, Get Centered Counseling in Vancouver WA, helps women with food and body issues learn to love themselves, their body, their life, and their relationships. Her life’s work is steeped in personal experience, having fifteen years in recovery for anorexia, in addition to being a breast cancer survivor. An up and coming force in the counseling community, Tamara has been published in a textbook called Treatment Strategies for Substance and Process Addictions, and has sat on a panel at the American Counseling Association Conference, where she spoke to her peers on strategies and tools to use with clients struggling with eating disorders. Having a deep, personal understanding of what it takes to recover from this condition, she seeks to be an example to those she treats, to let them know that recovery is possible. Currently developing a podcast which addresses the cultural issues that promote body shame, self-esteem issues and eating disorders, Tamara lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband and best friend, Adam, enjoying life to the fullest with their two beautiful children, Jacob and Chloe.