Insurance Companies Label Eating Disorders "Behavioral Illnesses," Refuse to Cover Mental Health Costs

By Manning, Holly Anne | National NOW Times, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

Insurance Companies Label Eating Disorders "Behavioral Illnesses," Refuse to Cover Mental Health Costs


Manning, Holly Anne, National NOW Times


According to the National Institute of Mental Health and The New England Journal of Medicine, an estimated five to 10 million people suffer from eating disorders in the U.S. - 90 percent are young women. Surprisingly, most states do not require insurance companies to cover the cost of mental health services for patients with eating disorders,.

"So many young women are affected by anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders," said NOW President Kim Gandy, "but we have yet to see any federal regulations requiring insurance coverage for their treatment. Without federal oversight, insurance companies hold all of the decision-making power, and they are using it to deny coverage for disorders that primarily affect women."

Dr. Thomas R. Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, confirms that anorexia is a "brain disorder" that can be cured with appropriate mental and physical treatments. But insurance companies argue that there are no "standards" prescribed for the treatment of eating disorders and that this lack of medical protocol gives them the authority to determine whether or not a recommended treatment is medically prudent.

Typically, insurance companies cover the cost of treating the physical symptoms such as heart failure, kidney failure, rupture of the esophagus, ulcers and high blood pressure. But treatments that address the mental health of the patient, and the root causes of the disorder, are not generally covered, or are only partially covered.

If anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders are not treated early, they often progress until the physical effects are too disabling for a full recovery. At that point, many sufferers require the most dire and expensive medical treatments. Dealing first with the underlying problem - the eating disorder itself- would increase the likelihood of recovery and could actually be more costeffective for insurance companies.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Insurance Companies Label Eating Disorders "Behavioral Illnesses," Refuse to Cover Mental Health Costs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.