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Prepare to battle for coverage of eating disorder treatment

Without a doubt, you have had some frightening moments in the recent past. Perhaps you have sat in an emergency room on more than one occasion or called for an ambulance for your unresponsive loved one. Certainly, you had more than one argument with your child, an argument that ended in you tearfully pleading for him or her to just eat something.

While it may be difficult for you to understand the motivation behind your son's or daughter's refusal to eat, what is not difficult to understand is that your child needs help. You likely did research into the numerous Florida area treatment centers for eating disorders, and you found a place that agreed to treat your child. Now the question is whether your insurance will cover the claim.

Seeking comprehensive treatment for your child

Effectively treating an eating disorder can take a long time, often years. The last thing you want is to get to a critical point in your child's treatment and have the insurance company withdraw coverage. Some policies offer payment for only part of eating disorder treatment, like in-patient treatment but not counselling. However, it is imperative that your child receive help for both the physical and mental health challenges he or she faces.

Understanding the limitations of your policy is the first step to obtaining the coverage you need. Next, it will be critical to know the factors that may convince the insurance company of the importance of covering your child's treatment.

The consequences of not getting wholistic treatment

Cutting short the essential treatment for your child's eating disorder will prolong the need for intensive treatment because of the tenacious nature of the condition. Denying or delaying treatment of eating disorders can lead to a lifetime of expensive, chronic conditions that may prevent your child from living a productive life, including:

  • Organ damage
  • Heart problems
  • Cognitive issues
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gastrointestinal injury
  • Anemia

Interceding early may allow health professionals to arrest the condition before irreparable physical and mental damage occur.

Getting help

Medical research classifies eating disorders among the most serious psychiatric disorders. The Mental Health Parity Act mandates that mental disorders receive the same coverage as other health issues.

Your insurance company may argue that your child is not sick enough or has a body mass index too high to warrant coverage for treatment. However, the frightening reality is that your child's eating disorder may result in his or her death. The longer an eating disorder goes untreated, the higher the likelihood that it will end in tragedy. With the advocacy from medical and legal professionals, you may be able to make a convincing case for coverage.

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