Assembly Passes Measure to Provide Insurance Coverage for Eating Disorders

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Nily Rozic today announced passage of legislation requiring insurance companies to provide full coverage for all aspects of eating disorder treatments (A. 1619, Rozic).

“Eating disorders are a treatable mental illness that affect a person’s mental and physical health,” Speaker Heastie said. “This bill ensures that those suffering from an eating disorder or their families are not burdened by costly treatment programs.”

“Eating disorders are a serious illness that can be highly treatable with affordable medical care that doesn’t leave families choosing between bankruptcy and recovery,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic. “Passing this bill is critical to not only ensuring proper insurance coverage, but also improving education and awareness about the complexities of eating disorders and effective treatment.”

The bill would require insurers to provide coverage for inpatient hospital care and physician services, bringing coverage of these disorders up to date with existing mental health parity laws.

In the United States, thirty million people will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED). Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. The mortality rate for females from fifteen to twenty four years old suffering from anorexia nervosa is twelve times higher than all other causes of death.

These disorders can have devastating consequences to a person’s physical health, relationships and finances. One month of treatment for an eating disorder can cost up to $30,000. Despite the severity and treatability of these conditions it can be difficult to obtain insurance coverage for costly life-saving treatment programs.