WASHINGTON: Bill Mandates Coverage For Eating Disorders
State Sen. Lisa Brown (D) has cosponsored a bill to mandate insurance coverage for persons suffering from eating disorders. "My major goal is to make sure that, first of all, the treatment is available, and if there's a recommended treatment, that people get the treatment they need," Brown said. But two insurers that were "hit by heavy losses in the past two years" oppose the measure. "We believe it adds to the health care costs and it adds to the cost of our members," said Robin Valaitis-Heflin of Medical Service Corp. And Michael Erikson, director of behavioral health at Group Health Northwest, noted, "The part that will be difficult is, how do you divide up the cost of increasing health care? How you pay for that really becomes the issue. We're all struggling with this." The bill backed by Brown mandates the insurers cover eating disorders the same way they cover physical conditions. Brown said the bill is now being reviewed "to figure out exactly how it would affect insurance companies" (Barker, Spokane Spokesman-Review, 8/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.