Using Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for Bulimia Treatment
Founded in 1929, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association provides insurance coverage to over 100 million people across the United States. According to the company, 96 percent of all hospitals and 91 percent of all health care providers contract directly with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Company. While the company works hard to ensure all your medical treatments are paid for, not all eating disorder treatments are covered. If you or someone you love has questions or comments concerning bulimia treatments, contact us at for more information.
Using Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for Bulimia Treatment
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is comprised of 37 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Depending on which state you live in and which company your policy is under, your bulimia coverage may vary slightly. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bulimia is an illness characterized by episodes of eating large quantities of food that are usually followed by excessive exercise or purging via vomiting or using laxatives. An individual who suffers from this disorder may have feelings of a lack of self-control or a fear of gaining weight.
Duke Medicine states at least 10 million Americans suffer from an extreme eating disorder and only around 15 percent of those people ever receive treatment. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association separates eating disorders into different levels of care. Your primary care physician will provide a diagnosis, and the amount of coverage is based on your level of care, which include:
- Acute inpatient
- Residential inpatient
- Residential treatment without 24-hour care
- Partial hospitalization
- Medicine management
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Does Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Cover Bulimia Nervosa Rehab Programs?
In order for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to cover your bulimia nervosa rehab program, you must first receive the diagnosis from your primary care physician. Your physician can then help you locate a rehab program near you, or you can contact your insurance representative to assist you. The contact number can be found on the back of your insurance card or in your policy information packet.
In most cases, when you use an in-network rehab facility, Blue Cross and Blue Shield will pay for the coverage. The amount you pay is subject to any deductibles and copay amounts that are outlined in your policy information. Blue Cross and Blue Shield treats all medically necessary treatment for mental illness and eating disorders the same way it would cover any physical illnesses, but the coverage can vary by state. Forty-eight states have parity laws that require insurance companies to cover mental health disorders equally, but only 25 of those states include eating disorders as a mental health issue. If you have any questions concerning bulimia treatment, call us 24/7 at , and we will help you find solutions.
Inpatient Treatment Length Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Will Cover
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association insurance coverage will pay for inpatient treatment as long as the treatment cannot be provided safely on an outpatient basis. This means if you need treatment to stabilize your condition or have a treatment that has been deemed a medical necessity, it will be covered under your policy. Even if your physician or one of the doctors under the preferred provider list prescribes or recommends a necessary treatment, it does not mean Blue Cross and Blue Shield will consider it a medical necessity. Because of this reason, individuals with bulimia and eating disorders often go without the proper care that they need to get better.
According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, only approximately 1 in 10 individuals who suffer from an eating disorder get help. A residential eating disorder rehab program can cost approximately $30,000 a month, and most patients require several months of treatment. Once you complete your inpatient treatment, you may require years of follow-up care.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Coverage for Bulimia Dual Diagnosis
According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders, approximately half of all individuals who suffer from an eating disorder are also diagnosed with clinical depression or substance abuse. Treating a dual diagnosis can be tricky because both disorders must be treated separately, and it is usually done in stages.
Studies have shown that those with an eating disorder usually have a poor self-image and they turn to drugs and alcohol to help themselves feel better. In spite of the temporary relief, substance abuse can often make the symptoms of eating disorders worse and can put you at a higher risk for heart problems and other dangerous illnesses. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association recognizes the risks of a dual diagnosis and offers extensive mental health and substance abuse services. To find out what your policy will cover, contact a Blue Cross agent.
Specialty Bulimia Treatment Treatments Using Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Specialty bulimia treatments are often not covered by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association or any other insurance agent. Specialty treatments are those that haven’t been proven to help everyone but do provide some relief to certain people. These services might include massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, art therapy, dance therapy and even equine-assisted therapy. Specialty treatments can provide relaxation and stress relief, which can help you deal with the triggers of the eating disorder.
If you would like to receive more information on specialty forms of treatment for bulimia, contact us at and one of our professionals can speak with you about finding help in treating eating disorder issues.
How to Cover What Insurance Doesn’t Pay For
Not all Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association policies will cover all of the cost of your bulimia treatment. If you find out your rehabilitation is not covered, you do not have to go untreated. There are a variety of services and options that can help you pay to get help or provide you with free assistance. If you are still in school, check with a counselor or nurse to see if there are any services available to you. Check with your local health department to see if there are any free clinics in your area. Many times, local volunteers from the medical profession will volunteer their time to low-income families. You may not be able to get inpatient care, but you might have access to counseling and a nutritionist for free.
If you have been referred to a treatment center and Blue Cross won’t pay, ask about a payment plan. Some facilities will allow you to spread out the cost of treatment over several months or even years depending on how high your bill is and the level of care you need.
Verify Insurance Coverage and Find the Best Treatment Centers
In order to verify insurance coverage and locate the best treatment center for your eating disorder, you can contact the Blue Cross Blue Shield confidential helpline and speak to a behavioral health care professional. The helpline can provide a variety of services, including:
- Information on mental health and substance abuse programs in your area
- Helping you determine your level of care
- Referrals to a health care provider specializing in substance abuse or mental health
- Preauthorization for inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
Once you verify that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association will cover your treatment, you should seek help immediately. You can also look through your policy plan details and find out what is covered by your plan. Many individuals opt for a higher premium that covers mental health issues to ensure proper treatment for eating disorders and other unforeseeable illnesses. If you have questions concerning bulimia coverage and treatment, contact us at and we can provide a confidential consultation.