Using Cigna for Eating Disorder Treatment
With the media and society placing such immense significance on body image and thinness, people across the nation have reverted to losing excessive amounts of weight to fit society’s view of beauty. Obsessing about food and exercise can lead to severe eating disorders, which can result in a life-threatening condition.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) reports that eating disorders involve an unhealthy relationship between weight and food, interfering with the person’s daily activities. Individuals who suffer from an eating disorder experience an unrealistic, self-critical body image viewpoint, which results in disruptive eating habits and physical symptoms like:
- Inability to concentrate
- Mental disorders
- Cardiovascular issues
- Enamel erosion
Eating disorders revolve around weight and control. People use food as a coping mechanism to control painful emotions and deal with tough situations. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), individuals may suffer from one of three disorders: anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa focuses on an intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight, resulting in people restricting their calorie intakes, only eating certain foods and skipping meals. Bulimia nervosa revolves around eating a lot of food and then purging a short time afterwards through self-induced vomiting or laxative usage, and binge eating disorders involve eating a lot of food until the person feels uncomfortably full.
According to ANAD, various factors impact one’s chances of suffering from an eating disorder, including:
- Depression or anxiety
- Psychological factors
- Social-cultural causes
Choosing an eating disorder treatment program that’s covered by Cigna insurance is vital to keeping one’s out-of-pocket costs affordable. If you want help finding the best private rehab facility for you, please call us today at . We’re available 24/7 to help you.
Will Cigna Cover Eating Disorder Treatment?
It is essential to understand just how much Cigna will cover when it comes to eating disorder treatments. Because behavioral benefits can vary from medical benefits, individuals should contact a Cigna representative to figure out what their policies cover. Cigna explains that behavioral health services are covered for mental health conditions, and the behavioral healthcare professional will coordinate the patient’s treatment needs. Cigna does not cover any nutritional counseling, primary care physicians or internal medicine physicians that are related to an eating disorder treatment plan.
The care management staff at Cigna assists patients and their families by addressing any questions or concerns about the diagnosis, treatments, community support and coverage. Cigna helps individuals:
- Find local resources and referrals
- Research potential mental healthcare professionals within the network
- Review various treatment options
- Learn about behavioral coverage benefits
- Coordinate integrated care between medical and behavioral coverage
In order to obtain coverage for eating disorder treatment services, individuals need to obtain preauthorization for certain rehab programs. Most treatment plans for intensive eating disorder programs and hospital care require preauthorization, which covers residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient rehab programs. In-network psychiatrist visits may not need preauthorization. A Cigna representative informs patients what services are covered and need preauthorization. Individuals should also discuss the differences between in-network and out-of-network coverage.
When it comes to coverage, Cigna reports that their representatives work with the patient’s mental healthcare professional to determine the medical necessity of the rehab program, coordinating the level of care and treatment duration to ensure a successful recovery. If you are unsure whether or not your policy covers eating disorder rehab programs, we can help. Call to discuss the treatment options with Cigna insurance coverage.
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How Much Will Eating Disorder Treatment Cost?
Care for individuals suffering from an eating disorder can be quite expensive, especially when it comes to long-term treatment for severe cases. The New York Times reports that eating disorder treatment costs can range upwards of $30,000 per month, and many patients receiving care need at least three months of treatment. Upon release from the eating disorder rehab center, patients often need months or years of follow-up care.
Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment vs. Outpatient Services
Statistics from ANAD show that approximately 24 million Americans suffer from eating disorders, and only 35 percent of patients receive the necessary treatment at an eating disorder rehab facility. Treatment for an eating disorder may include group therapy, medical care and nutritional counseling. A mental healthcare professional will analyze the patient’s behavior and symptoms to determine whether the patient should enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Treatment determination is dependent upon several factors, including:
- Severity of symptoms
- Mental health
- Family support system
- Treatment costs
According to the New York Times, early diagnosis, intervention and treatment with eating disorders are vital to obtaining the proper care and increasing one’s chances of a full recovery. Less severe cases of eating disorders require patients to attend an outpatient treatment program at a mental health clinic, hospital clinic, local health department or counselor’s office. Outpatient programs assist patients with overcoming their eating disorders without having to obtain constant care. Individuals will receive one-on-one counseling or group therapy to help them understand the negative effects of eating disorders and how they can live in a healthier manner.
Outpatient treatment programs should be considered if the patient:
- Can’t take a leave of absence at work
- Wants to remain close to relatives
- Can’t afford inpatient treatment programs
- Doesn’t have a severe case
Many eating disorder conditions can be effectively treated through an outpatient program, but hospitalization or an inpatient rehab facility may be necessary to aid in the healing process. Inpatient eating disorder rehab programs take place in a hospital setting or specialty clinic, allowing the patient to obtain constant care around the clock. Individuals should contemplate inpatient eating disorder treatment when they:
- Require 24-hour care due to the severity of the disorder
- Need acute psychiatric illness stabilization
- Are in danger of hurting themselves or another person
- Suffer from a medical condition that can make recovery life-threatening
Whether individuals wish to attend an inpatient or outpatient eating disorder program, it’s essential to remain committed to the recovery process. If you want help finding the best private rehab facility for you, please call us today at .
Dual Diagnosis Eating Disorder Therapy
Many patients who are struggling with an eating disorder end up suffering from a dual diagnosis, such as a drug addiction or physical ailment alongside their eating disorder. Dual diagnosis eating disorder therapy focuses on addressing both conditions to help the patient effectively recover. Patients suffering from a dual diagnosis need to enter a rehab program that provides integrated dual disorder treatment. On top of the eating disorder, patients may struggle with:
- Mental disorders
- Drug abuse
- Physical illnesses
Studies show that patients with a dual diagnosis are able to fully recover from both diagnoses as long as they receive combined treatment through a single mental health care professional. Successful treatment programs teach patients how to cope with the conditions and any underlying issues by helping them to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to manage their eating disorder. Depending on their mental health coverage, individuals can file the dual diagnosis treatment plan as a “medical necessity,” but their mental health care professional will need to provide proof.
According to Cigna, dual diagnosis eating disorder therapy can include counseling to address the unhealthy eating habits and the underlying physical or mental conditions. Patients should seek integrated behavioral care through a licensed mental healthcare professional at an authorized eating disorder rehab center. Eating disorder coverage can vary with the policy, and Cigna assists patients with communicating effectively with treatment professionals, developing self-management plans for symptoms management, and coordinating treatment with medical and behavioral providers.
Insurance vs. Private Pay for Eating Disorder Options
Finding the proper coverage for eating disorder treatment can be a difficult process, especially when it comes to staying in network. Individuals who are suffering from a severe eating disorder will need to attend an inpatient treatment center, and unless they can afford the expensive treatment costs, they will need to review their insurance policies and understand what the coverage is for specialized care.
Cigna’s case managers can help policyholders obtain access to additional health care as long as the treatment is determined to be medically necessary. According to Cigna, preauthorization for coverage isn’t needed for routine outpatient clinic visits, but other levels of care require benefit authorization beforehand. Eating disorder rehab coverage may include:
- Hospital and residential treatment
- Counseling or therapist sessions
- Crisis intervention
- Follow-up visits and treatment aftercare
Patients who are using their insurance to cover eating disorder rehab treatments need to thoroughly research their policies to see if there are any benefit differentials, requiring them to understand both out-of-network and in-network coverage. Getting care from an in-network behavioral healthcare professional can mean the patient will pay less and not have to deal with a bunch of paperwork. If you are unsure what your policy covers, call us today at .
Individuals who choose to privately pay for eating disorder rehab treatment can speak with the facility beforehand to set up specialized treatment financing. Many rehab centers work with patients who are unable to afford long-term treatment. Patients who do not have the money to pay for treatment can obtain financial assistance through nonprofit foundations, such as the Manna Scholarship Fund, the Kirsten Haglund Foundation, or Moonshadow’s Spirit. These organizations help patients in financial distress obtain the funding they need to successfully recover from an eating disorder.
According to the New York Times, patients who do not have mental healthcare coverage and cannot afford the financial costs associated with eating disorder treatment may be able to obtain treatment at an academic hospital. Some institutes, such as the New York State Psychiatric Institute, provide free care to those who meet certain criteria and participate in research trials. In exchange for staying at the rehab center, patients will fill out surveys and remain in contact with the facility after they are released from the program. Some academic hospitals require patients to participate in trials for the assessment of various psychotherapy approaches or physical activities.
Eating disorders have a negative impact on the patient and those around the patient, especially when it results in a life-threatening condition. If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder and you’re finding help in treating eating disorder issues, please call us today at . We’re available 24/7 to assist you.