Using Cook Children’s Health Plan for Eating Disorder Treatment

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Cook Children’s Health Plan is an integrated health care system in Fort Worth, Texas, that has branches and services all across the North Texas area. The company began in 1918, but it has changed significantly since that time, growing to encompass a provider network that spans half the area of Texas. The company focuses on pediatric care and offers treatment from specialists in a wide variety of fields, including mental health. The plan is geared specifically towards low-income families who have received some other form of public assistance, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid.

If you would like more information on affordable health care for eating disorder treatment, call our toll-free helpline at today, and we will be happy to connect you to resources in your area.

There are 43 hospitals in the Cook Children’s Health Plan network and more than 1,300 specialist providers, so you can easily find a local provider matching your child’s treatment needs. Adolescent girls are the most commonly affected by eating disorders, so it is important to watch out for the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder during the teenage years.

Although boys and girls may feel societal pressures to conform to a certain body standard during puberty, girls in particular are pressured to be thin, and many try their first diet as early as grade school. Parents are often concerned about children whose BMIs are above a certain range, but it is important to be careful not to induce a preoccupation with weight during this vulnerable stage. About 95 percent of those with an eating disorder are between the ages of 12 and 25.

Some of the common signs of an eating disorder include:

Will Cook Children’s Health Plan Cover Eating Disorder Treatment?

Cook Children’s Health Plan offers comprehensive coverage for a variety of serious health issues affecting children. The cornerstone of any health care plan is a good relationship with your child’s pediatrician. Maintaining a schedule of regular checkups is a great way to prevent serious conditions such as an eating disorder. In the event that your child’s weight suddenly shifts drastically, which is one of the hallmark signs of an eating disorder, your physician can note the change and recommend treatment.

Eating disorder treatment can range from therapy to medication, but Cook Children’s Health Plan has a solid reputation for providing treatment for all major disorders. The company understands that eating disorders affect every aspect of a child’s health, and it offers coverage accordingly.

There are numerous psychiatric specialists in the Cook Children’s Health Plan network, so it should be fairly easy to find a provider of eating disorder treatment in your area. Consider initially trying general counseling to figure out the severity of the disorder and to obtain an official diagnosis. Before you can pursue other treatment options, such as inpatient treatment or specialty care, it is necessary to first get a clinical assessment.

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How Much Will Eating Disorder Treatment Cost?

Eating disorder treatment cost varies widely from one specialist to another. Simple counseling sessions are enough for some during the early stages of the disorder, but others require more intensive inpatient care. It is estimated that the total cost of eating disorder treatment can add up to $100,000, but that cost can be mitigated by early intervention.

Cook Children’s Health Plan is one of few nonprofit government-funded health care organizations that strive to provide accessible care to low-income families and children. If you already qualify for government services such as CHIP and Medicaid, getting coverage through Cook Children’s Health Plan is both easy and affordable.

Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment vs. Outpatient Services

Inpatient eating disorder treatment is recommended for severe cases in which the sufferer has lost a significant amount of weight in a short time. If your child’s body weight falls below the threshold for a healthy weight, your physician may recommend a stay in an inpatient treatment center to get the disorder under control before normal treatment can commence. Inpatient centers for eating disorders are fully staffed with experts in mental illnesses, as well as doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and counselors, providing you with a stress-free environment in which holistic care and recovery is the focus.

Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions, especially when they occur in children and adolescents. The utmost care is taken to make sure children with eating disorders have the tools and knowledge they need to overcome their issues. For more information about inpatient care and how to find help in treating eating disorder, contact us at . The number is toll-free, and we are available 24/7 to provide you with useful treatment information.

The most important aspect of inpatient care for an eating disorder is counseling. Your child will be matched with one or more counselors who can help the patient work through the underlying reasons behind the disordered eating behaviors. Although it may be easy to generalize and assume that all eating disorders are simply an extreme diet gone wrong, the truth actually goes much deeper.

Children who experience significant change or stress, such as parents’ divorce, moving schools or bullying, are more vulnerable than others to the effects of an eating disorder. In an attempt to feel some sense of control over their lives, kids may turn to the one thing they can control – food intake. Weight gain during puberty is normal, but it may trigger a latent obsession with managing weight. Many parents feel that an eating disorder has developed out of the blue, but the signs and symptoms are often subtle and present for a long time.

In an inpatient treatment center, your child will always have access to medical care and support. Constant supervision in these facilities ensures the patient has a safe and positive experience of recovery. Due to the secretive eating habits of many of those who suffer from an eating disorder, it can be difficult for parents to detect and manage the behavior at home.

Another treatment option for less severe cases is outpatient care. Outpatient treatment for eating disorders generally takes place in a hospital or specialty clinic. While these services are less intensive than the 24/7 attention you receive at an inpatient care center, they still offer significant recovery benefits.

Outpatient treatment is generally much cheaper than inpatient treatment simply because it consumes fewer resources. The staff at an inpatient treatment center is present at all times, so salaries alone cause the cost of treatment to be higher. In addition, most inpatient treatment centers offer recreational facilities for patients, so maintenance costs factor in as well. An outpatient treatment plan may be proposed initially to assess the severity of your child’s condition. If little or no progress is being made, your physician may recommend you move on to inpatient treatment options.

Dual Diagnosis Eating Disorder Therapy

It is not at all uncommon for those with an eating disorder to also have a secondary condition. As many as 50 percent of people with an eating disorder also have severe clinical depression. Secondary conditions like depression can be difficult for parents to notice, especially because adolescents are prone to mood swings. Depression is more than simply a mood swing or a normal period of sadness. While everyone in life experiences periods of highs and lows, depression lasts for significantly longer than normal. Even if your child is not sad, he/she may still have clinical depression. Sadness is only one of many symptoms of depression. Other symptoms include low self-esteem, inability to see yourself clearly, lack of emotions or emotional dullness, and diminished enjoyment in things you once loved.

In addition to depression, it is not uncommon for someone with anorexia to also have symptoms of bulimia or binge eating disorder. Although the conditions may seem contradictory, eating disorders often come in pairs, and the behaviors native to each can alternate with time. It is possible to go through a long period of fasting and starvation followed by binge eating or binging and purging. Because these disorders and behaviors can alternate, it can be even more difficult to detect a pattern in your child’s eating habits.

It is important to seek treatment for any and all secondary conditions that may be present alongside the primary eating disorder. Secondary conditions like anxiety and depression can worsen the symptoms of an eating disorder and lead to an even more severe condition. For more information on secondary conditions and treatment, call . Our number is toll-free, and there is always a friendly representative waiting to take your call.

Insurance vs. Private Pay for Eating Disorder Options

Paying for eating disorder treatment through insurance is by far the cheapest way to go, especially if you have a plan such as Cook Children’s Health Plan. Cook Children’s Health Plan eating disorder coverage offers a comprehensive provider network with services made accessible to children of low-income families. If you qualify for other forms of government assistance, it is very likely you can get your child’s eating disorder treatment covered by the program at an affordable cost.

Paying out of pocket for eating disorder treatment can be prohibitively expensive. Going through your health insurance provider is almost always cheaper when it comes to the type of long-term care that is usually necessary for eating disorder treatment. Inpatient care is one of the most common forms of treatment for an eating disorder, and the intensive nature of the treatment makes it quite expensive on a daily basis.

If you do find yourself forced to pay for some aspect of your child’s eating disorder treatment out of pocket, there are things you can do to reduce the cost. First, consult with your chosen health care provider to find out if it has any financial aid options available. Because the Cook Children’s Health Plan works with those already on some form of medical assistance, you may be eligible for a grant or a lower rate than standard patients. Many hospitals will even perform treatment for free for eligible families whose income levels fall below a certain threshold, so it is important to speak with the financial aid representative at your chosen hospital to find out about all the options available to you.

For more information on paying for your child’s eating disorder treatment, call our toll-free helpline at . We are available 24/7 to take your call and connect you with important treatment resources.