February 12, 2016

Bill proposed mandating health insurance coverage for eating disorders (AUDIO)

A State Senator has proposed a bill during a committee hearing that would mandate health insurance coverage for Missourians with eating disorders that would cover the diagnosis and treatment of the eating disorder as well as residential, medical, and psychiatric treatment.

State Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) is advocating to help promote awareness of eating disorders throughout the state. During a committee hearing, Pearce proposed a bill to the legislature that would provide mandated health insurance coverage for Missourians, but at a cost that would not exceed $30,000 dollars in treatment funding.

Pearce  says funding for the coverage would stem from the state’s heath plan. “The funding, I would assume would come from general revenue. A lot of this would be done by the Missouri consolidated health plan,” he said. “So a lot of that could be taken from existing information, statistics, that the state already has.”

Pearce says that by having this coverage, it can ward off the possibility of long-term hospital stays, or even death, by posing the questions how much money can be saved in the long run and how many lives can be saved? “Eating disorders is treatable if it’s caught early,” he said. “And how we can save lives and improve the lives of folks, and yet, if we don’t catch it early eating disorders has the number one fatality of all mental illnesses.”

He says any time the issue of eating disorders is discussed or the state is exposed, it’s positive.


AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports (1:04)