Posts Tagged ‘Insurance Coverage’

Strong Support for Mandatory Birth Control Coverage

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Back in 2010, the Affordable Care Act mandated that private health insurance companies cover birth control for their plan participants.  It is one of the so-called 10 essential benefits that must be covered by insurers.  Some of the other benefits include screenings for cancer and vaccines.  You don’t even have to pay co-pays for these 10 essential benefits and often don’t have to pay anything for the contraception either.  A recent study at the University of Michigan found that the majority of Americans strongly support the mandate for birth control coverage by insurance companies.  They surveyed more than 2,000 people for the study and found that 69% of them were in support of this mandatory contraception coverage.  Not surprisingly, women were among the strongest supporters of the mandate.  Black and Hispanic respondents also supported the mandate in higher percentages.

This information comes from NBC News’ Maggie Fox in the article “Most support birth control mandate, survey shows“.  While most Americans support the mandate for health insurance companies to cover birth control, there is strong opposition to this mandate as well.  Religious groups, employers with conservative beliefs, and outspoken conservatives don’t believe that companies should have to pay for contraception when it is against their personal beliefs.  Two employers filed a lawsuit against the mandate, saying that it is against their religious beliefs to support some kinds of birth control.  The Supreme Court will rule on that lawsuit in June of this year.  Health insurance companies had to revamp a lot of their health plans with this change in contraception coverage, as well as other mandates that have been coming into law since 2010.  The majority of Americans support the mandated birth control coverage, so you will continue to find this available when searching for health insurance plans.

Insurance Coverage Lacking for Eating Disorders

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

If you or a family member have ever suffered from an eating disorder, you probably know how difficult it can be to get your health insurance company to pay for treatment.  Kaiser Health News discusses this in an article by Shefail S. Kulkarni entitled “Patients Often Find Getting Coverage for Eating Disorders is Tough.”  They talk about a 44-year old woman who has been fighting binge eating disorder for two decades.  Since eating disorders like this, anorexia, and bulimia are mental health conditions; coverage is very individualized and hard to classify.

Unfortunately, many people don’t get consistent treatment because their health insurance either doesn’t cover eating disorder treatment or only covers partial or short-term treatment.  As with most mental health disorders, treatment can take a long time, sometimes the rest of one’s life.  It takes comprehensive care from a primary doctor, nutritionist, therapist, and psychiatrist to treat most eating disorders.  Patients say that insurance companies are less than generous with their coverage in these areas compared to insurance coverage for physical ailments.  The Eating Disorder Coalition fought hard to get eating disorders classified as “essential health benefits” that must be covered per the Affordable Care Act.  They were not successful.

Fourteen million people are suffering from eating disorders right now.  But because health insurance companies are suffering with soaring health care costs, eating disorder coverage is often one of the first things to get dropped from insurance.  While insurers don’t think this coverage is essential, almost 100% of eating disorder specialists say that denial of coverage for people battling anorexia puts them in a life-threatening situation.  Insurance companies argue that since there is not a clear cut treatment program for eating disorders, it is more difficult to provide blanket coverage.  Parents of autistic children have run into the same kinds of problems when it comes to coverage of their children’s treatment.  After fighting insurers, coverage for autism treatment is now mandated in 31 states.

Eating disorder treatment ranges from nutritionist appointments, group therapy, and antidepressants to hospitalization and admittance to mental health facilities.  Once such facility’s worker said that insurance companies are much more likely to pay for treatment for mood disorders than they are for eating disorders.  Insurers also are quicker to authorize longer stays when it comes to mood disorder treatment.  Patients believe a lot of the problem is with the stigma attached to eating disorders.  It seems to many outsiders that someone should just eat something or stop eating, but the mental health issue is far beyond allowing patients to do that.  There is definitely spotty coverage when it comes to eating disorders, so check with your personal insurer to see what services you can receive if you need eating disorder treatment.

Compare Health Insurance for Coverage of Swine Flu Vaccine

Friday, November 13th, 2009

The best way avoid the swine flu that has caused over 4,000 deaths is by getting the vaccine, according to “CDC’s swine flu toll: 4,000 dead, 22 million ill” by Lauran Neergaard of the AP.  The number of deaths is quadruple original estimates because without many people seeking medical care for the swine flu (or H1N1), it has been a hard number to quantify.  It’s still very early in the season and 22 million Americans have already been sick with the swine flu.

To find out if your swine flu vaccine is covered you have to compare health insurance.  But finding that vaccine might be even more difficult.  An AP poll shows that 1 out of 6 parents has vaccinated at least one of their children, but that at least 14% more have been looking for vaccines to no avail.  The CDC urges those adults looking for vaccines for themselves and/or their children to be patient because more become available every day.

Even with many deaths and millions of illnesses, the majority of the public seems not to view swine flu as a very big threat.  Many have been fed up with the “hype” and a lack of vaccine availability.  Only about a quarter of poll respondents said that they will continue to search for a vaccine that they haven’t gotten their hands on yet.  The CDC hopes that their statistics will get more people to seek out the vaccine for their children and themselves since getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of a deadly new flu strain.