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October 4, 2013

Obamacare and the Benefits for Those in Eating Disorder Treatment

Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

By Jan. 1, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — better known as Obamacare — will be well on its way toward full implementation. Because of the many myths and fears due to this change, CCED would like to summarize the facts of the law and the benefits to those in eating disorder treatment.

Simply put, Obamacare provides an avenue to insurance for all Americans. It in no way represents a government takeover of health care.

Historically, the insurance market has excluded many people, including those with a history of prior illness or those who fall into various groups rated by age, gender, or previous utilization of the healthcare system. But under the ACA, everyone will be able to get private insurance — with no barriers.

For those with eating disorders, this is particularly important. As far too many have learned, an eating disorder is a pre-existing condition, which in the past insurers have used to deny care. This will no longer be the case.

Additionally, under the ACA, children are allowed to remain on their parent’s insurance until age 26 (formerly age 18). Because eating disorders often strike at early to mid-adolescence, this is also very important to our field.

Another major advantage of the ACA is lower insurance rates. Multiple studies from several independent foundations predict lower healthcare costs for consumers and lower insurance payments, particularly for those with significant disorders, such as eating disorders, as they will no longer be placed in a “high-risk pool.”

Lastly, the ACA will expand Medicaid, so that those who fall below the poverty line can receive healthcare insurance. (This is still being debated by the Ohio House and Senate, although it has been proposed and actively supported by Governor John Kasich. Please contact your representative on this important issue.)

Beginning this month, health-care exchanges are now set up so that anyone who wants to purchase health care and is not covered by their employer is able to do so. There are 12 insurance companies providing care through these exchanges in Ohio. Consumers are now able to compare benefits, costs and make decisions about the plan they require.

Thanks to the ACA, no one will be denied health care based on health history, age, or gender. If you have been denied health insurance in the past, this will change as of January 2014.

If you have any questions or concerns, please visit, contact your healthcare provider or your treatment team.

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