There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (email@example.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!
While You Wait
Seeking help for an eating disorder is a powerful step toward recovery. Many say it’s the hardest one. But if the treatment that’s right for you is not available right away, you may find yourself facing another challenge: a waiting period before care begins.
We know how hard this can be. We’re here to support you with the resources you need to navigate this time.
Why is there a waitlist for some programs?
The pandemic’s impact on eating disorders is profound and ongoing. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase not only in eating disorders but also in the severity of symptoms. Consider the following statistics, excerpted from the Eating Disorders Coalition’s letter to Admiral Rachel L. Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
- 62% of people in the U.S. with anorexia experienced a worsening of symptoms as the pandemic hit, and nearly one-third of Americans with bulimia and binge eating disorder reported an increase in binge eating episodes and urges, according to an ongoing study from the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED)
- NEDA saw a 40% increase in helpline call volume during the first year of the pandemic
- The National Alliance for Eating Disorders saw a 108% increase in referrals and an 82% increase in support group attendance in 2020 and surpassed those figures in 2021
- Eating disorder treatment providers have seen a 30–100% increase in demand for care, with call volumes and inquiries for care doubling, increasing acuity of illness, and wait times expanding from 1 week to 6–8 months in some areas of the country
In short, the demand for eating disorder care has never been higher. Organizations like The Emily Program and our sibling brand Veritas Collaborative are actively working to expand access to treatment with additional services and programs—but still, the need is great. Consistent with national trends, some of our programs are seeing waitlists due to the dramatic increase in demand.
How long will my wait be?
Wait times vary by treatment program and location. You will know there is an opening in the program you’re waiting for through communication with your Admissions Coordinator. They will contact you after your eating disorder assessment and keep you informed at regular intervals until you are admitted into the program.
What can I do while I wait for treatment?
We encourage you to stay connected with your community-based providers while you wait for treatment to begin. Continue to see your community medical provider and any mental health, nutrition, or psychiatry professionals in the meantime.
Please consider giving your community providers written consent for them to share information with The Emily Program by completing this Release of Information form. The exchange of information between providers can be especially useful in guiding care decisions.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about the waitlist, have found care elsewhere, or decided against seeking care with us at this time. We want to hear from you.
While you wait, you might question whether it is worth it to proceed with treatment or feel disheartened with waiting. This is understandable. We want you to know that you are not alone in these feelings, and there are resources available to you during this time.
Free Community Resources
Eating Disorder Helplines
ANAD Helpline (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)
- Call 1-888-375-7767 for support, encouragement, and more.
- Visit the ANAD website for more information.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- If you are in crisis, there are options available to help you cope. For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the United States, call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Chat services are also available.
- Visit the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline website for more information or to access chat support.
Please access the nearest Emergency Department or call 911 in case of a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.
With Me When App
Find inspiration, education, and encouragement wherever you go with the With Me When app.
- Logs to track meals, behaviors, feelings, and goals
- Tools to develop coping skills
- Exercises to support mindfulness and relaxation
- Insights to better understand eating disorders and the recovery process
With the ability to customize logs and more, you can tailor the With Me When experience so that it’s uniquely yours. If you’re an Emily Program client, you can also complete your client paperwork and receive appointment alerts through the app.
Access the web version of With Me When here.
Health Insurance FAQs
What does ‘covered service’ mean?
If a service is ‘covered’ by your insurance that means it is included in your benefits. Those benefits also determine the portion of out-of-pocket cost associated with the service.
What does it mean if something is excluded from my insurance plan?
If a service is excluded, it is not included in your benefits. You may choose to pursue that service and pay for it yourself.
Why aren’t my benefits a guarantee of payment?
- Insurance companies will tell you: “Benefit quotes are not a guarantee of payment. Payment is determined at the time a claim is received.”
- The Emily Program checks coverage for all of our services against your benefits as accurately as possible; however, many client-specific variables will impact your benefits once a claim is sent. These variables include: Diagnosis code, length and frequency of visits, service location, and treating provider.
Why can’t The Emily Program tell me exactly how much my treatment will cost?
The total cost of treatment is determined by your benefits at the time services were provided. This includes network status, out-of-pocket payments made year-to-date, insurance pricing for these services, and The Emily Program’s contract with each insurance company. These factors (among many others) affect how a claim is processed and paid by insurance – and with this many variables, it isn’t possible to provide estimated total out-of-pocket costs with accuracy.
What does it mean when a service requires authorization?
Insurance may require additional permissions (authorizations) be obtained by The Emily Program before services can be provided. Authorizations for service generally are obtained by The Emily Program prior to the service being rendered.
- While the authorization must be approved for the service to be covered, an authorization does not guarantee coverage for a service. If you want to know for certain whether a service is covered, you must talk with your insurance provider.
- Insurance payment is determined at the time a claim is received and decisions are based on medical necessity.
What is “Coordination of Benefits” and what do I need to do?
“Coordination of Benefits” is an annual requirement for all insurance companies to determine if additional insurance coverage exists. If dual insurance coverage does exist, Coordination of Benefits will determine which plan is primary, and which plan is secondary. If Coordination of Benefits is needed on your plan, all services billed will be denied and you will be responsible for 100% of the amount owed.
- Call your insurer and inform them if you have additional coverage (e.g., a secondary insurance company.)
What’s the difference between primary and secondary insurance?
When dual-insurance coverage exists, one of the plans identifies as primary, i.e., the ‘first in line’ to pay for your healthcare services. The other will identify as secondary. Services are billed to both insurance plans prior to deductible or co-insurance costs being billed to the client. Call your insurance provider to have Coordination of Benefits set up with both plans prior to claims being processed through insurance (see above).
Can my services be billed differently to accommodate a better benefit level?
The Emily Program submits claims to insurance based on the service rendered, the amount of time for each service, the medical information required (i.e. diagnosis code), and the contract we have with the insurance company. Claims cannot be adjusted to accommodate your benefits.
- Patient responsibility amounts are determined by your insurance company, not The Emily Program.
For additional questions and information regarding your benefits, please contact the Customer Service Line on the back of your insurance card.
Please call The Emily Program Client Accounts Team with questions regarding the services you have received, clarification on your statement, and payment plan options: 1-888-364-5977, ext. 1357.
Related insurance links
What will your insurance pay?
Step one: Call your insurance provider
You and your loved ones are the best advocates for your own benefits. The Emily Program will contact your insurance company for a general quote of benefits after scheduling your intake appointment, but to determine how much of the cost of your care you are responsible for, you must contact your insurance provider personally.
Our insurance verification tool will help guide you through this conversation. This tool includes everything you will need to have ready for the phone call to your insurance company to get an estimate of your insurance benefits while you are at The Emily Program.
If you continue to have trouble receiving adequate coverage from your insurance company or if you’re unclear on the terminology, please read our:
If you are unable to get the information you need, another option is to call your insurance company’s ‘Health Advocate’ or ‘Case Manager’ department. These insurance representatives are dedicated to helping you understand and navigate your benefits. (Look for a phone number or other contact information on the back of your insurance card.)
Related insurance links
Current insurance providers
Note: This list is subject to change. Please use our insurance verification tool and contact your insurance company for coverage details. The Emily Program works with the following insurers so you receive the highest level of benefits.
Remember to bring your insurance card with you to your appointments.
- America’s PPO
- BlueCross BlueShield
- Group Health Cooperative (GHC)
- Medica/United Behavioral Health/Optum
- Medical Assistance
- MMSI/Mayo Health Solutions
- South Country Health Alliance
- Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
- Apex Health Solutions
- Beacon Health Options
- Molina Healthcare
- Medical Mutual of Ohio
- Mutual Health Services
- Ohio Health/Optima Health
- OSU Health Plan
- Asuris Northwest Health
- Community Health Plan of Washington
- Coordinated Care
- First Choice Health Network
- Kaiser Permanente
- Molina Healthcare
- Premera BlueCross
- Regence BlueShield
- United Behavioral Health/United Healthcare/Optum
- UHC Community Plan*
*In-network coverage in King County
If The Emily Program is not “in-network” under your insurance policy, you may be able to utilize out-of-network benefits. Not all insurance companies cover all services, so be sure to check with your specific insurance policy about coverage.
If your insurance company is not on the list, there may be other options. Coverage may still be available out-of-network or on a case-by-case basis. Call us at 1-888-364-5977, ext. 1612 to start the process.
Related insurance links
What to expect at The Emily Program
When you begin the admissions process, you can expect to speak with a compassionate staff member who truly understands the complexities of eating disorders. We honor your trust in us and we keep everything that you share with us confidential.
Take the first steps toward your recovery
Step 1: Reach out
Reach out to our admissions team at 1-888-364-5977, or complete our online contact form. We’re here when you need us—7 days a week. We’ll answer any questions, talk about what you’re experiencing, collect basic information (name, contact info, and insurance details), and schedule your eating disorder assessment.
Step 2: Eating disorder assessment
During your assessment, you’ll be asked a series of questions related to your relationship with food and your body. We’ll evaluate your symptoms and unique needs to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you, answering any questions along the way.
Step 3: Admission
After your assessment, you’ll be contacted by an Admissions Coordinator, who will guide you through the medical, financial, and logistical aspects of admission. They will keep you informed and involved to make your transition to care as smooth as possible.
As we rise to meet the unprecedented demand for eating disorder services, you or your loved one may need to wait to begin treatment. Wait times vary by program, and you will know when there is an opening through regular communication with your Admissions Coordinator.
Note: Please see our COVID-19 policies for information on what to expect.
That first phone call or email to The Emily Program feels huge. We know. Many of us have been there, too. That’s why our team walks with you through the eating disorder assessment and eating disorder treatment process, explaining the details and answering questions every step of the way. You can do this.
How it begins:
Our admissions process
Our simple admissions process begins with an eating disorder assessment. (We accept self-referrals and provider referrals from across the country and around the globe.) If you have questions about insurance coverage, refer to our Insurance resources.