Access Project

Medical debt is a huge problem in the US (interesting two-part feature on the M&J show: ONE and TWO). This is not a disease-specific problem, of course - families go into debt over chemo and emergency room visits and buying life-saving drugs. But with mental illness, the problem is even worse.

First, because patients and their families don't have good ways to know how much treatment will cost in advance. Second, because insurance coverage limits who we can consult and limits coverage for things that can't be found in a test tube.

But perhaps worst of all: stigma and lack of understanding of psychiatric treatment keeps families from seeking help. Faced with high costs, a family may be tempted to defer or stop treatment early. With cancer or diabetes, few people would do that - but anorexia and bulimia make families feel as if treatment may be useless and that treatment is optional.

We must, as a society, address how to make sure everyone gets the medical care they need. If you are interested in moving mental health parity forward, get involved with the Eating Disorders Coalition. If you are struggling, check out The Access Project for information on negotiating bills and getting help.

If you are delaying or settling for inadequate care because of money, don't. Your child's life and future are priceless, and eating disorders ARE treatable and beatable.


  1. Does anyone know the status of the mental health insurance parity bill pending in Congress?

  2. When I was with EDC lobbying a few months back it looked good - but I fear Kennedy's illness may bode ill for passage. I have not heard any news lately.

  3. I found the following Action Alert concerning an agreement that was reached between the House and Senate just this week on the mental health parity bill. It says that the "compromise is expected to move quickly through both chambers".

    Check it out here:

    It sounds very hopeful!!

  4. Oh, Hope - thank you!!

    This is great news!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts