To all insurance companies, insurance employees, executives, and owners, legislators, medical practitioners, healthcare providers, medical schools, CDC, providers, clinicians, and frankly, everyone, everywhere who is involved in the coverage, treatment, or legislation of eating disorders…
I read her post.
My heart sank.
“My daughters struggles are over. There is another angel. I can’t cope.”
I’ve lost count of how many posts I’ve read, and phone calls I’ve received, from friends who have lost their loved one as a direct result of an eating disorder. No matter how many times I hear of the loss, it rips my heart out every single time.
The stories are always the same. The insurance company refused to cover “treatment to outcome”.
- The insurance company denied continued coverage after only three weeks “because she is eating”.
- The insurance company denied continued coverage because “they’ve gained some weight”.
- After only six days, the insurance company is denying continued residential “because he is compliant. Patient can return to home environment”.
- “Admission to residential treatment programs are very serious and should only happen when one is so ill that you can only be helped with such admission…”
If it were cancer… Insurance companies would not mandate you fail at a lower level of care before receiving prescribed treatment.
If it were cancer… Treatment to “outcome” would be mandated…by doctors, by the world.
If it were cancer… and 10 chemo treatments were prescribed, treatment would not be ceased after three chemo treatments, with a disclaimer “cancer appears better“.
Jordan Leigh Croft lost her life on Friday, September 27, 2019, at the age of 23, as a direct result of her eating disorder. She had been battling a brain-based, biological illness, an
illness she did not choose, for years. Her family fought tirelessly to get Jordan the life-preserving treatment and care she deserved. Jordan finally admitted to residential treatment, and was making progress. Jordan was hopeful. For the first time in years, her family had HOPE. After only four weeks, insurance denied continued coverage, because “she was eating”. Her family argued “without treatment she will die”!
Weeks later, SHE DID.
Today is her funeral.
A funeral that likely would not be happening had insurance not DENIED life-saving treatment and coverage to Jordan, allowing her to remain in the residential support environment.
How many funerals?
How many funerals… Until there is outrage?
How many funerals… Until we defend that eating disorders are serious, biologically influenced illnesses… an illness nobody chooses?
How many funerals… Until we recognize eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that affect millions of individuals worldwide regardless of age, race, nationality, shape, size, or gender and incur considerable personal, familial, and societal costs?
How many funerals… Until we acknowledge that approximately 60% of the risk for anorexia is genetics… NO ONE CHOOSES an eating disorder?
How many funerals… Until we understand that eating disorders are treatable? Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible.
How many funerals…Until we act aggressively, understanding that early detection and intervention may improve prognosis?
How many funerals… Until insurance companies are willing to cover life-saving treatment and care to “outcome”?
How many funerals…Until insurance are willing to cover treatments their insureds are paying premiums to access?
How many funerals…Until insurance companies understand that most individuals with eating disorders do not appear emaciated?
How many funerals… Until we understand the incidence of death for an individual experiencing anorexia is almost six times higher than their peers?
How many funerals… Until we understand someone will DIE in the next 62 minutes as a direct result of their eating disorder?
How many funerals…Until we recognize eating disorders KILL? They have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, surpassed only by opiod addiction.
How many funerals…Until we grasp the cumulative lifetime risk of an eating disorder is approximately 5%.
How many funerals… Until insurance companies believe their profit is not more important than a life?
How many funerals… Until insurance companies consider their denial has life-ending consequences?
How many funerals… Until doctors, hospitals, healthcare practitioners, and emergency room attendants are able to identify, and appropriately treat, an eating disorder?
How many funerals…Until all individuals have the opportunity to receive life-saving treatment?
How many funerals…Until there are resources to support individuals and families in communities?
How many funerals… Until healthcare practitioners choose to get EDucated on eating disorders?
How many funerals…Until medical programs include eating disorder training? Of 637 residency training programs that participated, only 42 programs offer a formal, scheduled rotation on eating disorders.
How many funerals… Until healthcare practitioners realize their failure to be EDucated results in a lag time of 5 YEARS between a patient’s first visit to a physician and an actual eating disorder diagnosis?
How many funerals… Until mental health parity is practiced and enforced?
How many funerals… Until eating disorders receive necessary research funding? In 2019, eating disorders received $40 million dollars in research funding, compared with $117 million for PTSD, $262 million for Schizophrenia, and $524 million for depression.
How many funerals… Until eating disorders are treated with the same urgency and attention from the CDC and medical practitioners as vaping?
How many funerals… Until individuals are not silenced by their perceived stigma and shame of an eating disorder?
How many funerals… Until legislators demand and enforce legislation that mandates research, eating disorder training and EDucation, and access to treatment to outcome for all?
How many funerals… Until individuals and caregivers receive comparable treatment, education, and respite care as those that are affected by cancer?
How many funerals… Until the eating disorder community rallies together, stands united, and becomes a cohesive and collaborative people, demanding, mandating, NO MORE FUNERALS?
How many funerals… Until insurance companies are held accountable for the “reckless and cavalier” manner in which they administer claims?
How many funerals… Until insurance companies are charged with murder?
23 PEOPLE WILL DIE TODAY as a direct result of their eating disorder.
How many funerals will there be until we say “ENOUGH”?
How many funerals…Until we are NO LONGER SILENT?
How many funerals… Until we “choose” NO MORE FUNERALS?
These are the “faces” of a few of the loved ones my friends have lost. Faces that represent the lives that have been “stolen“, many by insurance companies who have made “for profit” decisions. When will we say “NO MORE FUNERALS”!
Imagine what would happen if we all SHARED this blog…Started the conversation!
Videos sharing the faces of a few of the precious lives we have lost…
Written by Cherie Monarch, a mom. To contact author email:firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-422-3668
If you are caring for a loved one with an eating disorder, please join Mom2Mom – Eating Disorders Family Support Network or Man2Man – Eating Disorders Family Support Network on Facebook. No one should walk this journey alone.
If you have been affected by an eating disorder or disordered eating and would like further information or help, please Contact Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness for support at (866) 662.1235 toll free or email@example.com