08 Dec: Vitale Bill To Require Insurance Coverage For Eating Disorders Advances

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale which would require all health insurers in New Jersey and the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) to provide the same insurance coverage for the treatment of eating disorders as it applies to other biologically-based mental illnesses was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

“According to The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, nearly 8 million people around the country – or about 3 percent of the country’s population – suffer from eating disorders,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex, and Chairman of the Senate Health panel. “These are not cases of someone going to the gym more than they should, or skipping a dessert every now and then – these are people who need treatment for serious, potentially life-threatening mental illness. Insurance providers have a responsibility to cover the treatment that people need in order to overcome the epidemic of eating disorders, and in New Jersey, we want to hold them to that responsibility.”