Coverage for Residential Treatment

My fellow blogger GreyThinking tweeted about an interesting article yesterday:

Anorexia Ruling May Affect Coverage for Mental Illness

I would be interested in people’s opinion on this.  I find it very interesting…

In my opinion, it basically it comes down to how residential is classified in the health insurance scheme.  I can easily see an insurance company say, as they are saying in this case, “look, we cover unlimited inpatient days for physical health that is medically necessary, so we also cover unlimited inpatient days that are medically necessary for mental health.  But, residential is not inpatient, so that is not covered.”  Now in this case, it sounds like although Castlewood is technically considered residential, it really is no different than inpatient (the woman was tube fed, for example).  So, I think the difference between inpatient and residential is a very blurry line.

What do you think?  Is residential on the same level of inpatient, and thus comparable to physical health benefits, or is it something that there is no physical health comparison? I personally think it should be covered no matter what, but legally, that is the question.

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