Friday, July 19, 2013

Health Reform Q&A

We are often asked specific questions about the Affordable Care Act. We know it’s a complicated topic, and it’s confusing about the effect it will have on eating disorders. We want to help. Do you have a question about health reform and eating disorders? Do you wonder what the essential health benefits are? Or why the EDC keeps talking about the state exchanges? We want to answer your questions for you! Send your questions to Melanie Morris at and she’ll answer them in a blog post.

Educating Congress One Office At a Time

The EDC is an organization that’s primary purposes is to influence federal policy. We do that through a variety of ways, we draft and advocate for legislation such as the FREED Act, work with the Administration such as submitting comments of proposed rules, and we work with Congress on relevant pending legislation. However, at the most basic level, our work consists of meeting with Members of Congress and/or their staff and educating them on eating disorders. We brief them on the seriousness of eating disorders, we discuss current eating disorders policy, relevant legislation, and current problems with eating disorders coverage. 

Some Members of Congress we frequently work with are great champions for our cause. We developed a relationship with them and they rely on our expertise and advice. However, we need more Members to care about this important cause. We need to develop these relationships with more Members, we need eating disorders to be an issue that every Member of Congress cares about. Because of this we meet with every office every year. 

There are 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 6 delegates (these non-voting members represent District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands). The EDC meets with every office every year. That is 541 offices every year. We meet with Members and/or their staff and we educate them on eating disorder, we discuss the FREED Act, Parity concerns, and ask for their support. Every year. Every office. 

Join us on September 18 for Lobby Day, and meet with a few of these offices yourself and help get your Members of Congress to champion this great cause with us.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

What Does the Latest Health Reform Delay Mean?

You may have heard the news that there was a delay on Health Reform.  What does that mean? Will it effect eating disorders coverage? What parts of health reform do matter? 

As you likely know, there are several components to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also called ‘Health Reform.’ The EDC is working to insure the implementation of the ACA is the most beneficial to people with eating disorders, and providers treating eating disorders, but also to monitor the implementation so we can keep our members aware of current events and alert them to any concerns. 

Last week, the Treasury Department announced that it would delay enforcement of the employer mandate penalties and reporting requirements. The practical implication of this is pretty minimal as most employers subject to the mandate already offer insurance.  The mandate covers only employers with more than 50 full-time (or full-time-equivalent) employees.  It’s important to note that 98% of employers with more than 200 employees offer health insurance, as do 94% of employers with 50-100 employees[1].  The majority of employers currently offer insurance that is both affordable and adequate, (terms defined in the ACA) so it is unlikely this will have a huge practical impact.  

As mentioned in a previous blog post (click here) the primary focus of the Eating Disorders Coalition is the implementation of the state exchanges. In three months, we expect the first open enrollment period for the exchanges to begin. The EDC is working to educate our members, and to work in the states about any coverage changes expected by the ACA.

We will continue blogging on the aspects of the ACA that are applicable to eating disorders and keep you up to date.