National Eating Disorders Association

New York State Senate Passes Bill to Help More New Yorkers Who Struggle with Eating Disorders

Bill to expand New York's Mental Health Parity Law to include a more comprehensive list of eating disorders.

Albany, NY -- May 7, 2019 ––  New York State Bill S.3101, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, passed the Senate yesterday with a vote of 53-10. If signed into law by Governor Cuomo, this bill would greatly improve insurance coverage and access to care for eating disorders in New York State. Advocates from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) have been pushing for this legislation to pass since it was first introduced in 2017.

The Assembly version of the bill, A. 1619, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, previously passed the Assembly on February 26 with a vote of 131 to 5. 

“Eating disorders are real, complex, devastating conditions that affect health, productivity, and families across New York,” said Rozic (D, WF-Fresh Meadows). “Eating disorders are highly treatable with affordable medical care that doesn't leave families choosing between bankruptcy and recovery. I am proud to have championed this crucial, life-saving legislation.”  

New York's Mental Health Parity Law currently includes coverage for both anorexia and bulimia,  which excludes individuals who fall under other eating disorder diagnoses. Under this legislation, the definition of eating disorders will be vastly expanded and include:

  • Pica
  • Rumination disorder
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorders
  • Any other eating disorder contained in the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5)

Necessary treatment for an eating disorder can cost more than $30,000 per month. While eating disorders are extremely serious, recovery is possible. Clarification offered in this proposed legislation would help close the coverage gap and help to ensure all New Yorkers who struggle with eating disorders have access to necessary care. 

Senator Alessandra Biaggi has been open about her personal struggle with an eating disorder. 

"As a person who has lived with an eating disorder for fifteen years, I can say from experience that my disease is not black and white; eating disorders are complex, devastating conditions that can manifest differently depending on the person. And while recovery is possible, the cost of treatment often stands in the way. The purpose of this bill is to close the gap in healthcare coverage to include all iterations of eating disorders so that every New Yorker striving to overcome this disease – no matter what it looks like – can access the care they need," said Biaggi. 

NEDA applauds the leadership of both Senator Biaggi and Assemblywoman Rozic in addressing this important issue.

“NEDA is thrilled that the New York State Senate and Assembly have taken steps to expand the definition of eating disorders, and to ensure that all New Yorkers who struggle with eating disorders will have access to the care they need,” said Claire Mysko, CEO, NEDA. 

“We are so grateful to Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic for their leadership, and to the entire New York State Legislature for addressing this gap in coverage for eating disorders. While eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, recovery is possible with appropriate treatment. We hope to see this bill signed into law by Governor Cuomo and that our leaders in government continue to take action in the fight against eating disorders.”

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS ASSOCIATION

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Through our programs and services, NEDA raises awareness, builds communities of support and recovery, funds research and puts life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. For more information, visit www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. 

CONTACT

Kylee Tsuru

Momentum Communications Group

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