I start my new job tomorrow, and I received my "benefits" package in the mail. Aside from the fact that it came in a nice organic cotton tote (inside the mailer), I found information on long-term care insurance, saving for retirement, a health calendar (more later), and yes, health insurance.
I can pick from two plans: an HMO and a PPO. The HMO is much cheaper, but also much more limiting. The PPO has cheaper prescription co-pays, and when you have four different medications you have to take in order to stay sane, keep eating, and not get so depressed you can't get out of bed in the morning, that's important.
So I started looking for behavioral health care, since access to quality therapy is likely going to be the make-or-break decision. What I found was appalling.
There was no mention of behavioral health care in the packet. Okay, fine, there was one mention: in the percentage they would pay from in network vs. out of network for the PPO. That's it.
What I did find was how the various insurance companies would help me pay for the following:
- Weight Watchers
- Jenny Craig
- fitness equipment
- a FREE pedometer (just call this 1-800 number and it's ALL MINE!)
- massage therapy
- dietitian (so I can be healthy! and lean! and fit!)
Riiiiiight. Because I have "behavioral issues" not an actual brain disease. Well, hello Mr. Descartes. Nice to see you again.
I also received a health calendar with "tips" for each month- some of which were innocuous, like don't get so stressed out! Take a break! Spend time with your family! Then there was the "Achieve and maintain and healthy weight!" months. Lovely. The worst thing, though, was a teensy little box within the little box for each day where I was told to record how many minutes I had exercised. Way to go obsession! Besides, you're not supposed to exercise every single day. They don't have a take-a-break-from-your-workout box.
We really do live in a world that fosters eating disorder behaviors. And if you do fall down the rabbit hole into a full-blown ED, you can't find diddly squat on how to get treated for it.
Oh, the ironies!