Do any health insurance plans cover a personality disorder?

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2012

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UPDATED: Feb 7, 2012Fact Checked

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Asked February 7, 2012

1 Answer

Insurance companies do not provide coverage for many personality disorders. Because such conditions are perceived as long term conditions with no acute symptoms, health insurance companies exclude coverage for them out of hand. With that said, it is very likely that a lot of the treatment for a personality disorder can be claimed on health insurance, but it must be done in such a way that the exclusions of the policy are not compromised. There are exceptions to this general rule, so check with your insurance company to find out whether you are covered, or shop around for other coverage if your current policy is not doing the best job of protecting you.

Personality disorders often have a number of symptoms and side effects. And while the disorder itself is excluded from coverage, the symptoms and effects are not, allowing doctors to bill your health plan for treating the symptoms even though they cannot bill for the actual disorder. This creative billing may not cover all of the medical expenses related to the disorder, but it will pay for certain procedures, medications and other treatments, so long as those items are billed against, not the disorder, but against the symptoms that it causes.

For example, depression and anxiety might be symptoms of the disorder. Your physician could bill for treatment of anxiety, including medications and counseling, even though the personality disorder itself is excluded. This is not really bending the rules, either, since most health plans do provide for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and such things as drug abuse and dependence.

The problem, from the perspective of health professionals, is that there are treatments for some types of personality disorders that could alleviate the symptoms if treatment were allowed under the health plan. In this situation, the health industry perpetuates the problem by treating only symptoms when the condition itself could be treated and many of the return visits for the same condition eliminated.

Answered February 7, 2012 by Anonymous

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