Eating disorder treatment for Erin

So, as some of you know, I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder for nearly ten years now- since I was 14. I was baker acted at 16 but my family didn’t have the resources available to continue with any follow-up care, so I basically never got any. 

At 22 I decided to enter recovery for the first time, on my own, again due to lack of resources. This first leap was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, at a time when really I should have been in residential. It had been so long that I had been so deep into my ED that I straight up didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know how normal people ate or dealt with the feelings that went along with it. 

Over the the next two years I relapsed at least four times, hard. Every time I would be doing better I would go back to ED behaviors for months at a time. I had essentially given up. Maybe recovery wasn’t for me. 

Then, in March of 2019, I heard about Rogers Behavioral Health. It was right down the road from me, and they had both an ED program and an OCD program, and best of all, my insurance covered it!

Except, they didn’t. At least not for long. I went originally for the OCD partial hospitalization program, which was deemed medically necessary, with plans on transferring to the ED program after my debilitating OCD had improved. After two weeks, though, my insurance decided to stop covering it based on the fact I was “no longer suicidal.” I was shocked and angry, but I was doing really well under intensive care and the staff assured me that they had reasonable payment plans that I would be able to afford. So, I gave them my tax info,  transferred in a timely manner to the ED program, and they said they would get back to me tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. 

Eleven uncovered days later, they gave me the sliding scale fee they had been working on, which was $246 a day. This was reasonable, I said, and offered to pay $150 per month until it was paid off (note: I’m unable to work during this program, as it’s 7 hours a day, five days a week. So I’m taking some time off with no income.)

Unfortunately, the staff had neglected to tell me that they only had a two year payment plan, which would be about $240 a month until April 2021. They don’t offer longer payment plans.  When I countered that I couldn’t afford that due to other bills and circumstances, I was told that I might be able to drop down to Intensive Outpatient for a more reasonable deal, even though the entire treatment team was adamant that I really should be in the PHP. 

So, this is where crowdsourcing comes in. I’m not usually the type of person to ask for handouts, but due to the circumstances that I’ve found myself in, I can’t really think of another way to go about it. I’m asking for about half of the treatment cost just so that I can get my monthly payment to a point where I can afford it within the allotted two years, without getting sent to collections or damaging my credit for a treatment that I really need. 

Any little amount will help here, and I’m grateful to everyone who has gotten this far into even reading my story! I don’t think that treatment and recovery should be limited to those that are wealthier, and I refuse to have this opportunity ripped away from me because I can’t afford it. 

Thank you so much!

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Erin Jacobs
Tampa, FL

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