In early May, a Georgia doctor reportedly told a woman battling anorexia that she should move from the state or prepare for death since her insurance company treats the life-threatening eating disorder as a “luxury” medical expense. She’s choosing to fight for her life.
Miami Herald reports that Katrina Howard, 25, has battled with anorexia nervosa since she was a teen. Her insurance plan is Medicaid in Georgia, available to low-income residents and funded by the federal and state government. Since her health insurance isn’t covering her medical issues with anorexia, Howard found Dr. Paul Robinson, a Florida physician at the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
“She is very sick,” Dr. Robinson said. “She has been very sick. We are praying that we can get her pulled out, but she is a very sick person.”
As Howard remains in a hospital bed at Tallahassee Memorial, Robinson explained that Medicaid only pays a portion of the cost of treatment for anorexia nervosa, despite it being a serious illness that can lead to death. However, the Medicaid program can provide a “single case agreement” that allows the clinic to accept only the amount that the state can pay. Reportedly, the state of Georgia refuses to sign the agreement.
“There’s so many people like me out there that are struggling with this disorder,” Howard said from her hospital bed. “They could possibly die any day and they can’t get the help they need…..It’s insurance. Isn’t it supposed to help you with medical care?”
A spokeswoman for Georgia’s Department of Community Health, Fiona Roberts, declined to comment on the issue. For now, Howard remains on the fifth floor, in a room at the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, hoping that she’ll be able to obtain the proper coverage to continue to get treatment for her illness.
The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Katrina Howard/Facebook]