Insurance companies can charge obese clients more money and they can deny them coverage, but the majority of companies will not pay for treatments proven to help obesity. These treatments include bariatric surgery, medicine, and nutritional and behavioral counseling, according to a report in the Washington Post.
One major problem is that most doctors do not discuss weight issues with their patients or direct them into treatment programs. One-third of obese patients in a federal study performed by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality never received advice about exercise from their doctors, and one-third of the doctors never even told that they were overweight.
Another major problem in securing insurance coverage for obesity is that the condition is viewed as a moral problem or character flaw rather than an organic disease.
Some of this may change under new federal laws that go into effect in 2010. The new healthcare laws will require preventative medical services, as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. These new regulations may make it easier for obese people to gain medical help.
Medicare covers bariatric surgery for the morbidly obese, and many insurance companies may follow suit when the new laws will go into effect.
Posted By: My Overweight Child