Posts Tagged - ‘weight loss surgery’

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Healthcare Reform Provisions and Obesity Treatment

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Image: Combined Media under CC 3.0

Tomorrow, several of the earliest provisions of the healthcare reform law will go into effect. Many of these involve preventative care.

The paradox with a lot of health insurance plans is that they typically do not pay for medically supervised diets or nutritional counseling for the overweight and obese. (They may cover gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery, but some patients are not considered morbidly obese enough to be eligible for reimbursement.) However, they will cover the more expensive cost of treating related conditions like type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea when they are later developed.

The legislation looks to change that. Here is how it will change:

  • Recommended preventative care treatments are covered without co-payments or co-insurance percentages for policyholders, including behavioral counseling and obesity screening.
  • Public health initiatives will make calorie counts more visible, making it easier for people to eat healthily and lose/maintain their weight.
  • Comparative effectiveness research will be undertaken to determine if insurers will be required to cover gym memberships, therapy, or special meal programs.
  • An advisory group will look into the effectiveness and risks of weight loss drugs and surgery, possibly requiring coverage of those deemed more effective than harmful.
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Your Health Insurance May Cover Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Image: adamjackson1984 under CC 3.0

After losing a significant amount of weight, many people deal with loose skin. Although their health outcomes are clearly better, it can be dismaying to see flab after defeating obesity.

In some cases, excess skin may even result in medical discomfort, such as back pain or rashes. If you can prove that cosmetic surgery–e.g. a tummy tuck–is medically necessary for those reasons, it is possible that health insurance plans will reimburse the cost.

You are more likely to find success in having your health insurance pay for the procedure if you had gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery.

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