Do health insurance companies pay for obesity treatment?Posted: May 08 in Medical Weight Loss News by Dr. Lazarus
Insurance coverage remains a significant issue; however, we have seen tremendous improvements in coverage over the past several years. Most patients are successful using their HSA or Flex dollars towards treatment. Also, many PPO’s cover all or part of a treatment program. We re-coded all of our medical billing last year which has further improved reimbursement options.
With obesity management, many patients actually recoup a significant percentage of money spent. We see patients qualifying for preferred rates on life and health insurance, lowering their direct medical expenses through needing less medications or less expensive generic alternatives, and fewer hospitalizations and ER visits. In a study published last year by the George Washington University School of Public Health (I put a link to this article on the web site for you) last year, it is estimated that among the severely obese, annual direct health care expenditure increases by over $6500 / year for men, $8300 / year for women. Most medical weight loss programs cost far less than this, and thus on average pay for themselves.