How to get your health insurer to pay for your weight-loss

You’ve probably heard that obesity is linked to many serious health problems. And if you’re overweight, you may have tried to lose weight before — but found that it was difficult to get started and even harder to keep going.

Fortunately, there are ways to make your weight loss journey easier, including getting help from your health insurance plan. Here’s what you need to know about getting coverage for weight-loss treatments and services.

What you need to know about getting coverage for weight-loss treatments

Weight loss is a common treatment given by doctors and other health professionals who specialize in obesity. If your doctor prescribes a specific diet plan or exercise program (such as Weight Watchers), he or she may be able to get approval from your insurer for reimbursement of the cost.

Health insurers differ widely in their approach toward covering weight loss programs. Some plans cover them as part of care for general obesity; others don’t offer any coverage at all. But unless you have an extremely high deductible plan or one with no coinsurance (where you pay part of the cost), most plans will require that you pay out of pocket first before they’ll reimburse you later on — which means that your costs could add up quickly if your plan doesn’t cover all

If you want to lose weight, your health insurance company may be willing to help.

Health insurers often cover a wide range of services that can help people lose weight and keep it off, including:

Weight-loss programs. These programs include dietitian-supervised meal replacements, counseling, education and exercise programs.

Weight-loss drugs. Drugs like Xenical (orlistat) and Alli (orlistat) reduce the absorption of fat from food and help you feel full so that you eat less.

Bariatric surgery. This surgical procedure reduces the size of the stomach so that you can eat less food at each meal while feeling full longer.

Health insurance plans typically cover bariatric surgery only if you have obesity-related conditions such as heart disease or diabetes — conditions that are costly to treat if they go untreated — or if there’s evidence that a patient is likely to develop one of those conditions within 10 years of undergoing surgery (called morbid obesity).

But even for patients who don’t meet these criteria, some insurers may still cover bariatric surgery because it has been proven effective in reducing obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

If you lose weight, you’ll benefit from better health and even lower insurance premiums. Here’s how to get your health insurer to pay for your weight-loss.

If you’re obese, you may be having a hard time finding affordable health insurance. That’s because being overweight raises the risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Health insurers don’t want to pay for those illnesses — and they charge more for policies if the applicant is obese. But many people who are overweight can reduce their risk by losing weight. And that can save them money in the long run.

Here are some tips to help you get your insurer to pay for your weight-loss:

Get medical help with dieting and exercise programs. Your doctor or nurse practitioner can help you find a program that’s right for you, whether it’s a commercial program such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or an exercise-based program such as Curves or YMCA exercise classes. You’ll probably need to attend meetings regularly, but it will be worth it in the end when your insurance company lowers your premiums or stops charging extra altogether because of obesity-related conditions such as diabetes.

Ask about alternative therapies such as bariatric surgery and gastric banding surgery (which

When it comes to losing weight, the most important thing is to make a plan and stick to it. You’ll need to figure out how many calories you should be eating and how much exercise you can do each day.

If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to cut back on calories and increase your activity level. If you can do this without help from your health insurance company, then great! But if they won’t cover your medical bills, there are still ways that you can get the money you need for bariatric surgery or weight-loss programs.

Cutting back on calories

You can cut back on calories by eating less food or replacing high-calorie food with low-calorie alternatives. Here are some tips:

Eat smaller portions of food at meals.

Eat more vegetables instead of meat or dairy products (meat is higher in fat than vegetables).

Choose whole grains over refined grains (white bread and pasta).

Use low-fat cooking methods like steaming or stir frying instead of deep frying foods like French fries or potato chips.

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