Reimbursement for obesity is an “anomalie” Obesity is a serious disease that is often associated with increased mortality rates, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, degenerative joint disease and several types o cancer.
Due to the lack of coverage that obese people receive, they choose not to seek treatment for it. The market for treatments are “cheap and plentiful,” and effective treatments are time intensive and costly.
Medicare and Medicaid do not cover obesity as they do not recognize it as a disease.
Lack of coverage can be attributed to lack of understanding of obesity as a disease. However, there is a decrease in the development of new therapies as people feel these treatments will be no reimbursements.
There is also a perception that responsibility to treat obesity is on the individual themselves. The public perceives that these diseases are based on personal behavior.
There is evidence that things are beginning to change. The IRS is now allowing weight loss expenses to be deducted, when there were previous instructions not allowing this.
Future: Many health conditions can be treated by weight loss.