Obesity and health insurance Author:    Posted under: Health InsuranceHealth Insurance questions answered

Nowadays, people are slowly recognizing the need to stay fit and try to do more physical activities such as running and going to the gym. Obesity, more than ever has become a problem that more and more people do not take as seriously as they should.

Today, obesity has escalated to more than twice the rate that had occurred 2 decades ago. Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese. In America alone, 39.8 million American adults; more than 57% of American adults are overweight (CDC). Approximately 1 in 6 or 14.63% or 39.8 million people in USA.* For the first time in 200 years, experts think that obesity may cause our life expectancy to fall.

As we continue our to let our “eat-more-move-less” lifestyle directly result to the deterioration of our health’s status as a nation, we must keep in mind that continuing to do this poses more and more threat to us in a variety of ways. One very specific area of concern is that people are soon realizing that health insurance can be costly to acquire.

For those who struggle with obesity, health risks tend to be at a higher rate thus posing problems with getting them insured either at the lower normal rate or getting insured at all. More so, if you are already insured, your policy might not offer sufficient coverage. Though obesity can lead to health conditions that are usually covered by most policies, obesity is often not considered as an illness which may exclude you from getting treatment.

Obesity has long term health and financial impacts. People who suffer from obesity oftentimes develop cardiovascular problems which may lead to numerous health issues. This is one of the reasons why insurance companies believe that severely overweight people have shorter life-spans than others. It is because of this that insurance companies are less-inclined to ensure them, or if they do, they tend to charge much higher rates than they normally would.

The health care costs tend to be high when associated with treating conditions related to obesity. To make up for the risk of insuring those who will likely one day need medical attention because of obesity, health insurers can attach premiums to policies that make them very unaffordable. These companies view those who are obese, as “high–risk” or a “poor business risk” because their chances of developing health problems while insured are considerably higher than other policyholders.

You should know that if you’re clinically obese and are offered a health insurance policy, many health insurers won’t pay the expenses of treating your obesity. This is because while insurers differ from how they view obesity most insurers don’t consider it as an illness. They may however, treat the conditions that may result from obesity such as heart disease, diabetes and the likes. The sad truth is that it’s possible that many insurers will refuse to cover the expenses even if you’re genetically predisposed toward being severely overweight and require medications for the condition.

It is quite obvious that the best way to secure a reasonable and affordable health insurance policy is to take the necessary steps to bring your weight down. Obesity still does plague millions of people needing treatment right now, especially the ones with higher risks of getting life-threatening health conditions. But it is comforting to know that over time, most insurance companies are willing to offer you lower rates once you work on bringing down your weight thus reducing their risks of covering for future conditions.


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