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Obesity and Health Insurance

Copyright 2006 Stacey Zimmerman When it comes to health insurance, we all seem to be paying high premiums. The cost of healthcare has risen and it is reflected in the quotes we receive. However, if you are considered obese, your health insurance premiums may be significantly higher or some health insurance companies may simply deny you coverage. If you were to lose weight, however, you could find a health care insurance much cheaper and have more options. The fact is health insurance companies have different policies regarding obesity. When an applicant for health insurance falls out of the normal weight standards, they may be either denied health insurance coverage or their premiums will be raised.

Many insurance companies may even require an applicant to get a pre-approval physical before they accept the applicant for coverage. The fact is obesity is costly to the insurance companies and they apply very strict standards for their coverage in relation to the weight of the applicants. Due to the fact that treating the obese is very costly, the health insurance premiums have skyrocketed over the past few years. With obesity comes many other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Treatment for these disorders are costly and the insurance companies are paying.

This is the reason for their strict weight standards. Just one individual who is obese can cost an insurance company thousands of dollars each year. Many individuals get health insurance coverage from their employers. Because the insurance premiums have risen so much over the past few years, many employers, especially small businesses, can not afford to offer coverage for their employees. The fact is when someone is obese, they will generally have health problems and are often having tests done, as well as being on medication. This, of course, is an expense that could be prevented if the person lost weight. Research has proven that the obese are inundated with more health problems than thinner people. However, this does not stop individuals from gaining weight. More and more people are gaining weight and falling into the category of being obese and this includes children, as well. According to a recent study conducted by The Thompson Corporation, in 2004, as many as 16 percent of the children in the United States could be diagnosed with obesity.

The healthcare costs for children who were treated for obesity were astronomical. The cost for those children who were covered by Medicaid were approximately $6,700 annually for each child and those with private insurance paid out approximately $3,700 per obese child. While obesity is only partly responsible for the rising cost of health insurance, it does place a burden on society, as well as the patients themselves. However, the continuing rise of health insurance will not end and neither will obesity. If an obese individual could lose the weight, they would find their health insurance premiums would be much lower and they would have a much easier time gaining access to health insurance coverage.


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