Health Insurance & Grants

Why do insurance companies not cover weight loss?

Why should weight loss camp be more financially appealing to insurance providers?

  • No life-long prescription medication costs
  • Industry-leading success rates
  • Very little addiction risk
  • No life-threatening potential side effects
  • The cost pales in comparison with the amount currently spent treating obesity-related diseases
  • Substantially less expensive than weight loss surgery

Does insurance cover weight loss camp?

The simple answer is no.

While there is no rule stating that private insurance companies can't cover residential programs like weight loss camps, fat farms and fat camps, finding one that does would be a very rare exception.

This is a common question we hear often at Weight Crafters, so let's break it down:

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act requires that most health insurers cover obesity screening and counseling as preventive care for adults and children. Diet counseling is also available for adults at higher risk for chronic disease.

This seems like a good step in the right direction—however, the good news ends there. If your initial screening shows you have a BMI over 30 and meet other criteria, you could qualify for counseling, therapy, medicated treatment, or surgical treatment.

Conspicuously absent from treatment suggestions is booking a stay at a residential weight loss camp.

Because it's a relatively small niche in the weight loss genre, weight loss retreats may have simply been overlooked by lawmakers. And if insurance companies aren't required by law to cover something, they tend not to.

An argument for coverage

Medicare and private insurers are typically very reluctant to provide coverage for medicated weight loss treatment. One reason is likely the history of prescription weight loss drugs being abused or causing life threatening side effects. Another valid point, is the fact that people who start a regimen of weight loss medication will likely continue to take that medication the rest of their natural lives. That's an expensive order.

Ultimately it comes down to cost and risk. 

There is a flip side to this of course. Excess weight is directly linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Health Economics, obesity accounted for 21% of annual medical costs in the United States. That was 2012, when an estimated 62.8% of American adults were overweight or obese. By 2020, this figure had jumped to 77.1%.

We would propose that insurance companies consider how much they could save, by sending overweight customers to a weight loss retreat like Weight Crafters where they will see an immediate health improvement followed by a strong likelihood of maintaining and improving on those results long-term.

How much money could the health industry save, if just 20% of overweight or obese adults were able to achieve a healthy body weight long term?

Food for thought, insurance providers.

Are grants available to cover weight loss camp?

While it is true that a number of grants are available out there in the weight loss field, most of these are either for corporations and professionals working in the weight loss industry, or for those seeking bariatric surgery due to life threatening circumstances.

At Weight Crafters, we are not currently aware of any organization or government agency extending grants in order to attend a residential weight loss program.

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