Insurers Shouldn’t Battle Bariatric Surgery

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Many insurance companies are reluctant to cover weight-loss surgery, justifying coverage rejection by considering it cosmetic or, some people believe, blaming lifestyle choices for the patient’s situation. But a recent study proves that the patient not only medically benefits from bariatric surgery-the insurer financially benefits from it, too.

There are several kinds of weight-loss surgery, but a Canadian study has found that, on average, insurers recover the cost of the procedures in about three. According to researchers, patients lower their health risks by getting the surgery, showing lower rates of hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea and other obesity-related disease.

“They don’t go to the doctor as much as they used to, and they don’t go to the emergency room as much as they used to,” researcher Pierre-Yves Cremieux told Reuters in September 2008. “Why? Because they are healthier.”

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