Published June 2014

Obesity Treatment Needs Coverage in All State Health Exchanges

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Coverage Map

CoverageMapObesity_July

Do not cover bariatric surgery nor weight loss programs
Covers bariatric surgery but does not cover weight loss programs
Covers bariatric surgery and weight loss programs

Current healthcare exchanges clearly do not sufficiently cover weight loss and bariatric surgery programs. Over half of states cover neither bariatric surgery nor weight loss programs. Despite the undeniable evidence of the dangers of obesity and the efficacy of metabolic and bariatric surgery, coverage is minimal across the United States.

Sixteen states were selected by ASMBS for targeted advocacy efforts. The progress of efforts in each of these states is indicated on the map below:

Download the “Leave No State Behind” campaign summary PDF

Heat Maps of Bariatric Surgery Coverage

These maps show the coverage of bariatric surgery across the United States.

Download the Heat Maps

Advocacy Tools

ASMBS offers contact lists, sample presentations, form letters and other tools to help you or your organization effectively mobilize to improve access to care for obesity treatment.

Obesity Care Continuum(OCC) Advocacy Efforts

The purpose of the OCC is to pool the resources of its member groups and better coordinate Federal and state advocacy efforts to secure access to, and coverage of, the continuum of care surrounding the treatment of overweight and obesity. With a combined membership of more than 125,000 patient and healthcare professional advocates, the OCC covers the full scope from nutrition, exercise and weight management through pharmacotherapy to device and surgery. The coalition is a major force in the continuing debate regarding the critical need to both prevent and treat the disease of obesity.

Read the Summary of OCC Essential Health Benefits Advocacy Efforts

State Specific Resources

Does your state not cover obesity treatment? Click on your state below to download a document containing contact information and advocacy facts for your state.

State Exchange EHB that don’t Cover Bariatric Surgery

Alabama Alaska Arkansas Colorado
Connecticut Florida Georgia Idaho
Indiana Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana
Nebraska Ohio Oklahoma Oregon
Pennsylvania South Carolina Tennessee Texas
Utah Virginia Washington Wisconsin

State Exchange EHB that do Cover Bariatric Surgery

Arizona California Delaware Hawaii
Illinois Iowa Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Nevada New Hampshire
New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Rhode Island South Dakota Vermont
West Virginia Wyoming

State Exchange and Bariatric Coverage News for Selected States

Read stories on advocacy efforts in your state, and learn from the efforts of other states.

Download the State Exchange and Bariatric Coverage News Summary

Presentations and Resources

Introductory and Meeting Request Letter Template

A form letter than can be used to contact a local representative regarding the inclusion of obesity treatment coverage in a state health exchange. Can also be used as starting point for testimony or presentation before your state’s Health and Human Services committee. ASMBS encourages state chapters to tailor this letter to better target their specific state’s audience.

Download the Letter Template

Fact Sheet on Obesity & Bariatric Surgery

A sample draft document that the chapter can use to quickly and effectively communicate the problems caused by the epidemic of obesity, and what can be done to help improve access to obesity treatment services, such as metabolic and bariatric surgery.

Download the Fact Sheet

Essential Health Benefits Presentation

This sample presentation may be used or modified to better inform an audience of the dangers of obesity, dispel common myths surrounding surgery, and shoe the dangers of not properly covering bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity.

Download the Presentation

Fact Sheets

Download ASMBS fact sheets to help develop talking points and share important information with policymakers.

These fact sheets have been designed to help media outlets better understand ASMBS, metabolic and bariatric surgery, and the disease of Obesity.