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Posted 5/4/2022

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, OCC Washington Representative

TROA Reaches 160 Total Supporters

At the time of this report, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act had reached 160 total congressional supporters with 18 Senators and 140 House Members cosponsoring the legislation that has been introduced by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and Representative Ron Kind (D-WI). OCAN members continue to meet with members of Congress and are hopeful that more legislators will cosponsor TROA — especially in the wake of recent guidance from the Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) spelled out specific guidance for health insurance carriers that administer Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) plans. In that guidance, OPM clarified “that FEHB Carriers are not allowed to exclude anti-obesity medications from coverage based on a benefit exclusion or a carve out”… and that "FEHB Carriers must have adequate coverage of FDA approved anti-obesity medications (AOMs) on the formulary to meet patient needs and must include their exception process within their proposal.”

Medicaid Coverage for AOMs Clears another Hurdle in Connecticut

On April 19th, the Connecticut State Senate approved Senate Bill 282 — legislation that will expand access for obesity care by allowing Medicaid coverage for anti-obesity medications (AOMs) beginning in 2023. The legislation would also codify Medicaid coverage for bariatric surgery, which is currently a covered benefit under Connecticut’s medical assistance program. At the time of this report, the legislation was awaiting action in the Connecticut House.

Obesity Community Supports State Employee Obesity Care Coverage

On April 15th, the Wisconsin State Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WAND), Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) and The Obesity Society (TOS) sent the following coalition letter — urging the Employee Trust Funds (ETF) and the Group Insurance Board (GIB) to adopt state employee health plan coverage for pharmacotherapy and medical nutrition therapy (aka nutrition counseling) for the treatment of overweight or obesity.

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