Employee Health Benefits (EHB) Access Toolkit

Obesity Treatment Needs Coverage in All State Health Exchanges

Coverage Map

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 in 2014-2015. The progress of efforts in each of these states is indicated on the map below.
Download the 2014-2015 “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; updated June 2023.

Download the Bariatric Surgery Coverage 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 2014 Summary of OCC Essential Health Benefits Advocacy Efforts

State Specific Resources

State Exchange EHB that do not Cover Bariatric Surgery

Click on your state below to download a document containing contact information and advocacy facts for your state.

PennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexas

State Exchange EHB that do Cover Bariatric Surgery

MassachusettsMichiganNevadaNew Hampshire
New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth Carolina
North DakotaRhode IslandSouth DakotaVermont
West VirginiaWyoming  

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 2014 State Exchange and Bariatric Coverage News Summary

Presentations and Resources

Introductory and Meeting Request Letter Template

A sample draft document that State 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 bariatric surgery.

Download the Letter Template

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 show the dangers of not properly covering metabolic bariatric surgery as a treatment for the disease of obesity.

Download the Presentation

Fact Sheets on Obesity & Bariatric Surgery

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 (HHS) Committee. ASMBS encourages State Chapters to tailor this letter to better target their specific state’s audience.

Download the Fact Sheet

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 bariatric surgery, and the disease of obesity.