Coverage of Weight Management Counseling in HealthCare Law


Private Health Plans Must Cover Preventive Services at 100%

If you have found that dieting doesn’t work, you are not alone. Dietitians can offer real help with your weight loss efforts. In fact, there is good evidence that working with a professional in an “intensive, behavioral approach” to weight management delivers significant results in improved health outcomes.

The national healthcare law requires coverage for preventive services when the effectiveness of those services have been documented by the US Preventive Task Force (USPSTF).  And when services are preventative, the law requires that services be covered at 100% with the deductibles and copays waived.

Obesity screening and counseling: adults

The USPSTF recommends screening all adults for obesity. Clinicians should offer or refer patients with a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions.

Obesity screening and counseling: children

The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen children age 6 years and older for obesity and offer them or refer them to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions to promote improvement in weight status.

Healthy diet counseling

The USPSTF recommends intensive behavioral dietary counseling for adult patients with hyperlipidemia and other known risk factors for cardiovascular and diet-related chronic disease. Intensive counseling can be delivered by primary care clinicians or by referral to other specialists, such as nutritionists or dietitians.

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