Part 2 of my local paper's coverage of bariatric surgery starts like this:
If you smoked a pack of cigarettes every day for 20 years, you might develop lung cancer. Most insurers would pay for surgery and other cancer treatments without quibbling over it.
But if you gradually piled on weight, then developed diabetes or other problems from obesity, your health plan likely would not cover weight-loss surgery without a fight.
Shocking, isn't it? A medical condition insurance companies don't cover. (I'm putting aside for the moment the underlying assumptions here: obesity = medical condition/disease, obesity --> diabetes and other diseases, obesity is volitional.) How could this be, you wonder?
Alas, I don't have to wonder. Two years ago I fought with our insurance company--and lost--over its coverage of my daughter's treatments for anorexia. Because anorexia is considered a mental illness, and because our progressive-in-reputation-only state does not have mental health parity, our insurer got away with covering only a small percentage of the cost of my daughter's treatment.
Where were the incredulous newspaper stories then? Where was the hue and cry, the uproar at the injustice?
Uh-huh. I thought so.