Health Insurance Providers


Health insurance providers have an important role to play in obesity prevention, from covering preventive services to supporting community-wide obesity prevention efforts.

Here is a summary of obesity prevention recommendations for health insurance providers, based on a review of expert guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and others. For more detailed guidance on these recommendations and ideas for putting them into practice, explore the source listand the links to other resources.

Cover obesity-related services such as assessment, prevention, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up, and streamline reimbursement procedures (1,2,3,4,5)

Provide subscribers incentives for maintaining healthy body weight or adopting healthy behaviors, such as charting regular physical activity (3,6)

Measure and track progress in body mass index screening, through Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data collection (6,7)

Fund obesity prevention efforts in the community, and/or participate in community obesity prevention coalitions (3,6)

Health Insurance Providers-Source List

1. Barlow SE. Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity: summary report. Pediatrics. 2007;120 Suppl 4:S164-92.

2.White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation: White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President: White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity; 2010.

3. Koplan JP, Liverman CT, Kraak VI, eds. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press; 2005.

4. The Obesity Society. Position Statement: Solutions – Eradicating America’s Obesity Epidemic. Silver Spring: The Obesity Society; 2009.

5. Childhood Obesity Action Network. Expert Committee Recommendations on the Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity; 2007.

6. America’s Health Insurance Plans. Facing the Challenge of Unhealthy Weight: Recommendations for the Health Care Community; 2008.

7. National Committee for Quality Assurance. HEDIS 2009 Summary Table of Measures, Product Lines and Changes. Washington, D.C.:National Comittee for Quality Assurance; 2008.