Obesity - threat to your health and your wallet

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Obesity : An increase in body weight beyond the limitation of skeletal and physical requirement , as the result of an excessive accumulation of fat in the body. ( CancerWEB's On-line Medical Dictionary)

It is a known fact that obesity brings health risks beyond the stress of finding clothes of the right size. Obesity is viewed by many, especially by the insurance companies, as a serious medical condition. Many people don't realize how difficult it is for an obese person to get a proper insurance, because of the health risks that can potentially cost the company very large sums of money.

One of the top reasons why insurance companies might decline an application is because of the person's significant extra weight which is considered a high risk pre-existing condition. If the insurance company does decide to take on an obese client, they often increase the premium to almost double the amount that of a non-obese client.

If you think that this is highly unfair and discriminatory against people with a weight problem, perhaps you will be correct, however discriminations against people with pre-existing or chronic conditions is a common practice in insurance market; after all insurance company is a business that in order to properly care for its clients has to make money. In fact, due to the 2004 ruling by Federal government, it is now allowed for the insurance companies to charge obese clients higher premiums in order to encourage people to get healthy and lose weight.

An interesting fact is although insurance companies recognize obesity as a high risk chronic condition; any treatments towards reducing the weight (including weight-loss medications) are excluded. But this policy also applies to any chronic condition developed by the client prior to taking out an insurance plan.

These are some of the health conditions insurance companies worry obese clients will develop:

•  type 2 diabetes (high blood sugar)
•  high blood pressure
•  heart disease and stroke
•  some types of cancer
•  sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep)
•  osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints)
•  gallbladder disease
•  liver disease

Each of these medical conditions is a serious threat to a person's health and requires medical treatments that often come to an astronomical total cost. If the person becomes obese and develops any of the previously mentioned health conditions after the commencement of an insurance policy, then the treatment for those conditions will be covered, but not for obesity itself.

The bottom line is that obesity should be viewed as a life threatening condition, not just a mere esthetic concern. Perhaps in the future insurance companies will decide to include treatment of obesity in the medical cover, but until then stay healthy and fit - it's good for you as well as your wallet.

We have a large number of experienced medical consultants that would be pleased to answer any of your questions or provide you with quotes for international major medical insurance. Feel free to contact us and we will ensure your enquiry is replied to via telephone or email within 24 hours.