NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — As a new generation of weight-loss medications has created additional options to treat obesity, insurance coverage barriers limit broad accessibility of these medications. In response, physicians and medical students voted to adopt policy for the American Medical Association (AMA) supporting health insurance coverage parity for evidence-based treatment of obesity, including FDA-approved medications without exclusions or additional carve-outs.
The AMA regards obesity as a disease that poses a major health concern in the United States. When obesity is left untreated it can put patients at risk for serious health consequences.
The costs for the patient and broader health care system associated with obesity, including the treatment of weight-related conditions and potential complications, can be substantial. It is crucial to recognize the urgency of addressing this disease comprehensively and proactively through a range of suitable treatments.
“Providing evidence-based treatment options that include weight loss medications aligns with a comprehensive, multimodal approach to effectively manage obesity is important to reduce health complications,” said AMA Trustee Bobby Mukkamala, M.D. “The AMA will urge health insurers to provide coverage of available FDA-approved weight-loss medications, including GLP-1 medications, to demonstrate a commitment to the health and well-being of our patients.”
The cost of medications for weight reduction can be a significant access barrier for people with obesity unless their health plan provides coverage. This policy is an important step towards protecting the patient-physician relationship in determining the best course of treatment without barriers from payers.
Robert J. Mills
ph: (312) 464-5970
About the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.