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How to Get Health Insurance If You Are Overweight | Maumee Benefits Broker

By Sarah Dray

The Office of the Surgeon General estimates that 60 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, conditions that often lead to health problems. Some, like heart disease and diabetes, are severe and expensive to treat, which is why many insurance companies are denying policies to overweight people. For those who need medical coverage, but are over their ideal weight, there is still hope.

Step 1

Have a full check-up done or get a letter of good health from your doctor. If you’re overweight, but are otherwise in good health, you might be able to show the insurance company that you’re not a major risk. If that’s not enough, you should ask what would be considered an “acceptable” weight for the company. If there’s a standard line, you might be able to reach it by losing just a few pounds.

Step 2

Consider paying higher premiums. Some companies will offer coverage to overweight clients as long as they agree to pay a higher premium. If you don’t have any other options, you can always sign up for this, then reapply for a change if you lose the weight.

Step 3

Look for an insurance company that does not screen for weight. Examples are Secure STM or American Health Shield, which offer coverage for short periods at a time, with the option of renewing. Keep in mind that these policies may not accept you if you have diabetes or other conditions commonly related to obesity.

Step 4

Look into limited benefit health insurance choices. These will not cover you completely as regular insurance would, but their requirements are usually much less strict. Limited policies often ask no medical questions, cover all pre-existing conditions and have no connection to weight. Most of these policies cover outpatient procedures only, while others cover everything, but pay just a fixed percentage of your expenses.

Step 5

Consult an insurance broker. Through a broker, you only answer a few questions and allow the broker to locate an insurance policy that fits your case. Insurance companies may be more open to discussing policies with a broker, and chances are, the broker knows just the right direction to take in almost every case.

Step 6

Change jobs. If everything else fails, look for full-time employment that comes with medical insurance, even if this means taking a job you don’t love. If you are married, you might be covered under your partner’s insurance. Insurance policies obtained through employment are usually less stringent when it comes to medical conditions and weight.

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