Obesity prevention and treatments remain underused even as the disease remains a primary risk factor for chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even COVID-19 severity that disproportionately affect minority and underserved populations. Reimbursement or insurance coverage for medications, procedures, and programs to treat and prevent obesity varies and can create additional barriers to treatment.
One option to drive utilization and promote health equity is to improve access through benefit design principles. Value-based insurance design (V-BID) has demonstrated that by reducing cost and access barriers to high value services, the uptake will be greater, and this is particularly true for those who originally had the greatest financial barriers.
Proposing V-BID principles to treatments, procedures, and services to treat and prevent obesity might not just be smarter health care spending but also more equitable.