Obama Administration Includes Obesity Screening and Counseling Under Proposed Regulations on Cost Sharing for Preventive Health Services

On July 14, 2010, the Obama Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services released proposed regulations regarding cost sharing for preventative services covered under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the proposed regulations, new health policies beginning on or after September 23, 2010, must cover preventive services that have strong scientific evidence ("A or B" rating from the U.S. Preventive Health Services Task Force) of their health benefits and will be prohibited from charging a patient a copayment, co-insurance or deductible for these services when they are delivered by a network provider.

The list of services specifically includes:

  • Obesity screening and counseling for all adults
  • Obesity screening and counseling for children over the age of six

TOS believes that this is a major first step in opening the door to coverage of comprehensive obesity treatment services. For the first time, many Americans will have the ability to have a conversation with their healthcare provider about their weight, receive counseling and it would be a covered visit. TOS will be providing formal comments on the proposed regulations later this month.

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