“The American Medical Association’s announcement last June that is was changing the designation of obesity from a disorder to a disease. This has and will continue have an effect on employers and insurance companies. The use and cost of weight loss drugs will continue to rise. in order for employers to minimize the increased risk, they will need to create wellness programs that focus on weight and healthy living.
Businesses can establishing a corporate wellness program as an alternative to their employee’s relying on doctor-prescribed medication to deal with this newly classified disease. In the U.S. physician-dispensed drugs have become a common occurrence in the medical care of injured workers and obesity.
Year-after-year the costs of prescription drugs in workers’ compensation are either on the rise, or are being battled tooth-and-nail by state governments and workers’ compensation stakeholders, adding to growing frustration and costs.
Despite AMA’s recent disease proclamation, obesity already had a sort of disease status in the eyes of many, including other large organizations, as well as branches of the government.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health consequences of obesity include:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
From a business perspective, obesity impacts not only the healthcare system, but health insurance, businesses and the economy as a whole.
The insurance industry, like most other systems and industries, will have to grapple with how to deal with the increasing costs in the best way it can. That could mean seeking rate hikes, reducing other services, or reducing risks.
No matter what the outcome of the decisons made based on the transition of the new classifications made we will always keep your well-being at the frontmost part of decision making.