Insurance Coverage for Medical Weight Loss in New York
How Much Does the Weight Loss Program Cost?
There is no one answer to this question because we customize our programs to meet each person’s individual health, lifestyle, and weight loss needs. In general, the cost of the program will depend on its length, the number of meal replacement products and medications (if any) that you use, the amount of weight you have to lose, and how much medical supervision you require.
Weight Loss, if Maintained, Pays for Itself
The good news is that for many obese people the cost of a medical weight loss program is equal to the cost of being obese for a single year. People who maintain their weight loss, stand to save an amount equal to the cost of the program each year.
Will Insurance Cover Weight Loss Program Costs?
Insurance companies vary considerably in terms of the services they cover and the amount of reimbursement they provide for covered service. Medical Weight Loss of New York does not participate with insurance plans. We will, however, supply you with all the necessary documentation to file claims with your insurance provider, flexible benefits accounts (FBAs), or health finance accounts (HFAs) administrator and your tax preparer.
Please note that all food items (e.g. Optifast®) are NOT tax-deductible nor are they reimbursable by insurance. The rationale for this is that people need to eat so they would be paying for conventional food if they were not buying meal replacement products.
Are Weight Loss Costs Tax Deductible Medical Expenses?
In April 2002, the IRS ruled that obesity is a disease. Therefore, some of the costs of a weight loss program undertaken as a treatment for obesity and obesity-related medical conditions qualify as tax-deductible medical costs, and as such, individuals may pay for them with pre-tax dollars from medical flexible spending accounts and Health Care Spending Accounts.
IRS revenue ruling, IR 2002-19, approves the fees related to services (i.e. medical services and nutrition education meetings) when they are occurring for medically valid reasons.
In order to use the medical expense tax deduction, your out-of-pocket healthcare costs (including weight loss costs) must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. To learn more about these provisions, consult your employer’s benefits specialist and your tax preparer.