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Insurers divided over experimental stomach surgery to treat obesity

Hartford Courant, May 3, 2010

A major surgical procedure is starting to gain acceptance as a way to treat obesity and the nation's growing number of people with diabetes. Two of the nation's largest health insurers—Aetna and UnitedHealthcare—recently agreed to cover the $16,000-to-$25,000 procedure, called a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Other insurers such as CIGNA Corp. and Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield in Connecticut maintain that it is still an experimental surgery that hasn't proven to be safe or effective.