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Obesity surgery coverage balloons the cost of some healthcare plans in VA

The Washington Post, October 14, 2013
Consumers shopping for health coverage in new online marketplaces may scratch their heads when they come to a handful of plans in Virginia: Why do some cost more than $1,800 a month? No, the plans do not include gold-plated hospital beds or guaranteed same-day access to doctors. Instead, those premiums reflect an add-on benefit for a type of costly surgery for obesity which makes them up to six times more expensive than plans without such coverage. That means a Virginia consumer considering gastric bypass or bariatric surgery will have to pay up to $1,500 a month more for plans that cover the procedure.