Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • You cannot be denied health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions like obesity
  • For you to have the pre-existing condition of obesity, you must have been diagnosed by a doctor
  • Your premiums will go up if you have a pre-existing condition, but you can compare quotes and find a good deal

Many people with weight problems are worried about getting health insurance and how much health insurance will cost. The best way to confront these worries is to inform yourself about the situation for overweight people who are looking for health insurance.

The first thing you should know is that obesity is considered a pre-existing condition. In this day and age, pre-existing conditions are not grounds for an insurer to deny an applicant a policy.

However, they can raise their premiums, which will likely happen for overweight applicants. The Affordable Care Act restricts how insurers approve or deny applicants for their policies, but insurers can increase their premiums as much as they want for pre-existing conditions.

It is still possible to find an affordable policy. To learn more about getting health insurance as an overweight applicant, read on.

Do you want to find affordable and better health insurance today? Enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies!

Pre-Existing Conditions

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Preexisting conditions are a fundamental concept in healthcare. A pre-existing condition can be any diagnosed medical condition which started before an application for a health insurance policy.

Previously, insurers regularly declined applications due to pre-existing conditions; the Affordable Care Act made this illegal.

However, insurers now raise premiums by significant amounts due to pre-existing conditions, such as obesity.

For an overweight person to be diagnosed with obesity for health insurance, they need to have been prescribed medication or treatment from a licensed physician before the application for a policy.

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Obesity as a Pre-Existing Condition

Most people do not think of obesity as a disease, so they are surprised to hear that it is a pre-existing condition. However, nearly all insurers consider obesity to be a pre-existing condition.

In the past, many insurers would deny applicants. In modern times, insurers will raise premiums significantly for obese applicants.

Insurers will commonly increase premiums significantly if pre-existing conditions, such as obesity, are included in the health insurance application.

There has been some criticism for insurers labeling obesity as a pre-existing condition, but things do not seem to be changing. Most medical professionals agree that obesity significantly increases the risks of serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

For obesity to be considered a pre-existing condition, generally a licensed health care practitioner must have prescribed treatment or medication with the intention of losing weight.

Simply being overweight is not a pre-existing condition. These conditions need to be covered by insurance, which costs the insurer lot of money, which is why insurers will raise the premiums for obesity.

The Increase in Premiums Due to Obesity


If obesity is considered to be a pre-existing condition by your health insurance, your premiums will almost inevitably go up a considerable amount.

Just how much the premiums go up to depends on the policy and the insurer. They may go up by half, or they may double or triple.

It is probably a good idea to compare health insurance quotes online to find the best quote for your situation. Comparing quotes can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

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How to Find an Affordable Policy Despite Obesity

As previously mentioned, your best bet for finding an affordable health insurance policy despite being overweight is comparing health insurance quotes online. It is easy to compare multiple quotes at a time.

Comparison shopping will allow you to pick the quote that has the best combination of coverage and low price.

It may not be a good idea to just pick the cheapest health insurance; make sure the coverage is good as well. Also, make sure to take advantage of any tax credits they may be eligible for.

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Saving Money on Health Insurance After Losing Weight


If you purchase an expensive health insurance policy with obesity as a pre-existing condition, you may want to try to lose weight. Obviously, you may have motivations to save money on health insurance as well as other motivations for doing this.

If you do successfully lose weight, you should get a new quote on a health insurance policy, which will likely be considerably cheaper than your previous policy.

You may have the option to simply renew your old policy, but you do not want to do this without informing your insurer about your new, healthier weight. Otherwise, you’ll not see any savings from your healthier lifestyle.

Employers and Denial of Health Insurance Benefits Due to Obesity


While it is illegal for health insurers to deny applicants based on pre-existing conditions, some people fear that their employers will not offer them health insurance benefits to the pre-existing conditions. Be advised that denying health insurance benefits due to obesity is also illegal.

If your employer attempts to deny you health insurance benefits, let them know this is illegal.

If they still refuse to offer you health insurance benefits as they do with the other employees, it is time for you to go to the government. There are several different government agencies you can go to report this behavior.

Final Thoughts


If you are worried about getting an affordable health insurance policy as an overweight person, rest assured that you will be able to do so. It may take you more research and time to compare insurance quotes, but it certainly is possible.

Also keep in mind that insurers are now not allowed to deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions, such as obesity. They can and will, however, raise your premiums.

There are currently no legal restrictions on how much the insurance can raise your premiums. There are proposals for such restrictions, but none look to be passed in the foreseeable future.

Looking to save on health insurance? Start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code below!