Riyadh — Bariatric surgery will be covered by health insurance in Saudi Arabia from October 1 this year. This was revealed by Dr. Nasser Al-Johani, Spokesperson for the Health Insurance Board and Executive Director for Board Empowerment and Oversight.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Al-Johani said private health insurance recipients who have valid insurance policies can take advantage of new health insurance standards that cover obesity surgeries, in plus all benefits and updated insurance coverage limits. “Persons with a body mass index of 40 and above without complications, or those with a body mass index of 35 and above but suffering from chronic illnesses will be the beneficiaries of insurance coverage for medical procedures and operations. Obesity Surgical Insurance Coverage aims to provide increasingly appropriate options for health insurance beneficiaries as part of the council’s efforts to reduce obesity rates,” said he declared.
According to Al-Johani, insurance coverage for obesity operations aims to provide increasingly appropriate options for health insurance recipients as part of the council’s efforts to reduce obesity rates. “The decline in obesity rates depends not only on operations but also on other factors including lifestyle changes such as reducing sugars and fats, maintaining proper exercise, eating healthy and balanced and other factors,” he said.
Al-Johani pointed out that the insurance coverage includes people of all age groups. “This is in line with clinical best practices and bariatric operations which are performed based on eligibility criteria such as international clinical evidence and Saudi guidelines for obesity and metabolic surgery,” he added.
Obesity is a serious health disorder in Saudi Arabia categorized by excess body fat which can greatly affect health. A person is classified as obese and can be called a bariatric patient when they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is used to measure weight in relation to height.
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