RIYADH — Bariatric surgery will have the coverage of health insurance in Saudi Arabia effective from October 1 this year. This was disclosed by Dr. Nasser Al-Johani, spokesman of the Council of Health Insurance and executive director for empowerment and supervision at the council.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Al-Johani said that private health insurance beneficiaries who have valid insurance policies can take advantage of the new health insurance standards that cover obesity surgeries, in addition to the package of benefits and the updated insurance coverage limits. “Those persons with a body mass index exceeding 40 and above without complications, or those with body mass index of 35 and above but suffer from chronic diseases will be the beneficiaries of insurance coverage for obesity procedures and operations. The insurance coverage for obesity operations aims to provide more and more appropriate options for health insurance beneficiaries as part of the council’s efforts to reduce obesity rates,” he said.
According to Al-Johani, the insurance coverage for obesity operations aims to provide more and more appropriate options for health insurance beneficiaries in the council’s endeavors 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 appropriate exercise, a healthy and balanced diet, and other factors,” he said.
Al-Johani emphasized that the insurance coverage includes those under all age groups. “This is in accordance with the best clinical practices and bariatric operations that are performed based on eligibility criteria such as international clinical evidence, and the Saudi Guideline for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery,” he added.
Obesity is a serious health disorder in Saudi Arabia, classified by excess body fat that can greatly affect one’s health. A person is classified as having obesity and may be referred to as a bariatric patient when they have a body mass index (BMI) that is equal to or greater than 30. BMI is used to measure weight in relation to height.
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