Medicaid covers weight-loss drugs in these 10 states

Most private payers do not cover new drugs meant to treat obesity, but Medicaid programs in a few states do, Bloomberg reported April 27. 

Bloomberg surveyed every state's Medicaid program and found 10 states that have broad coverage for weight loss drugs. 

These Medicaid programs cover many obesity drugs: California, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. 

These states offer limited coverage: New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and New Jersey. 

Connecticut will begin covering obesity drugs through Medicaid in July 2023. 

Though most private insurers do not cover GLP-1 drugs approved for weight loss, they often cover the same drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes. The drugs are expensive, costing upward of $10,000 a year without insurance. 

Drug manufacturers are lobbying Congress to allow Medicare to cover drugs to treat obesity. The manufacturers are hopeful private insurers will follow Medicare's lead. 

GLP-1 drugs would cost Medicare upward of $26.8 billion annually and could increase premiums, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March.

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