Obesity Action Coalition calls on Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee to Rescind Its IQ Testing Requirement for Those Seeking Weight-Loss Surgery

For Immediate Release
January 16, 2007

For More Information:
James Zervios
Director of Communications
(800) 717-3117
jzervios@obesityaction.org

Tampa , FL –The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is calling on Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee to immediately cease its requirement for IQ testing for morbidly obese patients seeking access to weight-loss surgery. The OAC believes that Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee is the first insurer to require an IQ test to access any medical treatment.

“Requiring an IQ test to access any medical procedure is wrong and by implementing such a requirement, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee is setting a dangerous precedent of denying healthcare based on intelligence testing. In addition, the testing requirement perpetuates the false notion that those affected by obesity and morbid obesity are of lower intelligence on average then the general public. Why else would they require an IQ test for an obesity treatment but not for treatments for other diseases or conditions?” said Joseph Nadglowski, Jr. OAC President and CEO.

The OAC has attempted to contact Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee regarding this issue on numerous occasions, but has not received any response to date. Details on the policy can be found online at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee’s Web by clicking here.

With more than 93 million Americans affected by obesity and eight to 12 million affected by morbid obesity, access to much needed medical treatment of obesity including weight-loss surgery should not be limited by an individual’s IQ score. Insurers, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, should be implementing programs to increase access to treatment and not limiting coverage by engaging in discriminatory practices.

To contact the OAC for further comment, please visit www.obesityaction.org or contact the National Office at (800) 717-3117 or info@obesityaction.org.

About the OAC
The OAC is a nonprofit National charity dedicated to helping those affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.



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