Weight Loss Programs: FSA Eligibility
Revenue Ruling 2002-19
How do you begin choosing to enter a weight loss program?
Each year, millions of people enroll in weight-loss programs. If you need to are thinking about trying a weight-loss program, it would be best to speak with a healthcare provider to help you hone in on the types of changes that need to be made to your eating and physical activity habits.
What should I look for in a weight-loss program?
Weight-loss programs should have a long run focus to ensure you keep the weight off for good. Safe and effective weight-loss programs should have a plan of attack, guidance on how to develop healthier habits, ongoing feedback and monitoring, and slow and steady weight loss goals (WebMD).
Should I consider an online program?
Some weight-loss programs are now offered online but not much research has been conducted on how effective these programs are. Experts suggest looking for online programs that have highly structured weekly lessons and goals tailored to your personal needs. They should have ways of self-monitoring through things like online journals or an app, and regular feedback from a counselor and/or peer group through communication channels like chat rooms, online meetings, email, forums, etc.
What's the difference between commercial and clinical programs?
Commercial programs offer advice on diet and exercise regimens as well as provide online tools for tracking your weight and food consumption. Some even sell prepared foods and diet aids. A lot of these focus on providing emotional support for sticking to a weight-loss plan.
Clinical programs are typically provided through a doctor's office or hospital clinic. They offer a more comprehensive program including diet, exercise, and behavior-modification. At times this program is supplemented with prescription treatments such as weight-loss medications and increasingly, surgery.
What role do drugs play in weight loss programs?
While it is best to focus on diet and exercise, these changes can be supplemented with drugs. They're not for everyone and doctors usually prescribe them only if your BMI is 30 or higher, or if it's at least 27 and you have a condition that may be related to your weight.Weight loss programs are only reimbursable if there is a Letter of Medical Necessity that states the patient is obese.