Denial of Insurance

If you are denied health insurance because of your weight:

First of all, if you are offered a health insurance policy but it is at a higher rate than thin people pay, our advice is to take the policy. We know that it is not fair, but until cultural attitudes and laws change, this is the reality of the situation. Take whatever health insurance you can get.

Unfortunately, health insurance is one area where we have not had very much luck changing things. Basically, health insurance companies can decide whom they want to insure and whom they want to reject. The courts have not been at all helpful in fighting for the right to be insured. No regulatory agency has helped us get the insurance we deserve.

Some ways people who are larger than average can obtain health insurance coverage:

If you own a business (even a small home business such as crafts, free-lance work, professional services, or anything that you file a Schedule C on your federal income tax return for), you can sometimes become part of an insured group through your local Chamber of Commerce.

If you belong to an club or association, ask them if they offer health insurance through their offices.

If you are a student, even taking just one class per semester, sometimes you can join a college health insurance plan.

If you are married, you can sometimes get insurance through your spouse’s employer.

There is now also supplemental insurance available, such as AFLAC . This is meant for catastrophic health care costs such as cancer care and inability to work due to injury, long-term illness, or disability, but apparently it is available to all regardless of size. One agent, Harlene Matza, is seeking out business from large-size people. Email Harlene.

Finally, if none of these apply to you, call your state Insurance Department. Look in the blue state government pages of your phone book for their number. Explain your situation to them. Each state has different laws and regulations regarding insurance, and some have consumer protection regulations. They may be able to help you. It is unfair that plus-size people have so much trouble obtaining health insurance, and we hope someday to change that. For now, these are the only alternatives for plus-size people seeking health insurance.


Statistics on Discrimination
Studies on Discrimination
Rude Businesspeople
Denial of Insurance (currently open)
Airline Seating
Public Accommodations
Discrimination FAQ
Taking Legal Action
Weight Discrimination Bibliography