lesa phillips before and after weight loss

Weight Management Pilot Program accepting applications through Nov. 16

Published: October 16, 2018 8:30 am

When Lesa Phillips enrolled in the State of Florida’s Weight Management Pilot Program last year, she was hopeful the program would help her lose some weight but had no idea just how much it would benefit her overall health. One year later and 40 pounds lighter, Phillips, an administrative services specialist in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, said she was “pleasantly surprised” to discover a decrease in all of her critical levels as well — including LDH, triglycerides, A1C, blood pressure and BMI.

“While I still have a long way to go, I really had no idea how much of an impact getting healthy and losing weight would have on my blood levels,” said Phillips.

Florida’s Department of Management Services recently announced it would offer a second year of the Weight Management Pilot Program for the 2019 plan year. The application period runs through Nov. 16.

The pilot will cover medical services provided by in-network physicians and Federal Drug Administration-approved medications prescribed for chronic weight management. Pilot participants will also be enrolled in a wellness program through their health plan for the 2019 plan year.

The pilot is open to 2,000 enrollees and their dependents in the State Group Health Insurance Program who meet  ALL of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Enrolled in Aetna, AvMed, Florida Blue or United Healthcare in the 2018 and 2019 plan years
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27 or higher and at least one weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes) or BMI of 30 without a comorbid condition
  • 18 years or older
  • Completed a health risk assessment in 2018
  • Consent to provide personal and medical information to the department
  • Referred and supervised by a licensed physician in network with the health plan during the 2019 plan year
  • Agree to enroll in a department-approved wellness program during the 2019 plan year

Phillips says she had such success the first year that she plans to enroll in the program again in 2019. Those who participated in year one of this pilot must have submitted completed mid-year and end-of-year progress reports.

Applicants are required to complete a health risk assessment through their health plans and have their physician complete a physician referral form as part of the application process. To learn more, visit the State of Florida’s myBenefits website.

Pictured above: Lesa Phillips, last January (left) and in September

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