Heavy Infant Denied Health Insurance

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Breast-Feeding, Health

4-month-old Alex weighs in at 17 pounds. Credit: Bernie Lange

A 4-month-old baby boy whose weight is in the 99th percentile is being denied health insurance because he is "obese."

Alex Lange weighed 8 and 1/4 pounds when he was born, but on a diet of breast milk this healthy baby now weights about 17 pounds and is 25-inches long, which puts him in the 99th percentile for both height and weight.

And for that reason alone he is being denied health insurance, according to The Denver Post. Alex's parents, Bernie and Kelli Lange, sought a new health insurance carrier when their current plan's price increased by 40 percent. They never expected that their healthy family would be denied because of Alex's size.

Bernie Lange, a a part-time news anchor at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction, Colo., told the newspaper that the broker they hired to help them find a new carrier delivered some shocking news.

"'Your baby is too fat,' she told me," the dad said.The insurance company told the family that it does not cover babies who are above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

"I could understand if we could control what he's eating. But he's 4 months old. He's breast-feeding. We can't put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill," Lange told the Post. "There is just something absurd about denying an infant."

Mom Kelli agrees, and said she would never deny her son food. "I'm not going to withhold food to get him down below that number of 95," she said. "I'm not going to have him screaming because he's hungry."

The Langes said they plan to appeal the decision, and if that doesn't work they will take their case to the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Would your child be denied health insurance under these guidelines?

Related: Mother Fired for Pumping on the Job

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.