NU Online News Service, Feb. 1, 2005, 6:15 p.m. EST

A Bloomfield, Conn., managed care company is launching a set of programs to help health plan members cope with weight problems.[@@]

The company, CIGNA HealthCare, a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says it will be adding a diet and exercise program for overweight and moderately obese members; a disease management program for members who already suffer from serious obesity-related medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol; and case-management services for members who may weigh enough to be candidates for weight-control surgery.

For members who need weight-control surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, CIGNA will be putting together its own network of bariatric surgery “centers of excellence.”

CIGNA will be adding the programs to its health plans starting in 2006.