Medicare offers free weight-loss counseling, but fewer than 1% of Medicare’s 50 million beneficiaries use it—even though 30% of seniors are obese and eligible for counseling. Problem: Many of the most knowledgeable providers, such as weight-loss specialists, are not allowed to participate, because Medicare reimburses only primary-care providers, nurse ­practitioners and physician assistants working in doctors’ offices. Also: Medicare requires that counseling be given during a separate appointment, not when patients come in for other services. For information, go to