Thursday, December 1, 2011

Does Health Insurance Cover Weight Loss Surgery?

With the obesity epidemic going strong across the US, more and more Americans are choosing weight loss surgery as a way to get their obesity under control.  This is a big decision which should be gone over in detail with your doctor and health should be carefully considered.  The other thing to consider is the cost.  It can be very expensive coming in at around $20,000 give or take thousands of dollars.  Many individual health insurance companies will cover the surgery with a letter from the patients doctor stating medical necessity, but this varies greatly from state to state and from insurer to insurer.

The MAMSI UnitedHealthcare website talks about how to choose a hospital for bariatric surgery and what key factors to look for.  The medical community has been analyzing for years the factors that can predict good outcomes from the surgery and the education and training of the surgery seems to make a big difference.  The hospital should also be able to accommodate certain situations such as the ability to deal with obese patients appropriately.  There should be a specially trained anesthesia staff that works well under pressure and fully understands the special risk factors obese people face on the operating table.

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping those looking towards weight loss surgery.  Various hospitals have responded to a request for information for Centers for Bariatric Surgery and they’ve looked at quality measures such as volume, specialized equipment, expertly trained staff, average length of stay, complication rates and the training of bariatric surgeons.  Based on this information, they’ve made informed recommendations for bariatric hospitals.  If you are considering weight loss surgery and your doctor agrees it’s a good option for you, take the time to research which hospitals are the most trained and how your health insurance will ultimately handle the whole process financially.


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