Weight-Loss Surgery Cost
Your insurance options for bariatric surgery.
A growing number of states have passed legislation that requires insurance companies to provide benefits for weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients that meet the National Institutes of Health surgical criteria.
Patients who meet this criteria have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or a BMI or 45 or more with serious health problems linked to obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea.
While insurance coverage for weight-loss surgery is widespread, it can involve a lengthy and complicated approval process. The staff at the bariatric surgeon's office are well-acquainted with insurance and can help patients navigate through the process in preparation for surgery.
There are some key things that you should do to obtain insurance coverage for weight-loss surgery:
- Before visiting the bariatric surgeon, organize your medical records, including your history of dieting efforts. They will be valuable documents to have at every stage of the approval process.
- Document every visit you make to a health care professional for obesity-related issues or supervised weight-loss programs. Document other weight loss attempts made through diet centers and fitness club memberships. Keep good records and save receipts.
- Read and understand the "certificate of coverage" that your insurance company is required by law to give you. If you do not have one, contact your company's benefits administrator or contact your insurance company directly. The "certificate of coverage" will outline your bariatric benefits; you will want to check whether bariatric surgery is a covered benefit and identify any deductibles or costs for the surgery.
- You may be required to begin the process with your primary care doctor. In some cases, he or she is the only one you can ask for a referral to a qualified bariatric surgeon. Even if you are not required to get a referral, it is a good idea to have the support of your primary care doctor.
Learn more about Sharp's Weight-Loss Surgery Program by attending a free information session. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm, or register online at Sharp's weight-loss surgery seminar.