Does Medicare Cover Weight Loss Surgery?
Many people wonder if their health insurance company covers weight loss surgeries. The short answer is that they might pay for one surgery, but might not cover another. The long answer is that this is a very tricky area of coverage, and the devil is in the details. So, let’s dig into this topic for a more detailed understanding of how health insurance companies and bariatric surgical procedures relate.
Most health insurance plans do cover weight loss surgeries. In general terms, “medicaid” means a government or private plan that provides coverage to healthcare costs. Bariatric surgery is a term that describes medical procedures used to help individuals who are too obese to be able to lose enough weight to relieve their symptoms without losing their ability to function. In most cases, a doctor will recommend that you engage in bariatric surgery in order to lose a certain amount of weight. To afford that surgery, you’ll probably need to sign up for a government program called medicaid.
So, what does this mean for someone considering engaging in bariatric surgery? It means that if you’re obese, you don’t have to worry about whether your insurance plan covers the cost of your surgery. You’ll just have to pay for it out of pocket. Your first step should always be to talk with your primary care physician, or a doctor that works closely with you, and see if he or she can recommend an approved surgeon in your area. You may also want to research the state health department website to find an approved surgeon.
Once you’ve located an approved surgeon, your next step is to decide when you’ll be able to have the surgery. When you’re talking to your medicaid representative, ask them if the surgery will be covered by medicaid. If it will, they will help you fill out the necessary paperwork. Once that paperwork has been filled out and sent to the medical facility, you’ll usually be told if the surgery is approved or not. Your next step will be to set up a time and date for the surgery. Most medical facilities have an advanced appointment schedule system where you can set up an appointment to have the surgery no matter how many months you’ve been waiting.
Once the date for your surgery has been set, you’ll need to visit your medicaid office for a pre-operation examination and a checkup. Unless you’ve had the surgery under emergency or life-saving circumstances, your regular visit for checkups should be free and you shouldn’t be expected to pay any money at all. If you do have to pay for any portion of your checkup, the amount will be taken out of your Medicare coverage. You’ll also be asked to fill out several personal items to help the medical facility prepare for the surgery, including blood work and a health history form.
Next, you’ll be put on a waiting list. At this point, it’s important to realize that the sooner you move ahead with your surgery, the more quickly you will begin receiving your medical need payments. As long as you can meet the following requirements, you’re likely to be placed on the approved surgeons’ list as soon as the day you’re discharged from the hospital. Bariatric surgery patients are subject to particular requirements regarding follow-up care. Bariatric centers must meet certain standards regarding follow-up care.
After you’ve been released from the hospital, you’ll need to make a final decision about your surgical procedure and whether or not you need assistance from your medicaid office to help make the transition into your new lifestyle. Some surgeries can be performed as outpatient procedures, while others require that you be admitted and remain in the hospital for a period of time. In addition to the surgical procedure itself, there are many different types of lifestyle changes that you’ll need to make in order to maintain proper nutrition and to keep yourself safe during your post-operation recovery period. This can be particularly difficult, so it’s a good idea to consult with a licensed nutrition specialist in your area who can help you map out the changes you need to make.
In short, yes, medicaid does cover weight loss surgery through private insurance plans. If your current weight is too high or your health isn’t optimal, it may be in your best interests to discuss your options with a licensed nutritionist in your area who can help you map out a plan for success. Although medicaid typically offers the greatest coverage for this type of procedure, your state may also have some Medicaid programs that cover gastric bypass surgery, so you may be able to find help there as well. You may also want to consult with a plastic surgeon, dietitian, or other medical professional to discuss what it will take for you to reach and maintain your ideal weight after your surgery has been completed.