Posts Tagged - ‘gastric bypass’

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Should Health Insurance Plans Cover Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Image: EmerandSam under CC 3.0

Obesity is a condition that impacts the health of millions of Americans. There are several options in dealing with it: diet and exercise is the most obvious. An increasing number of health insurers are encouraging the former through wellness programs.

However, success rates are relatively low. Some are proposing gastric bypass surgery as a solution. Some health insurance plans cover the $30,000 surgical procedure for the morbidly obese, but others believe that the investment in preventative care. Obese teenagers, especially, are increasingly taking advantage of it.

By no means is surgery a panacea: some people manage to regain all their weight (though fewer than the 95% who do so with diet and exercise), and up to a third of patients have medical complications. Still, in most cases gastric bypass seems to cure type 2 diabetes (which is expensive to treat for many years). The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder, himself a gastric bypass patient, speculates that paying for the procedure for all obese Americans would end up costing less than the medical complications associated with obesity. However, it is an extreme option of last-resort, and is an over $30 billion-worth pipe dream.

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Your Health Insurance May Cover Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Image: adamjackson1984 under CC 3.0

After losing a significant amount of weight, many people deal with loose skin. Although their health outcomes are clearly better, it can be dismaying to see flab after defeating obesity.

In some cases, excess skin may even result in medical discomfort, such as back pain or rashes. If you can prove that cosmetic surgery–e.g. a tummy tuck–is medically necessary for those reasons, it is possible that health insurance plans will reimburse the cost.

You are more likely to find success in having your health insurance pay for the procedure if you had gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery.

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