Bariatric surgery for weight loss may be a life-saving procedure, but it is not cheap. Although a number of insurance companies cover the procedure, many individuals find that their medical insurance providers balk at the cost. Most insurance companies require a letter outlining a patient's weigh-loss history and the medical necessity for the surgery before they will even consider financing the procedure. Even with a carefully crafted letter, many insurance companies will refuse to authorize the surgery.
If this happens, the patient should not give up hope, since most insurance providers give patients an opportunity to appeal a denial. Most insurance companies require that patients appeal within 30-60 days after receiving a denial of coverage. The bariatric surgery insurance Appeal Letter should include information disputing the insurance provider's reason for denial. As a last result, patients may need an attorney to help prove the medical necessity of the procedure.
For patients with no insurance, there are financial alternatives available. A number of financial institutions offer financing specifically for healthcare expenses such as co-payments, deductibles, and procedures not covered by insurance, including bariatric surgery. Some offer no-interest, same-as-cash plans as well as extended payment plans. Some bariatric surgery centers contract with finance companies to offer financial assistance to patients who are interested in this type of surgery but do not have the insurance to pay for it.
Finally, a patient can take out a home equity loan to finance the procedure. Those patients who do elected to pay for bariatric surgery themselves should keep in mind that it may be tax deductible, since it is considered a major medical expense. A consultation with an accountant may e in order.