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How Weight Loss Surgery Can Change Your Life

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Financing Weight Loss Surgery

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If Your Insurance Company Declines to Cover Weight Loss Surgery continued...

Your appeal should take the form of a letter to the insurance company representative (such as a claims supervisor) who signed the denial. Your appeal letter should include:

  • An explanation why you feel the procedure should be covered
  • A request for a full explanation of why coverage is being denied (or paid at a reduced level)
  • A request for a copy of the specific statement -- taken from the policy or benefits booklet -- that explains why your coverage is limited or denied

Attach these documents:

  • A copy of the denial notification
  • A copy of your doctor's preauthorization letter

You may find it helpful to send a duplicate mailing of your appeal letter to your state's insurance commissioner or the department of corporations if you are covered by an HMO plan. You can explain that you are having trouble and ask for assistance.

Your bariatric surgeon can help you with your appeal. Also, the American Society of Bariatric Surgery offers names of legal counselors who work specifically with patients who have been denied coverage or have issues with their insurance companies.

Financing Your Weight Loss Surgery Privately

If you do not have health insurance, or if your insurer will not cover weight loss surgery, you have several ways to finance your surgery privately:

  • Take a regular loan or a home equity loan from a bank.
  • Get financing from a financing company that works with your surgeon or bariatric surgery center.
  • Sign a contract with your surgeon or weight loss surgery center to pay on the installment plan.

Keep in mind, if you finance your surgery you’ll pay interest on the loan amount, increasing your overall cost. Talk to your doctor and your surgeon about financing plans. They may have low-interest options.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 13, 2012
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