Answers to Your Insurance Questions
Insurance coverage for weight loss procedures is a complex subject. The search for accurate information can be frustrating. Our financial specialist and patient access specialist will help you find answers to as many of your insurance questions as possible.
In 2006, Medicare recipients became eligible for coverage for weight loss surgery. Nationwide, with rising pressure from patients, insurance companies are increasingly more willing to review requests for coverage of surgical weight loss procedures on a case-by-case basis.
We strongly encourage you to contact your insurance company prior to your first visit to the Oregon Bariatric Center to determine whether your benefit plan covers weight loss procedures and related services. Coverage may be subject to meeting specific medical criteria or may be limited to specific procedures.
Don’t be discouraged if it is not covered initially. With your active involvement, a change to your policy is possible.
Some patients consider surgical weight loss to be such a critical investment in their health that they will pay for the procedure in the event their insurance company won’t. There are usually a variety of financing options available.
Certain expenses related to bariatric care paid out of pocket may be tax deductible as long as you itemize your tax return. The reason is that in 2002, the Internal Revenue Service recognized that “obesity is medically accepted to be a disease in its own right.” There are a variety of conditions that apply to this law, so consult with a tax adviser for complete details.
Additional Insurance Resources
Below are a few links to assist you with locating information.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
ODS Health Plan
Providence Medicare Extra
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon