Advocating for Yourself with Your Insurance Company

Do I have bariatric surgery coverage? How can I find out? What if I have to wait on hold or they ask me a bunch of questions I can’t answer? As you consider if weight loss surgery is right for you, it is important to talk to your insurance carrier about what costs are covered in your plan. Here are some tips to help you find those answers.

1. Discuss your weight loss options with your primary care doctor. Your doctor can provide helpful insight about what treatments you should consider based on your individual medical history.

2. Call your insurance carrier to ask about your insurance benefits. While you may have to wait on the phone for a while, you are the patient. You have the right to know the details of your policy’s coverage.

3. Check out trustworthy online resources from accredited organizations. Factual information can be found in scientific journals, hospital-based, government and non-profit sites that are peer reviewed.

4. Talk with your weight loss treatment doctor’s office about your coverage. As healthcare providers, we are called to advocate for our patients. We cannot do this work alone, though. Our goal is to partner with you in exploring your treatment options. You ultimately decide what path to pursue.

Here are some tips from the Obesity Action Coalition about how you can advocate for yourself in your weight loss journey:

Insurance Obstacles for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Keep in mind that some insurance companies change their covered benefits from year to year. Asking your company about the benefits in your plan can help you discern what options you have. Working with your healthcare team can help you put the pieces together to achieve your weight loss goals.