• Does Your Insurance Cover Weight Loss Surgery?

    Choosing to have weight loss surgery, whether it’s gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, or another weight loss surgery option, can be stressful, even with all the helpful information out there. One of the biggest concerns you might have about surgical weight loss may not even be about the surgery itself, but another factor—insurance.

    Just as there are different types of weight loss surgery, there are different types of health and medical insurance. You may be wondering how to finance the surgery or if your insurance will cover a portion, or all, of the bill.

    macbook pro stethoscope iphone and sunglasses on desk

    What Will Surgical Weight Loss Cost?

    Depending on your type of weight loss surgery, the total cost can vary significantly. so you’ll want to know for sure what you’ll be responsible for covering. Unfortunately, many insurance companies don’t want to cover even minimally invasive weight loss surgery, though they do cover the costs associated with obesity—medications, hospitalizations, and doctor visits.

    Before we get too mad at your insurance company, it’s important to note that, in many cases, whether you are covered or not has to do with your employer and the benefits they offer you. If your plan does have the coverage, your next hurdle may be qualifying for the surgery. Insurance companies will be looking for complete records and documentation—and you may have to send it several times before they accept it. Don’t give up, though! They will be counting on the hassle discouraging you.

    How Do I Find Out if I’m Covered for Surgical Weight Loss?

    ● Best option: Have your doctor or surgeon’s office contact your insurance company directly. They have the knowledge and experience to ask the right questions, as well as the correct medical codes the insurance company might ask for. They will also know what the approval process looks like and how to proceed.

    ● If you’d rather do it yourself: Call your insurance company. Be sure you have the medical codes for the different types of weight loss surgery you are talking with your surgeon about and try to research your plan beforehand.

    ● If your Job has an HR department, they should be able to help you access your benefits and contact the insurance company on your behalf, if you prefer.

    doctor holding a stethoscop

    How to Get Approved for Bariatric Surgery Coverage

    Getting approved to have your bariatric surgery covered can seem complicated, but it’s just a few steps. Don’t forget, though, that this can take some time—even up to a year.

    1. Prove to your insurance company that you need the surgery:

    a. Meet the BMI (Body Mass Index) weight requirements laid out by your insurance plan.
    b. Go through a medical diet program that your doctor or surgeon approves and will oversee (this will take several months, so be prepared for it).

    2. Meet with your team:

    a. Make an appointment with your bariatric surgeon.
    b. Make an appointment with your regular doctor and have them give you a medical clearance letter.
    c. Meet with a psychiatrist and have them give you a mental health clearance letter.
    d. Meet with a registered nutritionist for an evaluation.

    3. Send all the paperwork:

    a. Medical clearance and mental health clearance letters.
    b. Proof of BMI and medical diet program.
    c. Health history, past programs and diets, and anything else to show you’ve tried to lose weight before seeking weight loss surgery.

    4. Wait for the review process:

    a. If you’re approved, great! You can move forward with scheduling your bariatric surgery with your surgical team.
    b. If you’re denied, don’t fret! You can always appeal their decision. Be sure to get details as to why you were denied and talk to your HR department and doctor’s office to get what you need to re-submit.

    If you’re still in the early stages of researching the different types of weight loss surgery or have questions about your options, reach out to the experts at the Houston Sleeve Surgery Clinic. Their compassionate and experienced staff can help determine what you need to move forward with your weight loss journey. Give them a call today at (281) 888-7767 or look through their website.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, posts, or videos. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • 6 Exercises to Promote Fat Loss

    Whether you are considering weight loss procedures or have already had the surgery, you have probably been advised by your medical team about starting to exercise—but, with so many different ways to burn fat, you might be wondering where to start. Here are 6 effective fat-burning exercises to try with your doctor’s approval.

    Before Weight Loss Surgery

    Prior to weight loss surgery, you’ll likely be advised to begin slowly with low to moderate exercise, gradually increasing the time you spend. Low-impact exercises are best at this point and should be a combination of weight resistant and aerobic activity. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week.

    fitness girl jumping exercise in gym

    Swimming

    Swimming is beneficial to the whole body. The gentle resistance of water is a great fat-burner and easy on the joints, which makes it an ideal activity if you’re experiencing this kind of pain.

    Slow Walking

    Walking is a great low-impact exercise which can be done twice daily at 10 minutes each time. If you must begin with less, that’s okay, too; you need to listen to your body.

    Chair Marches

    If you have back problems or difficulty with moving, the great news is that you can still build muscle and burn fat. All that’s needed is to sit in a chair and march in place for 20 minutes.

    make sure you clear any activity with your treating doctor prior to start.

    After Weight Loss Surgery

    You can experience quicker recovery when you exercise following weight loss surgery. In addition, you can improve bowel function, promote wound healing, reduce the risk of blood clots, and improve circulation by engaging in physical activity.

    Walking

    Soon after the procedure, you can begin walking on a regular basis. However, you should increase the distance and intensity of your walk according to how you feel. Your new goal is to reach 10,000 steps each day.

    Cycling

    Riding a stationary bicycle offers many health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, fat-burning, and muscle building, which is important after surgery because you’ll lose muscle as you lose weight.

    Resistance Training

    After bariatric surgery weight loss is a good time to add some weight to your workout regimen. However, this shouldn’t occur until around 2-3 months after surgery when the body has had time to heal. You might consider adding light dumbbells or wrist weights and doing low-intensity weight resistance.

    overweight young woman exercising with dumbbells

    Avoid any resistance exercises involving the abdomen and lower back until 3 months or more after surgery. You’ll also want to avoid high-intensity training until 6 months after surgery.

    Begin with weights between one and five pounds. Once you can do three sets of 15-20 movements, you can increase the weight. However, don’t continue if you feel any pain; stop and try something else. Wherever you are in your exercise journey, always stretch slowly before and after exercise to maintain flexibility.

    The weight loss experts at Houston Sleeve Surgery Clinic are ready to help you explore your options. Learn more about our personalized solutions by claiming your free consultation today: (281) 888-7767.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.