Bariatric surgery is a medical technique that can transform the lives of people who are obese. It is a weight loss surgery that includes modifying the digestive system in order to limit the amount of food that may be consumed. Many individuals question if bariatric surgery is covered by Medicare, the government health insurance program for people over the age of 65 and those with certain disabilities. The good news is that Medicare does fund bariatric surgery under certain conditions.
To be eligible for Medicare coverage of bariatric surgery, the patient must have a BMI of 35 or greater, as well as at least one obesity-related medical condition, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea. The patient must also have attempted unsuccessfully various weight loss measures such as diet and exercise. Furthermore, the procedure must be conducted in an approved facility by a Medicare-certified practitioner.
While Medicare covers bariatric surgery, it does not cover all types of weight loss surgery. Gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and adjustable gastric banding are the most frequent types of bariatric surgery reimbursed by Medicare. Procedures such as gastric balloon and duodenal switch, on the other hand, may not be covered.
While the prospect of surgery can be frightening, bariatric surgery can significantly enhance the quality of life for patients who suffer from obesity. Aside from weight loss, the operation can improve or resolve a variety of obesity-related health issues, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the long-term cost savings from improved health can exceed the cost of the procedure.
If you are considering bariatric surgery and have Medicare coverage, you should consult with your healthcare professional to see if you are eligible for coverage. Your provider can also assist you in understanding the risks and benefits of various types of bariatric surgery so that you can make an informed decision about which operation is best for you.
To summarize, bariatric surgery can be a life-changing therapy for patients suffering from obesity and accompanying health issues. Medicare covers certain forms of bariatric surgery, but you must meet the qualifying requirements and have the treatment performed by a Medicare-approved practitioner in an approved facility. If you are thinking about having bariatric surgery, consult with your doctor to see if it is right for you.