The Bariatric Surgery Process: Steps Along the Journey to a New You

Considering Weight Loss Surgery?

Not everyone is a good candidate for weight loss surgery. To find out if you qualify, you can meet with our bariatric care team at Ascension St. Vincent to talk about your current health status and weight control history.

You are likely a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:

  • Are 18 to 65 with exception to older individuals
  • Are more than 100 pounds overweight
  • Have tried other medically managed weight control programs
  • Have physical or psychological complications that could be significantly improved by losing weight
  • Are motivated and committed to lose weight
  • Are willing to participate in follow-up care and support sessions

Insurance Coverage for Weight Loss Surgery

Getting your weight loss surgery covered by insurance may require demonstrating the medical need for the procedure. Here are steps you can take to get coverage for your weight loss surgery:

  • Read and understand the "certificate of coverage" provided to you by your insurance company. If you don't have one, ask them for a copy. They're required by law to provide you with one.
  • Even if you aren't required to get a referral, it's still a good idea to have the support of your primary care provider.
  • Before meeting with the bariatric surgeon, get your medical records in order, including your dieting history. Every stage of the approval process may require these documents.
  • Document every visit you make to a healthcare professional for obesity-related issues and visits to supervised weight loss programs.
  • Document other weight loss attempts made through diet centers and fitness club memberships. Keep good records, even receipts.

If your surgeon recommends weight loss surgery, he or she will prepare a letter to obtain pre-authorization from your insurance company. The goal of this letter is to establish the "medical necessity" of the surgery and gain approval for the procedure.

Calculate Your BMI (Body Mass Index)

A BMI helps our team better understand your current limitations. To determine which weight loss program you qualify for, please enter your height and weight to calculate BMI.

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