“I no longer worry about whether or not I’ll be here to watch my kids and grandkids grow, and be part of all of the special moments in their lives. I feel 20 years younger and have a new take on life. Saint Agnes gave that to me and I will forever be grateful for that.” – Keith
Bariatric surgery is often covered by insurance provided you meet certain eligibility criteria. Insurance companies are frequently changing their coverage criteria and have multiple medical plans, so please call you insurance company’s member services number and confirm current requirements and eligibility for bariatric surgery coverage.
Our specialized skilled staff will obtain the approval from the insurance company. Do not attempt to get authorization for surgery yourself or ask you Primary Care Physician to do that. Here are some helpful hints to assist with the authorization process:
The insurance company might ask for the following information and documentation (Be prepared to assist us with providing these upon request):
If we have submitted an authorization for surgery requests and it was denied, we have the right to appeal the decision on your behalf. Being denied coverage for surgery happens to some patients and this initial set back does not mean that you’ve reached the end of the road. Some insurance providers may initially deny bariatric surgery claims automatically the first time they’re submitted, and can be more receptive to follow-up appeal letters and peer-to-peer reviews with medical directors.
If you have questions about the insurance process, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Let our experienced bariatric team help you with the authorization process.
AETNA: Standard NIH weight criteria, 5 years documentation of a history by a doctor, supervised 6-month (or two 3-month periods) diet within 2 past years, evaluation by dietitian & psychologist.
Blue Cross Federal: Standard NIH weight criteria, 3-6 months supervised diet, evaluation by dietitian & psychologist.
CIGNA: Standard NIH weight criteria, supervised 6-month diet within 2 past years, evaluation by dietitian & psychologist.
United/MAMSI/MDIPA/Optimum Choice: Standard NIH weight criteria, 5-year weight history, evaluation by dietitian & psychologist. Some plans may require 6 months supervised diet.
United/MAMSI/MDIPA/Optimum Choice Federal: Standard NIH weight criteria, supervised 6-month (or two 3-month periods) diet within past 2 years, evaluation by dietitian and psychologist.
Medicare/Medicaid: Standard NIH weight criteria, supervised 6-month diet, evaluation by dietitian and psychologist, participation in preparation/conditioning program with surgeon for 3 months. Eligible co-morbidities include hypertension untreatable with 2 or more medications, type II diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, severe arthritis requiring joint replacement, or fatty liver. Weight loss of 10 percent or more before surgery makes patient ineligible for surgery, and revision procedures are not covered unless there is a complication from the initial surgery.
Our preference is for you to use your insurance to avoid the significant (up to 90% of total charges) hospital and other related costs of bariatric surgery. If you do not have insurance coverage for bariatric surgery, please contact our office and office manager or surgical scheduler will advise you on total cost and available payment plan allowed by the Hospital.
If an associated general surgery procedure like gall bladder removal, hiatal hernia repair is performed along with bariatric procedure, part of the expenses might be covered by your insurance, thus reducing the total cost.
For more than 150 years, Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital has been dedicated to the art of healing by providing exceptional care to the greater Baltimore area. Built on a strong foundation of excellent medical care and compassion, Ascension Saint Agnes is committed to providing the best care for our patients for many years to come.