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Obamacare Doesn’t Cover Bariatric Surgery – Where to Turn?

The president’s controversial new healthcare initiative guarantees to bring the much needed health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. Unfortunately, obese citizens in over two dozen states will find that weight loss treatments, both medications and bariatric surgeries, will not be covered under the Affordable Care Act.

Many of those states, like Mississippi, Alabama, and others in the Deep South, have some highest obesity rates in the nation.

“You have to realize in the South, everything revolves around food,” Dr. Erin Cummins, Director of the Bariatric Surgery Department at the Central Mississippi Medical Center told Kaiser Health News. “Reunions, funerals, parties – everything revolves around food.”

But the decision to exclude weight loss treatment from the health plans sold on those states’ new online insurance marketplaces was not made lightly. Bariatric surgeries are extremely expensive in the United States –$42,000 on average, according to the KHN article. Including such costly treatments in the Obamacare plans would have made them too expensive, and put them out of reach for multitudes of Americans who need affordable healthcare.

 

Obamacare

 

Therese Hanna is the Executive Director of the Center for Mississippi Health Policy. She told KHN she was not surprised that the Obamacare plans in her state did not cover weight loss treatments.

“With the discussions around what should be covered under the exchange within the state, a lot of it had to do with balancing the cost versus the coverage,” Hanna said. “If you try to include everything, the cost would be so high that people wouldn’t be able to afford the coverage, so you defeat the purpose.”

“And that’s been most of the discussion in our state is how do we provide the kind of care for things like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. So we have a lot of needs to be covered other than obesity itself,” she continued.

It is a logical argument, but unfortunately, those very conditions she mentioned – high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease – are very often caused by obesity. Bariatric surgeries have the potential to reverse many of the detrimental comorbidities associated with severe and super-obesity, such as high blood pressure and sleep apnea, and have even been found to put diabetes into remission.

So what options do obese Americans have when they can’t afford the precipitously priced weight loss surgeries that could save their lives? This is precisely the problem that Bariatric Surgery World has been solving for years.By facilitating trips for obese Americans to have bariatric surgery outside the USA, they have helped scores of people get the treatment they need to begin leading thinner, healthier lives that they wouldn’t have been able to receive at home.

One such surgery, gastric sleeve, has been found to consistently effect massive weight loss. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric sleeve causes an average of 55% excess weight loss. Bariatric Surgery World informs American patients to whom the surgery is financially out of reach that the cost of gastric sleeve in India is often half of what it is in the U.S. They also offer weight loss surgery packages in association with their network hospitals in India that offer even more savings, and they help patients plan out the logistics of flying to India for surgery.

The cost of vertical sleeve gastrectomy in Mexico is also much lower than in the United States, and many obese Americans go to Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, and Tijuana for gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and lap band surgery each year. They also facilitate trips to Costa Rica and other countries with affordable prices for bariatric surgeries.

Bariatric Surgery World posts many videos of patient testimonials. These satisfied customers can attest to the medical conditions in the hospitals. It is common to think that surgery in another country will be subpar, but patients are regularly surprised to have received medical treatment on par with what they expect from U.S. hospitals, along with free transportation services, like airport pick-up, and other luxuries.

If you too are looking to get rid of that extra baggage of flab and seek bariatric surgery at an affordable price, Bariatric Surgery World can help you find a hospital and plan a trip abroad to receive the procedure you desire.

Fill out the estimate-request form on the right for more information.