In the United States, weight loss surgery is becoming increasingly more popular. These surgeries can help individuals lose a significant amount of weight, reduce their risk for diabetes, and improve their overall health. But, many people are wondering whether United Healthcare covers weight loss surgery. The answer depends on a variety of factors.
What Is Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a type of procedure that alters the shape of the stomach, allowing a person to consume less food in order to lose weight. This surgery is typically used when other weight loss methods have failed. Types of weight loss surgery include: gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, adjustable gastric banding, and gastric balloon.
Does United Healthcare Cover Weight Loss Surgery?
The answer to this question varies depending on the type of plan you have. In general, United Healthcare does cover some types of weight loss surgery, as long as it is deemed medically necessary for the individual. But, it is important to note that each plan is different and some may not cover this type of surgery. It is important to check with your individual plan to see what is covered.
Gastric bypass is the most common type of weight loss surgery and is usually covered by United Healthcare. During this procedure, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach and connects to the small intestine. This allows food to bypass the lower stomach and the first part of the intestine, reducing the amount of calories and nutrients that are absorbed. It also helps to reduce hunger and food cravings.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a newer surgery that is becoming more popular. During this procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed and the remaining stomach is shaped like a tube or sleeve. This reduces the size of the stomach, which means a person can only eat a small amount of food. United Healthcare covers this procedure, but it must be deemed medically necessary.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch is a more complex procedure that is typically only recommended for individuals who are severely obese. During this procedure, the stomach is made smaller and a portion of the small intestine is bypassed. This reduces the amount of food that can be eaten and increases the amount of calories and nutrients that are absorbed. United Healthcare does cover this procedure, but it must be deemed medically necessary.
Adjustable Gastric Banding
Adjustable gastric banding is a less invasive procedure that involves placing a band around the upper stomach. This band divides the stomach into two sections, which limits the amount of food that can be consumed. This procedure is usually reversible and does not require any cutting of the stomach or intestines. United Healthcare does cover this procedure, but it must be deemed medically necessary.
Gastric balloon is a newer procedure that involves placing a large, deflated balloon in the stomach. The balloon is filled with saline and takes up space in the stomach, reducing the amount of food that can be consumed. This procedure is usually temporary and the balloon is removed after six months. United Healthcare does cover this procedure, but it must be deemed medically necessary.
In conclusion, United Healthcare does cover some types of weight loss surgery, as long as it is deemed medically necessary. It is important to check with your individual plan to see what is covered, as some plans may not cover all types of weight loss surgery. If you are considering weight loss surgery, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best option for you.