Medical Tourism Blog
Read the SkyMedicus blog to learn the latest in medical tourism, latest procedures,
newest providers and the awe-inspiring patients we’re working with.
If Insurance Wants You To Gain Weight, Choose Bariatric Surgery Abroad
Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 7/24/2017 9:58 AM | Last Modified: September 26, 2017
If your insurance company wants you to gain more weight to reach a certain BMI threshold before you qualify for weight loss surgery, there's another option you need to consider: bariatric surgery abroad.
Let us explain:
As anyone who has worked in the insurance industry will tell you: It’s a numbers game. There are actuarial calculations, formulas and tables for seemingly everything. It’s fair to say that the insurance industry was “Big Data before Big Data became cool”.
The purpose of this article is by no means to denigrate the insurance industry – because sometimes, it’s OK to play a numbers game. For example, when we apply for coverage or make a claim, we want the numbers to be consistent and standardized, rather than arbitrary and subjective.
Where Insurance Companies Fail with Bariatric Surgery Patients
However, there are times when the insurance industry really doesn’t do much to diminish its kind of callous “numbers before people” image, and there’s arguably no better (or worse) example of this than with bariatric surgery.
This is not because insurance companies refuse to cover bariatric surgery. Rather, it’s because they establish a certain BMI threshold – which, alas, is a number -- that many people not only can’t meet, but don’t want to meet for obvious reasons.
The Problem with Insurance Companies Who Rely on a BMI Threshold
This is the troubling, Twilight Zone-ish scenario that Grand Rapids, Michigan resident Annette Troupe experienced in 2012, when her insurance company informed her in no uncertain terms that her BMI of 33.1 disqualified her for bariatric insurance coverage. As such, she would have to foot the entire $17,000 bill, plus additional out-of-pocket expenses of at least a few thousand dollars. However, had her BMI been 35 - that is, if she was 11 pounds heavier - then her coverage would kick-in.
It’s not difficult to see the absurdity of Troupe’s situation, which unfortunately, is by no means uncommon. Across the country, tens of thousands of people are unable to afford life changing and potentially life saving bariatric surgery – not because they don’t have insurance, but because they evidently don’t weigh enough.
How Bariatric Surgery Abroad Provides the Solution for Thousands of Patients
Fortunately for Troupe, whose story was featured in the press, there was another option: bariatric surgery abroad. And so, rather than continuing to put her health at risk -- among other ailments, she had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis and was pre-diabetic -- Troupe booked a trip to Mexico, had successful bariatric surgery abroad, and today couldn’t be happier.
“I am not anti-American — I love my country,” commented Troupe. “There just are other options out there available to you if you do the research and ask the right questions.”
At SkyMedicus, we applaud Troupe and her family for looking beyond conventional options, and discovering that the safest and most feasible way forward was to schedule bariatric surgery abroad. It was a story that obviously had a disturbing and even shocking beginning, but an inspiring ending.
If you’re facing a similar scenario – one where your insurance will cover bariatric surgery, but not unless and until you gain weight and meet the BMI threshold – then contact the team at SkyMedicus today.
We will provide you with a clear overview of the medical tourism process, and help you make an informed decision on whether, like Troupe, bariatric surgery abroad is the right decision for you, your health and your future.
Topics: Bariatric Surgery