ConnectiCare Weight Loss Surgery – How to Avoid a Denial

Your ConnectiCare weight loss surgery insurance coverage depends on several factors, all of which are reviewed below.

To request a free insurance check, click here to contact a local surgeon. Alternatively, use the tool below to find out if you have coverage.

Read and click below for additional weight loss surgery insurance details.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Click on any of the topics below to jump directly to that section

  1. Coverage Requirements
  2. Coverage Plans
  3. Covered Procedures
  4. Appealing a Denial
  5. Find a Weight Loss Surgeon
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01.

Coverage Requirements

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • 35+ Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Documentation of failed diet attempts
  • Psychological evaluation

READ THIS FIRST

Even if your insurance company covers bariatric surgery in some plans, that does not mean that your specific plan covers it. The obesity surgery approval requirements in this section assume that weight loss surgery is covered by your specific policy.

To confirm whether your specific policy covers bariatric surgery, click here to contact a surgeon and ask for a free insurance check.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this page may not include all components of your insurance company’s medical policy and/or may not be up to date. Contact your insurance company to confirm all benefits.

In order to be approved by ConnectiCare for bariatric surgery in the United States, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. The individual is age 18 or over
  2. Diagnosis of Morbid obesity, defined as
  3. Or

    • BMI 35 – 39.9 AND one of the following
      • (Obesity-related cardiomyopathy
      • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (w/AHI >15)
      • Pickwickian syndrome
      • Respiratory insufficiency
      • Hypoxia at rest
      • Type II diabetes
      • CAD
      • Medically refractory hypertension

    Use this BMI Calculator to check your body mass index…

  4. A preoperative weight management program prepares an individual for postoperative dietary management and may improve surgical outcomes. Therefore, there must be documentation of at least one of the following:
    • In the two years prior to the surgery, the individual has participated in a physician-supervised weight management program for a minimum of six months. Such a program must consist of dietary therapy (utilizing a dietician/nutritionist), a low-calorie diet, structured exercise program (unless medically contraindicated) and behavioral modification. The documentation must contain contemporaneous weights and physician medical record notes detailing the individual’s progress through the course of the program. A physician summary letter does not meet these documentation requirements
    • In the year prior to surgery, the individual has participated in a multidisciplinary surgeon-supervised preparatory program for at least three consecutive months. Such a program must consist of dietary therapy (utilizing a dietician/nutritionist), a low-calorie diet, structured exercise program (unless medically contraindicated) and behavioral modification. The documentation must contain evidence of contemporaneous weights, physician oversight and physician medical record notes detailing the individual’s progress and completion of the program. A physician summary letter does not meet these documentation requirements
  5. There must be evidence of a psychiatric or psychological evaluation demonstrating no barriers to the understanding of, and compliance with, the surgical procedure and required postoperative medical and dietary care. Individuals with active alcoholism, drug abuse or an uncontrolled major psychiatric disorder are not medically appropriate for bariatric surgery

Revision Requirements

A Repeat / Revision Surgery as long as all of the following criteria are met:

  • The requested repeat bariatric surgery is covered according to the individual’s plan of medical benefits
  • The individual met, or would have met, ConnectiCare’s medical necessity criteria for the previous bariatric surgery
  • The repeat bariatric surgery is at least two years after the previous bariatric procedure
  • A technical failure of the previous bariatric procedure has occurred and is documented in the physician office notes and diagnostic imaging reports (e.g., ultrasound, upper GI series, esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • Following the previous bariatric surgery, the individual failed to lose at least 50% of his/her excess body weight or is more than 30% above ideal body weight
  • Following the previous bariatric surgery, there is written documentation of full, consistent compliance with prescribed post-bariatric surgery care, including but not limited to, nutritional counseling, a structured exercise program, and behavioral support groups and/or psychological counseling. A physician summary letter does not meet this documentation requirement

If Your Policy Does NOT Cover It: Seek Partial Coverage

You may be able to get part of the costs paid for by insurance even if weight loss surgery isn’t covered. It’s all about how your doctor and hospital submit your claims to your insurance company.

For example, there are many non-bariatric surgery reasons for your doctor to recommend:

  • Cardiology exam
  • Lab work
  • Medically supervised diet program
  • Psychological exam
  • Sleep study

These are ordered for many reasons other than bariatric surgery and may be covered as a result. If your doctor submits one of these claims using a weight loss surgery CPT code (Current Procedural Terminology Code), your insurance is unlikely to cover it. But if your doctor uses a general CPT code, it probably will be covered.

While this may sound “sneaky”, it is an ethical practice. After all, these tests will be beneficial regardless of whether you move forward with surgery.

ConnectiCare Contact Information and Full Medical Policy on Bariatric Surgery

02.

Coverage by Plan Type

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • Coverage Through Your Employer
  • Individual & Family Plans
  • Medicare

Before getting into the types of insurance plans, you can cut to the chase by contacting a local bariatric surgeon’s office. Most surgeons will contact your insurance company for free to confirm whether or not you’re covered.

Click here to find a local surgeon and ask them to check your insurance for you for free.

ConnectiCare does cover weight loss surgery, but your specific policy must include it in order for you get it covered.

Following are a list of ConnectiCare plan types and whether they cover bariatric surgery:

Weight Loss Surgery for Health Plans Through Your Work

If you work for a company that has 50 or more full time employees, it is completely up to your employer to decide whether or not to cover bariatric surgery under your health plan.

To find out whether weight loss surgery is covered by your employer’s plan, you have a few options:

Weight Loss Surgery for Individual/Family Plans

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires all individual and small group plans (less than 50 full time employees) to include weight loss surgery coverage as long as it is considered an “Essential Health Benefit” in your state.

The following states DO currently consider bariatric surgery an Essential Health Benefit (bariatric surgery is covered by all individual, family and small group plans in these states):

Your State Not on the List?

If your state is NOT on the list, then weight loss surgery is probably NOT covered under your plan.

First, contact your local surgeon to be sure. For no charge, their office will contact your insurance company on your behalf to work through the details.

If your surgeon confirms that your policy does not include obesity surgery, you still have several options for making surgery more affordable. See these pages for more information:

    • Arizona
    • California
    • Delaware
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Iowa
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • Oklahoma
    • Rhode Island
    • South Dakota
    • Vermont
    • West Virginia
    • Wyoming

Regardless of whether your state is on the list, contact a qualified surgeon to request a free insurance check to verify your coverage.

To review your insurance company’s obesity surgery coverage requirements, click here to jump back up the page.

Weight Loss Surgery for Medicare Plans

All Medicare plans are required to cover the following weight loss surgery procedures:

However, special Medicare-specific criteria apply. Click here to learn more about Medicare bariatric surgery coverage.

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03.

Covered Weight Loss Procedures

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • Gastric Sleeve
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Lap-Band
  • Duodenal Switch

Please see below for the procedures ConnectiCare covers, might cover under certain circumstances, and those that are not covered under any circumstances:

Procedures That ARE Covered

Procedures That MIGHT BE Covered

The following procedures MIGHT BE covered by ConnectiCare:

Procedures That Are NOT Covered

The following procedures are NOT covered by ConnectiCare:

04.

Appealing a Denial

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • General Appeal Instructions
  • Appeal Details Specific to ConnectiCare

If ConnectiCare denies your weight loss surgery claim and you think it should be covered, consider filing an appeal.

Our Health Insurance Appeals page will get you started, then head over to the Disputes & Appeals page for ConnectiCare to learn how to proceed.

05.

Find A Top Weight Loss Surgeon

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • Ask for a free insurance check or cost quote
  • Attend a free seminar or webinar
  • Schedule a phone or in-person consultation (both often free)

Search the weight loss surgeon directory below to ask a surgeon about a free insurance check by country and region:

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* Disclaimers: Content: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Advertising: Bariatric Surgery Source, LLC has entered into referral and advertising arrangements with certain medical practices, original equipment manufacturers, and financial companies under which we receive compensation (in the form of flat fees per qualifying action) when you click on links to our partners and/or submit information. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Read More