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Does Medicare Cover Weight Loss Programs?

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Losing weight is always a challenge, and support is available through your Medicare plan, depending on your coverage. If a weight loss treatment is deemed to be medically necessary by your doctor, a range of services is available to you.

What Each Medicare Plan Covers for Weight Loss

Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A will cover the cost of hospitalization if the agency has determined you are medically eligible for weight loss surgery.

Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B, the medical part of your insurance, preventative services, such as screenings for obesity and therapies for those who have a body mass index of 30 or higher. The first step is to undergo a BMI screening. Once it is determined that your BMI is over 30, you are eligible for an assessment of your diet, along with counseling regarding diet and exercise. People with a BMI over 35 may be eligible for bariatric surgical procedures. To be considered eligible for this surgery, you may have another condition related to obesity, such as diabetes, and you must have tried other weight loss programs first.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C)
Medicare Advantage Plans offer other weight loss and wellness programs, including fitness classes. The added benefits offered through a Medicare Advantage Plan differ among insurance providers. Some plans offer fitness programs, specialized weight management services, or cover prescription drugs for weight loss.

Medigap
This insurance covers the gaps in Medicare to provide more comprehensive coverage. These plans may cover weight management treatments and fitness programs.

Medicare and Treating Obesity

Obesity comes with many unfortunate health conditions. If you suffer from co-morbidities related to obesity such as heart disease or diabetes, you could be eligible for bariatric surgery. However, to be eligible, the program requires you to have attempted other weight loss programs that have not worked.

Your quality of life, overall health, and your feelings of wellbeing can be restored through professionally administered weight loss programs, which can include behavioral counseling, nutritional counseling, and exercise programs. These programs are successful for many people and losing weight naturally may be the sole option for those who are not considered safe to undergo surgery.

Types of Bariatric Surgeries Medicare May Cover

Your Medicare plan may cover bariatric surgeries, including:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Gastric band
  • Vertical gastric band
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Duodenal Switch
  • Each of these surgeries limits the amount of food you can consume by reducing the stomach size, and how the calories are absorbed.

    When You Need Guidance on Medicare, Get Help.

    The various types of Medicare programs can be challenging to understand, but if you are concerned with excess weight, you want to ensure you are enrolled in the Medicare program that will be most beneficial for you. For assistance, contact one of our local agents to provide you with guidance.

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