Humana Weight Loss Surgery - How to Avoid a Denial

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

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Humana Weight Loss Surgery

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 policiy 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 Humana for bariatric surgery in the United States, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Diagnosis of Morbid obesity, defined as
  2. Or

    • BMI 35 – 39.9 AND one of the following
      • Type 2 diabetes
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • Cardiopulmonary problems
      • History of cardiomyopathy
      • Obstructive sleep apnea
      • Hypertension

    Use this BMI Calculator to check your body mass index…

  3. Enroll in Humana’s Bariatric Management program by calling (866) 486-5295 or emailing bariatrics@humana.com
  4. Have your surgeon determine your qualification requirements by faxing or emailing clinical information requesting authorization for surgery. You, your representative or your primary care physician can also send the information to Humana. If you have a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, your primary care physician (PCP) can send your referral for bariatric surgery; your PCP should also send a copy to the surgeon’s office
  5. Once a request has been logged, a bariatric nurse in Humana’s Bariatric Management Team will check to see if you meet the medical criteria, and if necessary consult with the bariatric medical director. The nurse will also determine whether the bariatric hospital where the surgeon is affiliated is certified as a Center of Excellence by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)
  6. The hospital and the surgeon must be in your health plan’s network for you to get the highest level of coverage. Humana’s network of providers is growing rapidly, so call the Bariatric Management Program to find out if your surgeon and hospital meet your plan’s coverage criteria
  7. As soon as you are enrolled in Humana’s Bariatric Management program, you will begin working directly with a bariatric nurse. In addition to helping you determine whether you qualify for surgery and what your options are, they will also help you:
    • Understand your financial obligations and find ways to meet them
    • Use educational videos to prepare for surgery
    • Discover new tools to help manage your health, both pre- and post-surgery
    • Get the right help post-surgery to recover well and keep your new, healthier lifestyle habits
    • Make appointments with the health care professionals you need
    • Get answers to your questions
    • For six months after your surgery, you’ll have access to clinical guidance, tools, resources, and support so you can become a healthier you

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.

Humana Weight Loss Surgery

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.

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

Following are a list of Humana 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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Humana Weight Loss Surgery

Please see below for the procedures Humana 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 Humana:

Procedures That Are NOT Covered

The following procedures are NOT covered by Humana:

  • Gastric Balloon
  • vBloc Therapy
  • AspireAssist
  • Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
  • Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass combined with simultaneous gastric banding biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) without duodenal switch (DS)
  • Fobi Pouch (limiting proximal gastric pouch)
  • Gastroplasty (stomach stapling)
  • Intestinal bypass (jejunoileal bypass)
  • Laparoscopic greater curvature plication
  • Loop gastric bypass
  • Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery(NOTES)/endoscopic oral – assisted bariatric surgery procedures, including but not limited to the following:
    • Restorative obesity surgery, endoluminal (ROSE)
    • StomaphyX™
    • Duodenojejunal bypass liner (e.g., Endobarrier™)
    • Transoral gastroplasty (e.g., TOGA®)
Humana Weight Loss Surgery

If Humana 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 Humana to learn how to proceed.

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