I have had cancer in the past and have been denied coverage with all the insurance companies I applied to since I am overweight and have a pre-existing condition. I was able to get coverage with the Pre Existing Insurance Plan (PCIP) under the Obamacare law. Some states have their own coverage but Florida (where I live) does not so I am insured by Government Employees Health Association Inc(GEHA).
I decided in January 2012 I wanted to do this. I got my first appointment with a lap band doctor on Feb 1, 2012. Everything went great, he reviewed my records and said they would get to work on the insurance application. Two days later I got a call from the doctors office stating that they talked to the insurance and I would not be able to have that doc do the procedure. I had to use a doc that was certified and have it done at a facility that was certified as a Center of Excellence.
I went to my insurance company website and found Dr Rehnke that had the certification and was near me (2 hour drive). He only did the procedure at Palms of Pasadena Hospital, which is a Center of Excellence. I scheduled an appointment right away, took the notes from my PCP and the other WLS doc I had seen. I was told that I would need to go to another seminar, have documentation of my weight by a doctor for at least 5 years, BMI of 40 or more and have been on a medically supervised diet for at least 6 months.
I had been on a diet since November 2011 with my PCP, so I thought by April I would have everything I needed for coverage. The insurance co-ordinator with Dr Rehnke's office was awesome. April 20th we turned everything in for approval. We got a request for more information May 2nd. I got the additional information to the insurance company May 4th and had the approval May 14th.
I started my 2 week high protien low calorie diet May 18th, I have my pre-op visit with the surgeon on May 31st and will have my surgery on my 43rd birthday, June 1, 2012.
Update : surgery went well and I am so happy I did this!
Update: December 1, six months after surgery I have lost almost 50 pounds and am almost halfway to my goal weight! This is the best thing I have ever done for myself.
Update: I have lost 70 lbs and feel great. I am so much more active now and am doing things I want to do now. No moe feeling embarrassed by my weight. June 1 and my one year anniversary of my band is just a few weeks away. I am hoping to be down 75 Ibs by then and just have 25 more to go till my goal weight!
Height: 5 feet 3 inches
Starting Weight: 227 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 149 lbs
Goal Weight: 127 lbs
Weight Lost: 78 lbs
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 02/01/2012
Surgery Date: 06/01/2012
Hospital Stay: 1 Day
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 2nd Letter Appeal Approval
erin313's Bariatric Surgeon
Bariatric Care Center
1615 Pasadena Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33707