Weight Loss Surgery Discount Cards

While bariatric surgery may be the best weight loss option for some patients, not all insurance providers will cover this procedure. In other cases, patients in need of bariatric surgery may not have insurance at all. Regardless of the reason, if you are left with the burden of paying for your bariatric surgery, keep in mind that you have some options for financial help: a bariatric surgery discount card can help relieve the cost of this procedure.

However, as with any finance help, medical discount cards need to be used with caution.

Bariatric Surgery Discount Cards: What You Need to Know

The first thing you need to know about bariatric surgery discount cards is that, although they might be offered through your insurance company, they are not the same as insurance coverage. Basically, discount cards that insurance companies sometimes provide are designed to reduce fees on non-covered or elective procedures, like dental or vision treatments.

Sometimes, the language used to sell discount medical cards can sound like the same terminology used to sell insurance policies, which can be misleading. Bariatric surgery discount cards are like coupons that you pay for with a monthly subscription fee. Just like using a coupon at the grocery store, you need to pay the full amount left after the discount at the time of purchase, not later. When it comes to surgery, this is a difficult task unless you have made prior arrangements with your surgeon.

Other Surgery Discount Cards

Private companies not associated with insurance providers also offer bariatric surgery discount cards. These can be even more difficult confusing for some patients. Since these private companies dont sell insurance, they are not regulated by state insurance commissioners.

Sometimes they offer legitimate networks of healthcare providers, who provide lower rates for discount card holders. Other times, their healthcare providers list is very short and doesnt consist of quality, experienced surgeons. As a result, be sure to check which surgeons accept the discount card before purchasing one.

In some cases, so-called “discount cards” end up costing more than the quoted price of bariatric surgery. When looking into bariatric surgery discount cards, compare the prices of the cards with the price of the procedure. Some surgeons offer discounted procedures in return for lump cash payments, and this might be a better option for you.

Choosing a Discount Card Company

If you decide that a bariatric surgery discount card is right for you, check out the provider with the Better Business Bureau. If the company doesnt have any complaints listed against it, ask for a copy of the company policies. Read all the fine print to be sure bariatric surgery is, indeed, covered for discounts.

Another factor to research when choosing a discount card company is whether the surgeon you want is covered by the discount card. In bariatric surgery, it is much more vital to get the right surgeon than the right price. If you have any questions, ask for clarification until you get understandable answers from the provider of the card. Always avoid providers that can’t give you clear answers.

Resources

Bernstein, Aaron, Catherine Arnst, Amy Barrett, and Joseph Weber (2005). They Think Theyre Insured. Theyre Not. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from the Business Week Web site.

Montgomery, Kelly (2008). Discount Medical Cards. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from the About.com Web site.

National Association of Health Underwriters (2008). Medical Discount Card Plans NAHUs Position. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from the NAHU Web site.