Health Insurance Policy for Bariatric Surgery in India
Obese people are at a greater risk of developing health problems like heart disease and stroke. According to a research report, most obesity cases in India will rise from 40 percent to 74 percent by 2028. Thus, focusing efforts towards losing body fat is vital. But if someone is overweight, one may require to undergo different weight loss surgeries, collectively known as Bariatric Surgery. To those who want to know what is bariatric surgery, it is a life-saving surgical procedure and is the only alternative for those looking to lose weight when exercise and diet do not yield any results.
Let us dig deeper to understand bariatric surgery and does insurance cover bariatric surgery or you can undergo bariatric surgery without insurance only.
Cost of Bariatric Surgery
There are various types of bariatric surgery that are performed in India, such as Gastric bypass, Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, Sleeve gastrectomy, Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, etc. The bariatric surgery cost in India can range between 3 lakhs to 5 lakhs depending on the type of surgical procedure adopted by the individual, according to their financial health.
After the procedure is completed, it is required for the patient to adhere to the diet program prescribed by the physician strictly. Certain of these weight loss surgeries may restrict the intake of calories and nutrients. Hence, to manage the post-surgery routine, the patient needs to contact a nutritionist regularly and follow the individual plan, which requires a considerable amount of money to be spent.
Is Bariatric Surgery Covered by Insurance?
In 2019, IRDAI (Insurance the Regulatory and Development Authority in India) issued guidelines stating Bariatric treatment to be included in the coverage of health insurance plans. With the Healthcare costs in India getting very expensive, it is essential to have a health insurance policy to cover the costs of these treatments and surgeries. Paying these bills out of your pocket could significantly impact your financial status in the future.
Health Insurers provide insurance in the event of Bariatric Surgery, subject to the following terms and conditions, being fulfilled by the policyholder:
- The insured person is of the age of 18 years and above.
- The Bariatric procedure is carried out on the advice of a certified doctor or physician.
- The BMI of the body is greater than or equal to 40.
- If the BMI is above 35 and if you suffer from co-morbidities, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, Osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea, then weight loss procedures are performed using less invasive strategies for weight loss.
Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery
Being overweight is the cause of many illnesses and disorders in the human body, such as obesity, depression, fatigue, skin problems, heart conditions, and numerous other ailments. Weight loss surgery may be beneficial on your body in the following manner:
- More excellent quality of life: Studies have shown that those suffering from morbid obesity typically have depression and low self-esteem. After completing the weight-loss surgery, they feel more active, confident, healthy, and are more satisfied with their bodies.
- Joint pain relief: A person’s excess weight can put stress on joints, which could lead to Osteoarthritis. Weight loss surgery can relieve joint pain and help you in pain-free movement.
- Lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes: Women who weigh more are likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who are healthy and have lower BMIs, says a study. This is 42% in the case of men. Surgery to treat obesity can increase the body’s insulin sensitivity, and in some instances, give permanent relief from type-2 diabetes.
- Better heart health: As a result of weight loss, cholesterol levels and blood pressure are also stabilized. It decreases the chance of suffering from cardiovascular stroke or coronary heart illness.
- Helps to fight against infertility: Studies have revealed that obesity can decrease fertility levels in women and men. But, conversely, the loss of weight can improve a person’s fertility.
- Longevity: Many studies associate weight or obesity with the early deaths of people due to specific comorbidities. Weight loss surgery could increase the number of years a person lives.
Bariatric Surgery Side Effects
Every surgical procedure has a particular risk, and bariatric surgery is no different. The common side effects that can result from the process include:
- Dilation of the esophagus
- Acid reflux
- It gets challenging to consume certain food items
- Wound infection
- General risks that come with anesthesia
If Bariatric Surgery is Not Done on Time
Obesity is a significant health problem affecting a large population of Indians. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people getting admitted for obesity have increased three times in the past four decades. Even after the bariatric surgery is completed, there is a chance that one could face further health concerns, as given below if the problem is not treated at the right time:
- Abnormal weight can develop hypertension.
- A lack of weight control can cause poor heart health
- If obesity is not addressed, it could increase blood pressure.
- Obesity can cause Type 2 diabetes.
- Weight gain can trigger the levels of cholesterol to rise.
- Sleep problems
What Health Insurance Covers Bariatric Surgery?
Not all insurance plans cover weight-loss surgeries. Here are the top insurance policies recommended for bariatric and weight reduction surgery:
- Magma HDI OneHealth Insurance Policy
- Digit Health Care Plus Health Insurance Policy
- Edelweiss Health Insurance Policy
- Tata AIG Medicare Health Insurance
- Star Health Comprehensive Insurance Policy
- Bajaj Allianz Health Guard Gold Plan
After purchasing a health insurance policy, it is not possible to expect coverage for bariatric surgeries immediately. Instead, there is a waiting time typically between 2 and 4 years, post which only policyholders can choose to undergo surgery and get it covered by their health plan.
Nowadays, many health insurance companies are offering a way to amend their body to make them healthier. Bariatric Surgery Insurance is the proper method for those who want to adopt a healthy lifestyle and still get assistance from their health insurer for undergoing the necessary treatments.