Insurance Approval

Most insurance plans will cover weight loss surgery as long as the National Institutes of Health guidelines for body mass index are used as qualifying criteria. However, some plans do have a weight loss surgery exclusion clause and some plans may require a period of monitored dieting prior to approval. Should you want to check your coverage, a list of commonly used insurance companies and their links are listed below.  

Aetna Healthcare

BlueCross BlueShield

BlueCross BlueShield Federal


Empire BlueCross BlueShield






Approval must be obtained for your preoperative visit with your surgeon, as well as the surgery itself. The approval process for surgery may take as little as a few weeks, but most likely will take a few months once the process has started. Your surgeon will send a letter to your insurance company to document why the procedure is medically necessary. In some cases, appealing an initial insurance denial or even changing insurance companies may become necessary.

Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Bariatric Center now participates in the BLIS program. Designated BLIS Centers have demonstrated that they meet or exceed standards for patient safety and long term follow-up. The BLIS program allows for competitive package pricing for patients considering cash payments, as well as coverage for complications or additional care required after surgery. Please contact Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Bariatric Center at 414-962-2274 for additional information. To learn more about BLIS, visit



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