Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now I've got an another answer

The Big Cheese of Benefits says that WLS is not covered under UHC and has never been covered.

Something I HATE, HATE, HATE about having to deal with insurance companies is that you can never get a straight answer out of them and they never give the same answer twice.

Take Moonshine. Moonshine is the CS rep who answered UHC's hotline the day I called to find out if WLS was excluded on my company's policy. Moonshine looked it up on her little computer ... or maybe she just pulled her answer out her ass ... and told me that it was.

But Moonshine was wrong.

So for the past three months that I've been thinking all I had to do was switch to UHC when Open Enrollment came along and I'd be fine for my surgery in the fall.

That's three months wasted. Three months I could have spent working with a surgeon to get my pre-op requirements out of the way as as self-pay patient. That's also three months that I spent making lifestyle changes in preparation for having a band that lead to me dropping below 40 BMI. If I'd been under a surgeon's care with my weight recorded at its highest, it wouldn't matter and all this weight would count towards the 10% that the surgeons in my area want you to lose before they operate.

I am not feeling very charitable towards Moonshine right now.

Is it time for my "how can they cover IVF and not WLS" rant, yet?

Yes, my company covers IVF ... only up to a very limited amount, but they cover it. Even though it only has a 15% chance of working. Even though having a child is a choice and not a disease. Even though there are other ways to get a child that have a greater than 15% chance of working.

I'm not saying they shouldn't cover IVF. Of course, they cover it. They cover it because that's what compassionate employers do and because insurance companies include it in their plans now.

But WLS has a much higher chance of working -- anywhere from 43% to 76% -- than IVF. Not to mention, morbid obesity KILLS PEOPLE.

But insurance companies offer this as an optional rider and so companies take advantage of that to save a few $$$. I never thought my company would be so cheap and short-sighted. I guess company value #3 - It's the people doesn't include morbidly obese people.
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