Does Cigna cover weight loss surgery 2023?

Weight loss surgery can be a game-changer for those struggling with obesity, but it’s crucial to understand your insurance coverage before diving in. As one of the leading health insurers, you may wonder: does Cigna cover weight loss procedures? In this blog post, we’ll explore the various types of bariatric surgeries covered by Cigna, eligibility requirements and criteria, as well as financing options and considerations for your life-changing decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Cigna does cover weight loss surgery, including gastric bypass and sleeve surgeries as well as LapBand procedures.
  • To be eligible for coverage, patients typically need to have a BMI of 40 or higher, or between 35 – 39.9 with related health conditions, and demonstrate attempts at other weight loss methods.
  • Coverage policies can vary by state and specific plan type; it’s important to understand the pre-authorization process and find approved providers in-network. Financing options such as medical loans or HSAs may also be available.

Understanding Weight Loss Surgery And Cigna’s Policies

Cigna covers weight loss surgery, but it’s important to understand the policies, including which types of weight loss procedures are covered, the eligibility requirements and criteria for coverage, as well as any exclusions or limitations.

Types Of Weight Loss Surgery Covered

Cigna offers comprehensive coverage for a variety of weight loss surgeries, ensuring that customers have access to the best treatment options tailored to their individual needs.

Among the commonly covered procedures are gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery (also called sleeve gastrectomy), and LapBand (adjustable gastric band) procedure.

Additionally, Cigna may provide coverage for less invasive methods such as intragastric balloon placement, which involves inserting a silicone balloon into the stomach to reduce hunger and limit food consumption.

It is important to remember that each patient’s case is unique, and an in-depth evaluation by qualified medical professionals is necessary before determining the most suitable type of weight loss surgery.

Eligibility Requirements And Criteria

To qualify for weight loss surgery coverage with Cigna, certain eligibility requirements and criteria must be met. Firstly, an individual must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or between 35-39.9 with one or more obesity-related health conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, and others.

Cigna may require documentation from the referring physician about medical history and any previous treatments relating to weight management. Patients will also need to undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified bariatric surgeon and possibly additional medical professionals before getting approval for the procedure.

Coverage Exclusions And Limitations

It’s important to note that while Cigna does cover certain types of weight loss surgery, there are limitations and exclusions to their coverage. For example, not all procedures may be covered or may only be covered under specific circumstances.

It’s also worth noting that Cigna’s coverage for weight loss surgery can vary depending on your specific plan and location. Some states have mandates in place requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for bariatric surgery, while others do not.

Navigating Cigna’s Coverage For Weight Loss Surgery

To navigate Cigna’s coverage for weight loss surgery, it is important to find approved bariatric surgery centers, understand pre-authorization and documentation requirements, and plan for post-surgery requirements and follow-ups.

Finding Approved Bariatric Surgery Centers

To ensure that your weight loss surgery is covered by Cigna, it’s essential to find an approved bariatric surgery center in your area. Fortunately, Cigna has a tool on their website that allows you to search for local providers based on your location.

You can also contact Cigna directly for assistance in finding an approved provider near you. Once you have found a suitable surgeon and facility, make sure to check with Cigna to confirm that they are in-network and covered under your plan.

Pre-authorization And Documentation Requirements

Before undergoing weight loss surgery with Cigna, it is essential to understand the pre-authorization and documentation requirements. Cigna requires pre-authorization for all bariatric surgeries to ensure that they are medically necessary.

Additionally, you will need to provide copies of any relevant medical records as well as complete a comprehensive physical examination before surgery.

It’s important to note that failure to meet these requirements may result in denial of coverage or delay in reimbursement.

Planning For Post-surgery Requirements And Follow-ups

After undergoing weight loss surgery, it is important to plan for post-surgery requirements and follow-ups. This includes regular check-ins with your bariatric surgeon to monitor progress and ensure that any potential issues are addressed early on.

Additionally, a nutritionist may be consulted to help develop a healthy eating plan that is tailored to meet your individual needs and goals.

It’s also important to establish an exercise routine post-surgery, as consistent physical activity will not only help you achieve your weight loss goals but will also improve overall health and wellbeing.

Benefits Of Weight Loss Surgery And Coverage By State

Weight loss surgery can have numerous benefits beyond just shedding excess pounds, such as improving blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and the coverage requirements for these procedures may vary by state.

Differences In Coverage By State

It’s important to understand that coverage for weight loss surgery can vary by state. While Cigna does offer coverage for bariatric surgery, the specific procedures covered and the eligibility requirements may differ depending on where you live.

For example, some states have stricter guidelines for who qualifies for weight loss surgery or may only cover certain types of procedures. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider and review the policies in your state before pursuing any weight loss surgery options.

Benefits Of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery can help improve many aspects of your life, including physical health, mental wellbeing, and overall quality of life.

In addition to physical health improvements, weight loss surgery has been shown to have positive effects on mental health. Patients often experience an improvement in mood and self-esteem following the procedure.

Finally, many people report enjoying a better quality of life after having weight loss surgery since they are no longer limited by their size or unhealthy habits., Cigna’s coverage for weight loss surgery varies depending on factors such as location and policy type.

Financing Options For Weight Loss Surgery

There are several financing options available for those looking to undergo weight loss surgery, including medical loans and financing programs, employer-sponsored health savings accounts (HSAs), and personal budgeting and saving strategies.

Medical Loans And Financing Programs

Many people who require weight loss surgery are concerned about the costs involved. Fortunately, there are several financing options available that can help alleviate some of these concerns.

Medical loans work similarly to other types of financial lending. These loans come from banks or credit institutions and typically offer lower interest rates than traditional credit cards.

Financing programs may be offered through hospitals or clinics themselves, enabling patients to finance their procedures directly with their healthcare provider.

Employer-sponsored Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

For those who have an HSA through their employer, weight loss surgery may be covered under certain circumstances. HSAs allow individuals to save pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, including bariatric surgeries.

Employers may also offer programs that incentivize employees to participate in healthier lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise plans. By participating in these programs, you could potentially qualify for additional funds deposited into your HSA account.

Personal Budgeting And Saving Strategies

When it comes to financing weight loss surgery, there are several personal budgeting and saving strategies to consider. First, you can research medical loans and financing programs that can help cover the costs of the procedure.

These options often offer low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms. Another option is an employer-sponsored health savings account (HSA), which allows you to save pre-tax dollars for medical expenses like weight loss surgery.

For example, one patient was able to save money by cutting back on dining out and entertainment expenses for six months leading up to their gastric sleeve surgery. By making small changes in their spending habits, they were able to pay off their surgical fees with cash in hand instead of taking on debt or relying solely on insurance coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Loss Surgery Coverage With Cigna

What is the approval process and timeline for weight loss surgery with Cigna? How do you select the right surgeon and hospital? What are the risks and complications involved? Find answers to these questions and more in this comprehensive FAQ section – don’t miss out on important details that could help you make informed decisions about your health insurance coverage.

Approval Process And Timeline

Getting approval for weight loss surgery with Cigna can be a complex process, but knowing what to expect can help streamline the experience.

Once these initial steps are completed, the average timeline for receiving final approval from Cigna ranges from four to six weeks. While this may seem like a long time, it’s important to remember that the insurance company needs ample time to review all of the necessary documentation and ensure that you meet their coverage requirements.

Surgeon And Hospital Selection

When choosing a surgeon and hospital for weight loss surgery, it is important to consider their experience and expertise in performing these procedures. Look for surgeons who specialize in bariatric surgery and have a high success rate.

In addition to the surgeon, consider the location of the hospital or clinic where you will receive care. Make sure it is easily accessible and has all necessary facilities for post-surgery follow-ups and support services.

Pre-surgery Preparation And Post-surgery Recovery

To ensure a successful weight loss surgery under Cigna coverage, pre-surgery preparation is essential. This may include changing your diet and exercise routine to improve overall health and meet eligibility requirements.

Post-surgery recovery requires close monitoring and follow-up care to reduce potential complications, manage pain, and promote healing. You’ll likely need to adopt new lifestyle habits that allow you to maintain weight loss over the long-term.

Your insurance policy may cover certain aspects of post-operative care such as nutritional counseling, mental health support, and prescription medications.

Risks And Complications

It’s important to understand that like any surgery, weight loss surgery comes with potential risks and complications. Some common risks include bleeding, infection, and blood clots.

There is also a possibility of adverse reactions to anesthesia or other medications. Additionally, some people may experience complications related to the specific type of weight loss procedure they undergo.

For example, patients who have gastric bypass surgery may develop dumping syndrome which can result in nausea and diarrhea after eating certain foods.

Despite the potential risks, many people find that the benefits of weight loss surgery outweigh them. Bariatric procedures have been shown to improve overall health outcomes by reducing the risk of obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart disease among others.


In conclusion, if you are a Cigna customer wondering whether weight loss surgery is covered under your policy, the answer is yes – with some limitations and requirements.

It’s important to understand the types of weight loss surgery that Cigna covers, as well as eligibility criteria and pre-authorization processes.

Remember that coverage may vary by state, so it’s critical to check with your local provider for specifics. While financing options exist for those without full coverage, it’s great news that Cigna offers benefits towards improving one’s health through bariatric procedures.

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