Healthy Tidbits

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How to Use Your FSA to Pay for Weight Loss Surgery in 2016

Dec 08, 2015

If you have been on the fence about bariatric surgery, such as LAP-BAND®, Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass, or the Gastric Balloon but are concerned about the cost, don’t forget about your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) as a means of covering your weight loss surgery expenses. You may also be able to use your FSA to cover other procedures offered by Nicholson Clinic, including hernia and GERD repair and endoscopic procedures.

The cost of surgical procedures for obesity treatment is generally considered an eligible medical expense, including gastric bypass and lap band surgery, as well as excess skin removal as a result of one of these surgeries (a health care professional must provide evidence of medical necessity for the cost of excess skin removal to be an eligible expense).

Check with your plan rules to find out if bariatric surgery is covered.

If your employer offers a flexible spending plan for healthcare expenses, you can set aside up to $2,550 in 2016 to spend on numerous medical treatments and procedures, including medications and medical equipment. Weight loss programs are listed among eligible expenses for a FSA.

Eligible weight loss expenses covered by the FSA include any weight loss programs for obesity treatment if prescribed by a physician to treat a medical condition — this includes weight loss surgery — and weight loss and dietary supplements.

If you have unused funds left in your FSA from 2015, you may be able to carry over a portion of those funds, or receive a grace period to use them up in 2016. Employers have the option of offering employees a $500 carryover in unused health FSA funds into the following year; or employers can offer their employees a two-and-a-half month grace period to use their FSA funds from the previous year. Employers cannot offer both options, and are not required to offer either, so talk to your employer’s human resources department to find out which, if any, extensions apply to you.

Nicholson Clinic is committed to preventing finances from limiting any patients from receiving life-changing weight loss surgery. In order to best serve all of our patients, we offer a number of payment options, including: traditional cash payments; payment plans and financing through the CareCredit® (approval required); and insurance coverage.

Patients who plan to self-pay for their weight loss procedure can find a procedure cost list to plan cash payments here.

For information on our payment plans and financing with CareCard®, click here.

In many cases, bariatric surgery is considered a medical necessity and is at least partially covered by most insurance companies, provided the patient meets their requirements. The Nicholson Clinic accepts most major insurance. Our team of insurance specialists will help you manage the process, working directly with your insurance provider to acquire approval. For more information on insurance coverage for your weight loss procedure, click here.