Help, I need some of your wise assistance deciding what to do about medical coverage and weight-loss surgery.

I recently took a job via a technical staffing agency that has a health policy available for which they make NO employer contribution.

I already have an individual policy via an HMO here in Washington state.

Their plan is $620 per month and mine is $420 per month. Theirs only covers Novolog and Lantus in vials, not pens. They don't cover Synthroid at all (not a huge tragedy, I've taken levothyroid in the past.) They only cover 80% of a lot of things that my HMO covers in full, e.g. scoping procedures and other diagnostics, like mammograms.

It sounds like a no-brainer that my current plan is better until you go to about page 15 in their brochure and read that they DO cover weight-loss surgery (at 80%) whereas my HMO does NOT cover any bariatric surgery.

As a morbidly obese T2 who has been complaining for eight years that my insurance policies have never covered weight-loss surgery, I feel like the universe is calling my bluff:

"Oh, yeah. Well here. It's covered. What are you going to do? Hmmmm???"

Yikes.

I've had four different doctors (sleep specialist, endo and two internists) tell me that I am the IDEAL candidate for weight-loss surgery. I'm what it was created for: someone who has struggled with a high BMI for decades and lost -- and regained -- large amounts of weight (between 70 and 130 lbs) FOUR times as an adult. Someone who has two serious conditions caused/exacerbated by weight: sleep apnea and T2, plus lots of joint problems exacerbated by weight.

I'm basically a complete and utter failure where weight loss via diet and exercise is concerned -- despite spending basically forty of the past fifty-four years on every kind of diet under the sun (some of them four or five tries each.)

What would you do?!? Tic-tock, tic-tock, I have to make an enrollment decision in the next few days or miss my chance to enroll until next year -- and I might not even have this same job next year.

I'd love your thoughts. If you could have surgery to turn your stomach into a little bag the size of an egg -- but you'd be pretty much guaranteed to be "cured" of diabetes either for life or for a very, very long time -- would you do it?

Thanks!

Tags: weight loss surgery

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Well, thanks to everyone who gave me their feedback, shared links and helped me think about all the issues.

I just went through the on-line open enrollment forms and declined coverage.

The thing I kept coming back to was the malabsorption of minerals (iron, calcium) -- I was borderline anemic for years -- not being able to absorb iron scares the heck out of me!

The whole water thing gives me panic attacks. What can I say? I'm a water gulper.

Giving up crunching with abandon on raw vegetables and the occasional medium rare steak were deal-breakers, too.

I can visualize a life without refined carbs. I cannot visualize life without raw celery, lightly steamed broccoli and romaine hearts in Caesar dressing.
Yum, Caesar dressing.
I am a type 1 who had a gastic bypass in december. I consider it the best thing I ever did. My insulin use, while obviously not gone because I'm type 1, has QUARTERED. My back pain from a previous surgery is still there but is infrequent, instead of daily, so I no longer need pain killers. My high blood pressure is gone. Before choosing I did a lot of research and decided to go for the bypass vs the lap band because of all the people I see failing with the band and switching to the bypass.

One thing you need to consider as well though, if you have a bypass you will need to take supplements for the rest of your life. You need special bariatric vitamins (some surgeons recommend flinstones chewable, do not listen to those people. A good resource is a site called 'thinnertimes'.

Other things to consider are if you drink soda, you have to stop. After WLS, if you drink carbonated beverages (soda, sparkling water, beer, etc) it will stretch out your 'pouch'. Eventually you could end up undoing the benefits by stretching it back to the full size. You also become lactose intolerant (I get extremely sick if I have milk by itself, though oddly if I have it in potatoes or something, its fine, which is odd.) Lastly there is something called "dumping' caused by fat and sugar. If you eat too much sugar or fat, you could feel extremely ill and get horrible diarrhea or vomit. I havent experienced this, as luckily I didn't end up sensitive to sugar (its good because otherwise I would be unable to use glucose tablets when needed).

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