We accept PPO insurance plans that cover weight loss surgery, and Medicare.* To find out if it’s a covered benefit under your plan, please contact our office for a free insurance check.
Unfortunately, we don’t accept HMO insurance plans, or MediCal.
If your plan covers weight loss surgery, you’ll need to meet your plan’s requirements to get authorization for surgery.
Required BMI criteria:
- BMI 40 or higher
- BMI 35-39 along with either diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea*
(BMI calculator or link to BMI calculator)
*Insurance often has strict criteria for the severity of illness that they would authorize surgery for. Some policies will only “count” diabetes or high blood pressure if patients are taking several medications for these issues but don’t have good results. Insurance will only “count” sleep apnea if it’s diagnosed as severe.
If you meet the BMI criteria, insurance plans typically require several steps before they’ll authorize surgery:
- A surgical evaluation recommending weight loss surgery
- A psychological evaluation
- A medically supervised diet of 3-6 months*
*Insurance often has strict criteria for this. The diet must be created and supervised by a licensed healthcare provider such as a dietitian or physician. Often, the months have to be consecutive and the diet itself must be completed within the last 1-2 years. For each appointment, specific documentation is also required regarding patient weight and nutritional and exercise counseling.
For PPO patients, we follow these steps:
- Verify you meet the BMI criteria for insurance
- Check insurance coverage and calculate all out-of-pocket costs
- Complete the surgical evaluation
- Complete 3-6 month medically supervised diet (if necessary)
- Complete psychological evaluation
- And finally, we submit all of the information to your insurance company and obtain an authorization for weight loss surgery.
Also, even if your plan covers weight loss surgery, it will not cover it at 100%. There are often out-of-pocket costs that vary depending on your plan. Sometimes out-of-pocket costs can be quite high ($10,000 or more), even with PPO insurance plans. When you come in for your educational consultation, we’ll give you a written estimate of all out-of-pocket costs.
If you need financial assistance, we offer attractive financing options through CareCredit. CareCredit is a health care credit card that you can use for health care expenses not covered by medical insurance. It offers instant approval, no activation fee, competitive interest rates for long-term financing, and 0% interest rates for short-term financing for weight loss surgery.
The first step is a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Oliak to decide if surgery and our program is right for you.
If you have health insurance, we follow the process for obtaining an authorization, which generally takes 3-6 months. (If you are a cash pay patient, this step isn’t necessary).
Once authorization is obtained or cash pricing is agreed upon, the next step is to prepare for surgery. Generally the time to surgery is 4-6 weeks. Preparation for surgery includes:
- A medical evaluation. We’ll order tests including blood tests, x-rays, heart tests (if necessary), and specialty consultations (if necessary, like cardiology). Then we’ll schedule an appointment to review all of the medical information. At this appointment, we decide if patients are medically cleared for surgery, or if more testing is necessary. If a patient is medically cleared for surgery, we schedule a surgery day at this visit, which is typically 1-2 months out.
- An education day. This visit occurs 1-2 weeks before the surgery date. At the medical evaluation appointment, patients are given reading materials to review before the education day. The class given on education day covers pre-op preparation for surgery, the hospital stay, surgery, risks, post-op course, follow-up regimen, etc. Informed consent is obtained at this visit.
After these pre-op steps are complete, the patient is ready for surgery.
Yes, we do! Approximately 30-40% of our patients are self pay.
Our cash patients come from all over the country and the world just to have weight loss surgery with Dr. Oliak. Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve cash patients have traveled from as far away as Saudi Arabia and India to have surgery with us in Orange County.
We offer competitive prices and attractive financing options (through CareCredit) for self-pay patients. Our prices are all-inclusive and include the costs for all pre-surgery visits, the surgery, an overnight stay in a MBSAQIP-accredited bariatric surgery hospital or bariatric surgery outpatient surgery center, and one year of follow-up with Dr. Oliak. The exact amount depends on the type of surgery you’ll have, where the surgery will be performed (hospital or surgery center), and length of stay (1 or 2 days), but generally this is in the $15,500 -$23,000 range for a first-time gastric sleeve or gastric bypass operation.
Bariatric revision surgery prices can be more or less depending on the specifics of the operative plan.
Travel program: We offer a discount of $2500 for patients who travel from out-of-state or out-of-country to have surgery with us.
We’ll quote you on an exact price on the day of your free, no-obligation consultation appointment with Dr. Oliak.
People with low BMI (BMI 30 to 34) can be excellent candidates for surgery. We offer sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass to low BMI patients on a case by case basis. Patients come to us from around the country and the world to have low BMI weight loss surgery!
If you are a low BMI patient, you may want to read Dr. Oliak’s blog posts Weight Loss Surgery for Low BMI Patients (BMI 30-35) and Gastric Sleeve Surgery for Patients with Low Initial BMI (BMI 30-35).
Health insurance policies don’t cover weight loss surgery for low BMI patients. We have an established cash pay program as described here.
Yes, we offer a $2500 discount as part of our weight loss surgery tourism package for out-of-state and out-of-country patients.
Our travel program includes virtual consultations and pre-operative appointments, surgery at a MBSAQIP-accredited center of excellence bariatric surgery hospital or a bariatric surgery outpatient surgery center and a year’s worth of virtual post-operative appointments to make sure you get a great operation and lasting, long-term weight loss.
Schedule your free, no-obligation, virtual consultation with Dr. Oliak right here.
We encourage you to read our website to learn about weight loss surgery surgery and our program. And if you’re ready to take the next step, we offer a free, no-obligation educational consultation to help you decide if surgery and our program are right for you. For our travel patients, this can be completed over the phone.