If you have an upcoming surgery, you’ve likely got a lot on your mind! You might have questions about what the surgery will entail, how much it will cost, what portion will be covered by your health insurance and what your recovery will look like. These concerns can be stressful, but when you take some time to educate yourself about what’s coming, you can ease your worries.
First things first
There are many types of surgery, and knowing a bit about each is a great place to start. For instance, is the surgery you’re getting considered medically necessary? Generally speaking, most surgeries will fall into one of the following categories: medical, preventive (or prophylactic), cosmetic or bariatric.
Here’s a bit more about each:
- Medical procedures are those your doctor will order to improve your health and help you stay well. A surgery on your heart is one example.
- Preventive procedures, also called prophylactic, are intended to prevent something from happening, rather than fixing something that’s already happened. One could include removing an organ or gland if you’re at high risk for developing cancer in that organ or gland.
- Cosmetic procedures are surgeries you can get to change your appearance. They’re not usually for medical reasons, but might be if recommended by your doctor.
- Bariatric procedures are surgeries performed on your stomach or intestines to help with weight loss if your weight is putting your health at risk.
Talking to your provider
To help you better understand how your benefits will work and what kind of costs you’ll be facing, be sure to ask your doctor the following questions:
- Is my surgery medically necessary?
- Will the surgery be inpatient or outpatient?
You can also ask which purpose category (from the list above) your surgery falls into. With these pieces of information in hand, you’ll be ready to compare notes with your health plan to see how much will be covered. Knowing if you’ll need to stay in a hospital or facility, and for how long, can also help you map out your costs.
To continue to feel healthy after your surgery, don’t forget to ask about your aftercare plan. Your doctor can advise you on follow-up visits, medication, physical therapy or medical equipment you might need post-surgery to recover and feel better at home.
Check out our YouTube channel!
Want more information? For a closer look at how to prepare for an upcoming surgery, or other health topics, go to our Meritain Health® YouTube channel! You can find lots of videos to help you understand your benefits plan. We currently have two videos regarding surgery, which you can view to learn more.