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Affordable Weight Loss Surgery – Are You Eligible?

Written by: Tracy B. McManamon, 2017

Affordable Weight Loss Surgery – Are you eligible?

Affordable Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity still remains America’s biggest health challenge and from the look of things, it will continue being a burden unless an effective intervention is instituted. Why so?

Currently, there are about 78 million Americans who are obese, a number that has significantly increased since a decade ago.

Click here for your FREE Weight Loss Resource Guide

Moreover, at the moment the most appropriate intervention for persisting obesity is weight loss surgery. Persisting obesity in this context means that the condition has been refractory to any diet changes, lifestyle modification and other healthy and safe weight loss programs. In this case, surgery is considered if the patient meets a certain criteria. Keeping this in mind, there seems to be a lot of hope from people suffering from obesity because weight loss surgery is associated with effective positive results. However, that is not the case because only a few eligible patients are able to get weight loss surgery.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, in 2013 a meager 160,000 obese patients in the U.S. went through weight loss surgery. This represents around 1% of the approximately 18 million adults that are eligible for the surgery.

Contrastingly, as the figures on obesity escalate, the number of weight loss surgeries being done every year remains at a plateau. The biggest reason behind this stalemate is that many overweight Americans cannot afford to undergo weight loss surgery because many health insurance plans do not cover this. Lack of insurance coverage is considered the biggest hurdle although other factors like economic deterioration and the stigma associated with seeking surgery to treat obesity are contributory factors.

What exactly does it mean when health insurance companies take such a position when it comes to covering weight loss surgeries? In simple terms, about two thirds of patients fail to get coverage from their health insurance and must pay from their own pocket for this surgery. On average, one surgery costs between $15,000 and $25,000. In some cases the insurance company may cover the surgery but only after the patient meets certain stringent requirements. These can be intense ranging from special diets to psychological evaluations. This trend is also seen outside the private sector where only 24 states have made it compulsory for health insurers to cover weight loss surgery for their patients. Unfortunately even with this coverage, patients are still required to pay up to half of the total cost out of their own pockets.

Insurers justify their actions by saying that weight loss surgery is considered as a last resort since it is invasive, life-altering and ‘risky’.

According to the trade group; America’s Health Insurance Plans, health insurance companies are obediently following federal guidelines that recommend surgery only for patients who have been selectively picked out. Using this stance, health insurance companies undertake patients in need of coverage through a selection process. Their aim is to rule out causes like mental and eating disorders that could be contributing to poor weight management. Patients have to go through a period of dieting supervised by their doctor for six months to one year. In addition, patients must take inventory of their eating habits in a journal and also have regular check-ups with their doctor. Most patients fail to maintain all these demanding requirements and opt to pull out.  Insurers thus use this program to reduce the number of patients they have to provide coverage for.

Important to note though is that with advancements made in the field of medicine, weight loss surgery has been deemed safe unlike ten years ago when the practice was new to the industry.

This earlier belief changed with time and by November 2013 a strong recommendation was sent out encouraging doctors to recommend surgery to patients suffering from serious health issues due to obesity. The guideline was put forward by the American Heart Association, the Obesity Society and the American College of Cardiology. It recommends that doctors should determine their patient’s body mass index (BMI) every year in order to aggressively manage obesity.

Weight loss surgery is therefore recommended for patients whose BMI is 40 or if it is 35 and the patient has other concurrent chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. Also known as bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery is available in different forms. Gastric bypass is a type of weight loss surgery that involves bypassing part of the stomach and joining it to the small bowels. It aids in weight loss by ensuring the patient’s stomach holds little food and that lesser calories are absorbed from the small intestines. Gastric band surgery is another different type that involves placement of a ring on the upper part of the stomach to decrease its size.

Most recent studies have proven the efficacy of weight loss surgery.

From these studies, after three years gastric bypass surgery leads to loss of about 30% of extra weight while gastric band surgery leads to loss of 17% of this weight. Such weight loss is significant compared to only 2%-8% that is lost after lifestyle change and diet modification.

Despite such efficacious results of weight loss surgery, doctors supporting weight loss surgery argue that it is not the most economical long term solution for obesity in America. They propose that the best approach is preventative medicine. This entails educating adolescents and children from a young age about a healthy lifestyle; appropriate diet and regular exercise.

The latest trend for affordable weight loss surgery is now in the Caribbean, with US Board Certified Physicians.  Give me a call  at 877-549-1212, to see if this option is right for you.

5 Things You Need to Know About Dental Implants

AllDentalProcedures

1. Dental implants are better than bridges or dentures

Here are a few reasons why:

Replacing teeth may be done in three ways: bridges, implant or dentures.

A) A bridge requires filing two adjoining teeth, making them more susceptible to decay and weakness.

B) The most common problem with dentures is that the fit interferes with one’s taste buds.

C) For an implant, a titanium screw is placed in the jawbone and attached to a prosthetic tooth. With very good durability, a proper implant does not hinder one in any way.

2. Implants are the most expensive of the three:

The problem with dental implants? Cost. Implants are rarely covered by insurance. Practitioners charge $3,000 to $4,500 for a single tooth. Most dentists refer patients to oral surgeons, periodontists, or prosthodontists. But it’s worth paying for a dentist or surgeon who has specialized training if you need an implant near a nerve or sinus cavity. Many insurance companies do not cover significant U.S. dental procedures without a rider, waiting period or plan restrictions and with the high price of procedures done in the US, it can be tough for many consumers to obtain the surgical treatment that they require. However, with companies like International Med Retreat, patients can obtain accessibility to some of the world’s greatest medical professionals, dental experts and facilities that make obtaining high-quality, low cost dental implants feasible.

3. Not all dental implants are equal

Most dentists use implants made by the original Swedish manufacturer; studies have found that these implants have high success rates (90% or more). There are also some newer, generic implants that are cheaper but may not have been studied yet. It is advisable to know the type of implant used by your doctor and how successful it is. A single tooth implant typically costs $1000 to $3,000. However, the price can easily inflate to $5,000 to $10,000 if extractions, extensive imaging and/or modeling, bone graphs or similar procedures are required. However, through International Med Retreat, you can receive low cost dental implants in high quality hospitals in Costa Rica at 60% to 70% less than the same procedure done in the States, this includes the price of travel and follow-up care.

4. There are affordable Alternatives And Options

A. Go to Costa Rica through International Med Retreat.

Complete with its internationally acknowledged centers, hospitals, board certified and experienced specialists, Costa Rica offers affordable, easy and secure dental medical treatments. Companies such as International Med Retreat can provide indispensable help making the decision of where and who you go to for your oral procedures. International Med Retreat presently supplies All-on-4 Implants, Oral Bridge, Dental Crown, and Root Canal treatments in Costa Rica.

5. Timing can also help

Implants are usually a two-part procedure– initial placement of the implant, then overlaying it with a crown after 6 to 12 weeks. If you know you require one, schedule the initial procedure at the end of a calendar year, then have crown placed on in the following year.

Affordable All on Four Dental Implants

Written by: Tracy B. McManamon,  2016

Affordable All-On-Four Dental Implants

Affordable All-On-Four Dental Implants

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All-On-Four Dental Implants are ever growing in popularity, as patients realize their long term value. Implants are merely artificial roots, which can serve as the foundation for your new teeth. These artificial roots are attached directly to your jawbone causing greater stability and long term wear. Whereas dentures wear on the jawbone and seem to inconveniently slip at just the wrong moment, dental implants both strengthen the jaw and remain firmly in place at all times. Dental Bridges are another option many turn to, particularly when they are only missing a small number of teeth. While a great option, often patients find the upkeep at home and required follow-up maintenance tiresome and financially draining and therefore looking into affordable all on four dental implants may well be worth your time.  Implants not only look and feel like your natural teeth, but they are built to last a long time with minimal follow-up or maintenance.

It is possible that a patient may need one of three procedures: full mouth implants, partial implants, or a single implant. Whether they are replacing all of their teeth, or just a few, or even just one, this procedure is meant to last a long time, is said to be more comfortable than other forms of dentures, prevents bone loss often caused by other forms of dentures by maintaining the strength of your jawbone, retains their natural biting and chewing abilities, requires easy maintenance, and will not put any extra stress on surrounding teeth. For all of these reasons, dental implants are ever growing in popularity; however, the staggering prices for dental implants often place it just out of reach for those most in need or desiring it. In the U.S. many Affordable All on four dental implants, for example, range from around $35-45,000 and as most dentists and insurance companies consider this procedure “cosmetic,” the average person is left bewildered as to how to proceed and obtain the implants they so readily need.

Some have turned to schools of dentistry for lower costs, but are often faced with long waiting periods. Dentistry schools are also only able to accept patients fitting a particular criteria. There are discount plans and financing options; however, even these only help to deter a small fraction of the cost or simply spread it out over the course of a downpayment followed by many monthly payments. The fourth option, perhaps lesser known, but growing increasingly preferred is medical travel. Prices for dental implants outside of the United States, take Costa Rica for example, can save someone 50-70%. This savings takes into account airfare, lodging, and even sightseeing while in Costa Rica. For patients seeking world class, highly trained dentists with a great deal of experience, while needing to cut the overall cost of the procedure in half, medical tourism may be just the ticket.

Is Gastric Bypass Surgery- Right For You?

Written by: Tracy B. McManamon, 2016

 

Losing weight can be hard. There are hundreds of diet plans and exercise videos out there that all claim to help you lose large amounts of weight in a very short period of time. Many of us realize that it is impossible to do so and that weight loss requires hard work and dedication.

There are some individuals who despite the very best efforts are unable to lose significant amounts of weight in order to look the best they can be. Doctors now recommend that these individuals who are struggling with being overweight seek gastric bypass surgery as an option to lose weight. Here we take a look at this procedure in a little more detail.

gastric bypass surgery

Click here for your Free Weight Loss Resource Guide

What is gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical technique that is aimed towards reducing the size of the stomach so that the quantity of food that is consumed is lowered. By performing the surgery, the amount of calories ingested every day reduces remarkably and, subsequently, the body fat is burnt to supply the body with energy. This results in significant weight loss in a short period of time.

How is gastric bypass performed?

In order to perform gastric bypass surgery, it is essential that all individuals have undergone rigorous diet and exercise routines in an attempt to lose weight first. Realising that this can be quite difficult to do, some people fail despite the very best efforts.

Gastric bypass is performed under general anaesthesia with a laparoscopic approach. In the first stage of bypass surgery, the stomach is accessed through an incision in the abdomen. Through these incisions small instruments are inserted that help visualise the stomach and the neighbouring structures. The stomach is then divided into a small upper section and a large lower section. The small section now becomes a part of the human digestive tract while the larger section remains as a standby and serves no purpose. The smaller pouch can get filled with only a few morsels of food, as it is about the size of a walnut.

At the lower end of the small pouch is created an opening to which the jejunum (the first part of the small intestine) is attached so that food eaten can pass into the rest of the digestive tract for absorption of nutrients.

The entire surgery can take up to 4 hours to perform.

Is gastric bypass surgery effective?

There is plenty of scientific evidence that confirms that gastric bypass surgery is an effective weight loss procedure. In fact, it is also been shown to reverse Type II diabetes in obese individuals. While weight loss is guaranteed, it is important for individuals to recognise the fact that diet and exercise should still form the big part of their daily routine. Weight loss occurs gradually over a period of time and individuals can expect to lose a great deal of weight within the first few months.

The risks of gastric bypass surgery are small and when performed by experts can have excellent results. Gastric bypass surgery is a safe and effective procedure for weight loss. Expert surgeons in the Caribbean have performed this surgery with fantastic long-term results.

Affordable Travel Insurance – Top 10 Things to Know

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about affordable Travel Insurance.

Written by: Tracy B. McManamon
Travel Insurance

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1) EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT

If you are traveling outside the United States (even into Mexico or Canada), most insurance carriers will not provide any insurance coverage. Travel Insurance can be the solution to having coverage for medical or in some cases even dental treatments while outside the country in the event you become sick or injured.

2) EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

With a Travel Insurance policy, a patient can receive medical assistance, pharmaceutical services and in some cases even dental coverage while traveling abroad. Your carrier likely will cover the cost of emergency medical assistance, even for the transportation to the hospital, which can be very costly in a foreign country.

3) REPARTRIATION

If something tragic happens while traveling abroad, your remains will be sent back to your home and paid for by the Travel Insurance carrier, covering the extremely expensive cost of repatriation.

4) MEDICAL EVACUATION

If something serious happens to you while traveling outside of the country and medical transport to another qualified and skilled hospital, facility, or even back to the States is needed, the Travel Insurance will not only coordinate this with a team of U.S. doctors, but the carrier will even cover the cost. Medical Evacuations can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. With Travel Insurance, the carrier covers all the cost.

5) HOSPITAL BENEFIT

Before any care or treatment is provided, hospitals abroad require payment in advance. Also, because you will be a patient in a hospital there is a daily fee. Travel Insurance will guarantee payment and U.S. doctors will monitor your care and treatments abroad. Wherever you are, English speaking Doctors back in the States will coordinate your care and a team of 24 hour per day representatives will be there to answer you or a covered family members’ questions and provide numerous services for you.

6) TRIP CANCELLATION

In the event of your trip being cancelled or even interrupted, you could experience a significance financial loss. Trip cancellation protection as a part of your Travel Insurance plan, will cover the loss that might otherwise be devastating. If your trip is cancelled or get’s cut short, you may get reimbursed all or some of your expenses.

7) PERSONAL LIABLITY

In the event that you injure, hurt, or damage other’s property, while traveling, the Personal Liability portion of your Travel Insurance Policy could cover these damages or injuries.

8) LEGAL EXPERIENCES

Many, if not all, Travel Insurance policies may provide protection for legal matters that you might become involved in abroad.

9) LOST LUGGAGE AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS

Personal items, lost luggage and even lost cash may be covered under a Travel Insurance Policy.

10) READ & RESEARCH

Not all Travel Insurance policies or carriers are the same. Some companies have a better reputation than others. Selecting a well established globally recognized insurance carrier is extremely important. Be sure to READ the conditions, especially the exclusions that apply.