Will OWCP Approve Pre-Surgery Weight Loss?
Yes, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) may cover weight loss surgery if it is necessary to safely perform another compensable surgery. This is known as medical necessity.
To determine whether weight loss surgery is medically necessary, OWCP will consider a number of factors, including:
If OWCP determines that weight loss surgery is medically necessary, it will cover the costs of the surgery and any related medical expenses.
Here are some examples of cases where OWCP has covered weight loss surgery:
- An employee who needs a knee replacement surgery, but whose weight is too high for the surgery to be safe
- An employee who needs back fusion surgery, but whose weight is putting too much stress on their spine
- An employee who needs a heart bypass surgery, but whose weight is increasing their risk of complications
If you are an OWCP claimant and your doctor has recommended weight loss surgery, you should talk to your OWCP case manager about whether your surgery may be covered.
It is important to note that OWCP will not cover weight loss surgery for cosmetic purposes or for general weight loss.