Jennifer Meier from Geuensee has a lot of excess skin after a gastric bypass.
The skin hangs on the upper arms, breasts, abdomen and thighs. “No matter what I do and how much sport I do, you can never get rid of it. Only with an operation, »says Jennifer Meier (36) from Geuensee LU. The working mother lost a total of 35 kilograms after a gastric bypass operation and thanks to her change in diet and exercise six times a week.
“The health insurance paid for the gastric bypass surgery because I had tried everything before. The health consequences of being overweight should not be underestimated – that’s why the gastric bypass was paid for,” says Meier. “But the health insurance doesn’t want to take over the skin tightening now,” says Meier, disappointed. For her, both belong together. “I feel alone and all my efforts, for which I have paid myself, are not rewarded.”
“Chest muscles hurt”
Above all, she finds that the health insurance companies – it doesn’t matter which one, because such skin tightening is almost always rejected – would ignore the psychological consequences. «This is fatal. I am only 36 years old. To look like now – that’s bitter.”
Jennifer Meier would also like to point out the health consequences of excess skin. «My muscles in the chest area hurt because of the sagging breasts. And in some places I had abscesses due to being overweight, which had to be cut out. With the excess skin, this problem persists, but it could be corrected with skin tightening.”
“Before, I was at least taut”
You even felt more attractive with the overweight than today. “When I’m in underwear or a bikini, everything depends on me. It wobbles when brushing and the breasts hurt when moving. I feel less comfortable in my body today than when I was overweight. At least I was tight before.”
A skin tightening would cost around CHF 35,000. She doesn’t even ask the health insurance company to cover all of the costs, says Meier. “I would like to pay part of it myself. But I simply don’t have that much money for the entire cost.”
If only there was help in finding a doctor abroad
And if the health insurance does not pay anything, support in finding a clinic abroad would be helpful. «There are thousands of doctors in Turkey – but what if they mess up? After that I would have to go to doctors here in Switzerland and have it corrected, and that would cost the health insurance company a lot of money. »
She says: “Under certain conditions, if the person has also done their share after the gastric bypass operation, the skin tightening afterwards would also have to be paid for.”
Sure, that’s whining at a high level. Her suffering simply had too little disease value for the health insurance company, as she was informed in writing. “But I no longer feel comfortable in my own skin – and I also have health problems as a result. It is illogical to pay for the operation on the stomach, but then leave those affected alone with the consequences. »
Federal court has set criteria
The Assura comments to Blick on the case and relies on the case law of the federal court. This set the criteria for coverage by basic insurance. “The assumption of the costs of a skin tightening does not provide for this case law – except in exceptional cases,” says media spokeswoman Karin Devalte to Blick.
“In order for this procedure to be covered by basic insurance, it must be proven that the situation is unhealthy or causes such stress that it can be considered a mental illness. Or that the person has unhealed wounds that cannot be treated other than by such an intervention.” In the case of Jennifer Meier, this was not medically proven.
Of course, the psychological consequences of excess skin are also taken into account, says Devalte. But Jennifer Meier’s dossier does not suggest such a thing. Furthermore, the assumption of costs for such medical treatment abroad is not permitted under the legal framework for basic insurance.