Hi calip and welcome to the boards!
I also have a L5/S1 annular tear (although my doctor has never graded it, to my knowledge). He says I am a perfect candidate for IDET. Luckily my insurance company will pay for the procedure (although only 65% of what they say it should cost). But it will still cost me about $1000, maybe more. However, I really want to go for the IDET, because it is so much less invasive than a diskectomy or fusion. They don't need to cut you open
so there is less scar tissue formation.
You might ask if your surgeon will give you a break on the professional fee. Often the insurance company will pay for the hospital charges, but not the professional fee. Of course you'd have to check with them to find out. My doc's professional fee for a 1-level IDET is just under $2000,
and I think the ancillary hospital charges won't be more than that.
Keep trying with the appeals, as well, I think I remember hearing someone saying that a BC/BS rep said they would agree to the IDET if the Saal brothers (who invented the procedure) agreed it was a good case.
Also, I had 2 ESI's (epidural steroid injections) and they both took about a week to take effect, so wait a few days and maybe you'll get some relief!
Best of luck, and keep us posted on your situation!