While the choice to undergo weight loss surgery is an important medical decision, for many, it is a significant financial decision as well. Because weight loss surgery can cost patients thousands of dollars, many insurance companies and financial lenders offer assistance to help make payment more manageable. Read the sections below to learn more about bariatric surgery costs and financing options.
Cost of Bariatric Surgery
The cost of bariatric weight loss surgery is typically about $25,000. In general gastric bypass surgery procedures are more expensive, costing in the range of $18,000 to $35,000, while gastric banding procedures run from $17,000 to $30,000. The cost of surgery includes the following fees:
- Hospital fees
- Surgeon fees
- Anesthesia fees
- Lab and X-ray fees
- Miscellaneous fees
Bariatric surgeons understand that the cost of treatment can be difficult to afford upfront. Many patients rely on health insurance, health care financing, or credit cards to help cover the costs of weight loss surgery.
Although insurance companies are slowly beginning to warm up to the idea that obesity surgery can actually save them money in the long run by preventing future medical problems, most companies still balk when it comes to the idea of covering the cost of weight loss surgery for obesity. Convincing insurance companies that bariatric surgery is medically necessary is likely to be the biggest hurdle patients face. It is important that patients understand the insurance approval process and play an active role in pursuing coverage for the cost of bariatric surgery.
Health Care Financing
If you have gone through the insurance approval, authorization, and appeals process and are still unable to get insurance to cover the cost of bariatric surgery, you still have options. Many financial lenders offer financing to help make payment for weight loss surgery easier on patients. Financing is also an option for those with benefits that only cover part of the cost of their bariatric surgery. Many surgeons understand that weight loss surgery is a high cost procedure that yields beneficial life-changing results, so they are often willing to assist patients by providing information on available financing programs and payment plans.
Credit cards work similar to credit cards. If you have a credit card or an offer for a card that offer no interest or low interest financing for a significant period of time, you may want to use a personal credit card to cover the cost of surgery. However, be aware of the fine print of the terms and conditions. If you are late or miss a payment, your interest rate will likely increase; and if you do not pay off your bill in a timely manner, your interest rate may increae.
Find a Bariatric Surgeon
Do you have questions about weight loss surgery cost, insurance coverage, or financing? If so, the first step is getting in contact with a bariatric surgeon who can evaluate your weight and health, and inform you about the surgical weight loss options available to you. If you are a good candidate for surgery, you and your surgeon will discuss the cost of bariatric surgery procedures, such as LAP-BAND® and gastric bypass surgery. Find a bariatric surgeon in your area through DocShop.