If you have health problems such as type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea, losing weight can help. Eating well and exercising has lots of health benefits in reducing your overall body mass index, but for some people that just isn’t enough to make a real difference. Weight loss surgeries, such as the duodenal switch or lap band procedure, could be options for those folks, but major insurance plans and insurance coverage vary by the insurance carrier. Furthermore, many times when it comes to weight loss surgery, insurance does not cover it at all or provides extremely limited coverage.
What It Means For You
If your health insurance covers weight loss surgery, that is great! We will work closely with you to determine what your benefits are during your initial consultation appointment so there are no huge, unexpected surprises.
It is important to note that the surgeon’s part of the procedure is separate from the coverage for services that you receive at the hospital, including the anesthesia.
We will contact your insurance company with a letter stating the medical necessity of the procedure and help answer any questions we can to help make the process smooth and stress-free.
Once your surgery is scheduled, you will be responsible for any copays or deductibles that need to be met.
If you have no health insurance coverage that covers bariatric surgery, depending on the type of surgery you have (gastric sleeve surgery, laparoscopic gastric bypass, etc.), the prices will vary. For example, the Obalon Balloon surgery costs as little as $7,500, whereas other surgeries, like the Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, could cost upwards of $15,000 to $20,000. Other surgeries, such as Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve gastrectomy surgery or gastric band surgery are $9,000 to $10,000.
Not sure which one is right for you? Our medical team will talk to you in detail about your medical history and why you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery. If you are indeed a candidate, we will determine what surgery type will work best for you and your body type.
All of our prices include the cost of the bariatric surgeon, assistant surgeon, anesthesia, and an uncomplicated hospital stay. If you need additional tests for pre-operative or postoperative services (EKG, labs, sleep studies, etc.), there are additional costs for these things that you will need to take into consideration.
Furthermore, there are may be nutritional changes that need to be made with specific dietary instructions that require a change in what type of food you eat. This is not covered in the cost of the surgery, so that will need to be factored in as well.
If you have health insurance, but bariatric surgery is not covered, you will need to come up with the money to pay for it out of pocket. However, some procedures, including lab work, sleep studies, or EKGs, are often covered by insurance policies.
Weight Loss Surgery Financing Options
The weight-loss experts at WeightWise understand that bariatric surgery can change your life. For this reason, we want to make it as affordable and accessible as possible for each qualifying patient. We know that paying for surgery like this could be out of reach for some patients.
That’s why we offer several convenient financing options that can make it doable, including working with Allegiance Credit Union and Care Credit to finance the procedure.
If you do not want to finance your surgery, paying cash for it is an option. For many patients, this requires planning ahead. It might take months or even years to save the amount of money you need to put towards your medical procedure, but just a little bit of savings each week will add up quickly. Before you know it, you can have the money you need to pay for a large portion of the surgery, then you can finance the rest.
Other Options to Pay for Weight Loss Surgery
If you do have insurance and they’re denying you coverage for the surgery, you don’t necessarily have to accept no for an answer.
Contact a bariatric advocacy group, such as Lindstrom Obesity Advocacy, for help with appeals.
Or apply for a grant through the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America.
Whatever you choose to do — insurance, cash pay, or financing — our experienced staff members will work one on one with you to answer the questions you have about what each surgery costs and what is included.
We know it can be overwhelming at first. We are happy to help get everything sorted out with you so you can make the right decision for your health.
Weight loss surgery can change your life. It can put you on the path toward a healthy lifestyle that is free of the weight that has held you down for years.
Plus, there are certain incalculable costs, such as longevity. It’s really hard to attribute a dollar value to that. Another hard-to-monetize factor is quality of life.
And while the upfront costs of weight loss surgery may seem hefty, recent studies have shown that the procedure frequently results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.
Let’s look at some numbers.
According to Dr. Vivek Prachand at the University of Chicago, “for an individual who is severely obese — a BMI of 35 or above — additional health care costs are anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 a year.”
Say you are currently about 30, and you live to 70. The sum of the healthcare costs alone can range from $120,000 to $400,000. Even worse, due to workplace discrimination, heavier-than-average workers may earn about $100,000 less over a 40-year career.
Now compare that to the cost of weight loss surgery at WeightWise. And keep in mind that the potential financial savings from weight loss surgery tend to kick in within just a few years.
For example, consider a recent study in Obesity Surgery. Researchers discovered that within five years of surgery, the average health care costs for patients suffering from morbid obesity were reduced by 29%.
Ultimately, it boils down to making an investment in yourself. Saying “I am worth it,” is difficult, particularly when a part of you wants to allocate your money to help your family. Yet when you are more healthy, you will be in a better position to provide for your loved ones. Take care of yourself. This will make it more likely that you’ll be around for your loved ones for the long run.
Contact our team at WeightWise to see if bariatric surgery is right for you, or watch one of our free online seminars.