Affording Bariatric Surgery

msg816Weight loss/bariatric surgery isn’t cheap. Qualified and experienced bariatric surgeons may cost more, but they also have better results.
How much is it worth if it improves your health and quality of life?
The Cost of Bariatric Surgery
It is extremely important to learn all you can about the cost and financial issues well in advance of your bariatric surgery date.

The first thing to ask is how much the entire procedure will cost from start to finish. Are office visits before the procedure and follow-up visits after the procedure included in the overall price? It’s also important to know what hospital charges will be billed and what doctor’s office charges will be billed, as these are often billed separately.

Once the cost of the procedure and all your visits pre and post-surgery have been confirmed, the next step is to find out whether your weight loss surgeon accepts your health insurance and if your insurance company covers the procedure you’re planning to have.

If your insurance company doesn’t cover your procedure, ask if it can be paid for in installments. Having an installment payment plan can help you budget for the cost. Most medical facilities require payment at the time services are rendered. However, they can usually refer you to patient financing companies that offer medical loans so you can make payments over time.

There are several types of weight loss surgery procedures. The cost averages about $25,000. Costs have been stated as ranging from $10,000 to $40,000. Typically, gastric band (lap band) surgery cost is much less than the cost of gastric bypass surgery. While cost can vary between procedures, cost also varies for the same procedure based on individual circumstances.

The complexity of the surgery, the amount and type of follow-up care, geographic location and the doctor’s fees should all be calculated for a total cost.
When comparing costs, you should account for all of the factors that contribute to the overall cost. Some weight loss surgery providers will quote one all inclusive fee. Others will quote surgery cost only, and not include pre-op tests, hospital charges, follow-up care, and counseling appointments.

These items will be billed separately.
Bariatric Surgery Financing
Patient financing helps people afford the medical treatment they need to lose weight and improve their health. If you don’t have health insurance or Medicare coverage, your health insurance doesn’t cover all the costs, and you don’t have the money to pay for surgery, you may want to check into your financing options.

Many times, doctors have working relationships with health care financing companies and can point you in the right direction.
The LAP-BAND® System Patient Financing Program
If you are considering LAP-BAND surgery, another financing option is the LAP-BAND System Patient Financing Program. The program links LAP-BAND patients with CareCredit, a GE Money company. Find out if your doctor participates in the program. Visit lapband.com for more information.

The REALIZE Band Patient Financing Program
The REALIZE Band Financing Program is offered to patients of the REALIZE Gastric Band. The manufacturer has teamed up with National City, one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, to help patients with financing the procedure. To learn about this program, visit realizeband.com.

Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America

The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (WLSFA) raises funds and resources for people who would otherwise be unable to afford the life-saving procedure. Since its inception in 2010, the organization has raised enough money to give 13 people the gift or bariatric surgery and one year of follow up care with a Bariatric Center of Excellence.
To learn more, visit wlsfa.org.

Bariatric surgery may be expensive, but it’s an investment in your good health and quality of life. Don’t let the cost of weight loss surgery stop you from living the life you’ve always dreamed of.

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