Costs of Weight Loss Surgery
It’s no secret that losing weight does take work. Bariatric surgery can help speed up the process for eligible patients. Understanding how much surgery costs, what insurance covers and how to convince your insurance to cover the bill are all important things to learn.
Yes, weight loss surgery is expensive averaging $20,000-$25,000. The price of the weight loss surgery itself depends on the bariatric surgery you’re having, the surgeon & anesthesiologist’s fees, the hospital you choose, follow-up procedures requirements (for gastric banding) and for any consultant fees.
Some insurance companies will cover bariatric surgery. Make sure to read your policy closely and work with your insurer to see what is covered so there are no surprises. Many insurance companies will cover surgery for obese individuals who have serious health conditions such as Type II Diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, etc. If you don’t have health insurance, many places will allow you to finance the cost of the surgery and make monthly payments.
If you are insured in order to get your major insurance company to cover the surgery, you will need proof that the surgery is medically necessary. Your surgeon can provide them a medical history as well as documentation of all weight-related problems. You must also participate in a physician-supervised diet program for six months until some companies will grant you approval. They want you to demonstrate over this six-month period that you can commit to lifestyle changes required of you after you have weight loss surgery. A psychological and nutritional evaluation also will be required.
After all of these things are completed, the surgeon will send a preauthorization letter to your insurer and will outline all of your medical history. The insurance company will then review the case. During this period of time, be sure to keep all copies of all communication between you and the insurance company for your record and should a problem arise later.
The insurance company will either agree to cover the surgery, cover a portion of it or deny any coverage at all. You can write a letter of appeal to your insurance company if you feel the offer is not acceptable or just.
Ultimately, the cost of bariatric surgery will vary on a case-to-case basis. However putting a price tag on the improvement of one’s health and an extended life expectancy is nearly impossible.