Paying for Bariatric Surgery
One of the most common patient concerns before bariatric surgery is how to pay for the procedure. Bariatric surgery is not inexpensive. However, a recent George Washington University study has shown that the cost of obesity to the average male in the United States is over $2600 per year and the average cost of obesity to the typical female can be upwards of $4800. In both cases this does not take into account the cost of a lesser quality of life. These stats show that a successful bariatric surgery could be paid for, just in savings alone, over the course of several years.
Notwithstanding these possible savings, there are various payment options for just about any obese patient.
Private Insurance & Medicare:
Many patients will have some form of insurance coverage that covers part or most of a bariatric procedure. Of course, insurance coverage varies by provider and plan, so calling your insurance company is a great first step in seeing what options may be available to you.
Medicare may also cover part of your bariatric procedure, however it has very strict and unique qualification criteria.
Financing Bariatric Surgery:
For those who do not have insurance coverage for bariatric surgery there is the option of financing your procedure. Third-party financing companies such as CareCredit or BlisPay may have programs that suit your needs. Speaking to these companies and learning more about the options available to you can be very helpful in determining the eventual cost of surgery. Financing can also be provided by a secured or unsecured loan, and even credit cards or borrowing from family and friends. In each of these cases, it is very important to evaluate the benefits and risks and to be aware of the potential interest expense.
Finally, patients may pay for their surgical procedure out-of-pocket. Cash pay patients have the greatest degree of flexibility in that they do not have to wait for approvals from the financing company or meet qualification criteria specific to their insurance company. Self-pay patients must bear in mind that they still must qualify for surgical intervention under our strict guidelines. Not only must our patients qualify under NIH guidelines but they must also be suitable candidates for surgery. Tests prior to surgery will determine eligibility.
Cash pay patients may also speak to the hospital at which the procedure will be performed and negotiate a package deal that may reduce the cost of surgery.
No matter how you intend to pay for surgery, it is very important that you weigh the pros and cons of each method of payment. We are happy to provide guidance on the various options available to those who are looking into paying for bariatric surgery, and we encourage you to contact our office at 973-232-2300.