How Much Does Bariatric Surgery Cost?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are many factors that determine what out-of-pocket expenses you might incur including things like does your health insurance cover bariatric surgery, what are your insurance deductibles, how much of your deductible have you already met, how many tests will you need to have done before surgery, etc. and these answers are highly variable among different patients. At The Better Weigh Center, we are committed to making your journey back to a healthier weight as affordable as possible. When it comes to costs, we make the following pledges to you:
- To be upfront on your expected costs before, during, and after surgery so you will be able to plan accordingly.
- To remain In-Network with every major insurance carrier whenever possible.
- To remain one of the most affordable programs in the state of Texas.
- To work only with financing companies who offer fair rates and treat our patients with respect.
Using Your Health Insurance
In general, Texas has very good coverage for bariatric surgery when compared to most states. Whether your health insurance policy covers bariatric surgery, however, is really up to your employer. We have found that many employers in Corpus Christi and the surrounding area provide coverage for bariatric surgery in their health plan.
When you contact the Better Weigh Center, one of our dedicated insurance advocates will obtain your insurance information. We will then contact your insurance company to determine if bariatric surgery is covered under your plan. At that time, we will also be able to determine what your insurance requires in order for the procedure to be considered “medically necessary”. Most insurance companies have created a number of “hoops” that a patient must jump through prior to being approved for surgery. These can include items like the following:
- A 2 year or 5-year weight history (documented weights from years prior to surgery can come from physicians, employer health screenings, weight loss programs, life insurance applications, etc.)
- Record of previous diet attempts
- 3, 4, or 6 consecutive monthly visits with our program nutritionist
- Behavioral health evaluation
- Letter of support from the primary care physician
Our dedicated team of insurance advocates’ sole job is helping patients navigate through this insurance approval process. Our experience has been that if your health insurance covers bariatric surgery, we will get you approved. Our advice is to always use insurance to pay for your surgery if at all possible, even if that means jumping through a number of “hoops”.
What If My Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Bariatric Surgery?
If your health insurance policy specifically excludes bariatric surgery, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have bariatric surgery with us, it just means you won’t be able to use your health insurance to pay for it. There are still several options available to pay for your surgery. Here are just some ways that patients have used to pay for their bariatric surgery when their insurance did not cover the procedure:
- Switching to a higher-level health plan offered by their employer that does cover bariatric surgery
- Finding a new employer that has a health plan that covers bariatric surgery
- Applying for a home equity loan
- Using money from a health savings plan
- Financing the surgery through a health lender
- Taking money from a 401K or IRA
- Borrowing from family
Although the cost of bariatric surgery can seem high, it doesn’t hurt to think of it in terms of a long-term investment. You have likely spent more on the vehicle you financed with an auto loan than you would end up paying for bariatric surgery, and that vehicle will likely have far less of a positive impact on your future than bariatric surgery. After surgery, you are also likely to see significant savings in food costs, medication costs, and health costs in general as you will likely need fewer doctor visits, labs, and health-related procedures. Our insurance advocates would be happy to work with you on finding a financing solution that works for you and your financial situation.
Learn About Your Options
If you are considering bariatric surgery but are unsure how or if you can afford it, speak with one of our insurance advocates at The Better Weigh Center today. We are committed to giving every patient a new, healthier lease on life and will walk you through every option until we find one that works for you. Call us at (361) 500-2898 to get started or just fill out a Save Time from here!