Cost of Bariatric Surgery - $8,000 to $27,000 Before Insurance & Discounts

The average cost of bariatric surgery depends on which procedure you choose. It ranges from $8,000 to $27,000 without insurance and from $2,000 to $18,500 with insurance:

Your final out-of-pocket costs depend on:

  • Chosen hospital and surgeon
  • Insurance plan and benefits
  • Special discounts
  • Financing
  • Tax saving

By Location
Average Total Cost of Bariatric Surgery

By Location: Average Total Cost of Bariatric Surgery

cost bariatric surgery

Your total weight loss surgery cost depends on which procedure you choose and where you have the surgery. This varies widely by surgeon and hospital. Different surgeons in the same city can have a price difference of $5,000 to $10,000 or more.

Note that cost often has nothing to do with the quality of the surgeon or hospital. Instead, cost is driven by:

  • Cost of living in the area
  • Local competition
  • Local Medicare and Medicaid populations
  • For-profit or non-profit status of the hospital used

This section shares average costs by location for each procedure.

For a specific price in your location, click here to contact a surgeon and ask for a free quote.

United States: $8,000 to 27,000

The average cost of bariatric surgery in the United States ranges from $8,000 to $27,000 depending on the procedure:

  1. Gastric balloon: $8,150
  2. Lap-Band: $15,000
  3. vBloc Therapy: $18,500
  4. Gastric sleeve: $19,000
  5. Gastric bypass: $24,000
  6. Duodenal switch: $27,000

But there is a big cost difference between states. For example, gastric sleeve surgery averages $19,000 but ranges from $12,000 in Nevada to $58,000 in Alaska.

For state averages for each procedure, scroll through the chart below. You can sort the table alphabetically by state or from lowest cost to highest cost states.

For an exact quote, click here to find and contact a surgeon.

Region Region
Average Cost Average Cost
Region ALABAMA
Average Cost $21,650

ALABAMA surgeons surveyed are located in Birmingham, Decatur, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa

Region ALASKA
Average Cost $56,820

ALASKA surgeons surveyed are located in Anchorage

Region ARIZONA
Average Cost $24,621

ARIZONA surgeons surveyed are located in Flagstaff, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson

Region ARKANSAS
Average Cost $15,117

ARKANSAS surgeons surveyed are located in El Dorado, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Little Rock and Pine Bluff

Region CALIFORNIA
Average Cost $21,600

CALIFORNIA surgeons surveyed are located in Bakersfield, Burbank, Chico, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, La Jolla, Modesto, Oakland, Poway, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Barbara

Region COLORADO
Average Cost $20,710

COLORADO surgeons surveyed are located in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins

Region CONNECTICUT
Average Cost $23,864

CONNECTICUT surgeons surveyed are located in Farmington, Glastonbury, Meriden, Middletown, New Haven, Norwalk, Shelton and Stamford

Region DELAWARE
Average Cost $19,242

DELAWARE surgeons surveyed are located in Dover, Newark and Wilmington

Region FLORIDA
Average Cost $21,801

FLORIDA surgeons surveyed are located in Ft. Meyers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Ocala, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach

Region GEORGIA
Average Cost $20,264

GEORGIA surgeons surveyed are located in Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Decatur, Macon, Marietta and Savannah

Region HAWAII
Average Cost $21,277

HAWAII surgeons surveyed are located in Aiea, Kailua-Kona, Honolulu and Wailuku

Region IDAHO
Average Cost $19,681

IDAHO surgeons surveyed are located in Boise, Meridian, Montpelier, Nampa, Pocatello and Post Falls

Region ILLINOIS
Average Cost $24,432

ILLINOIS surgeons surveyed are located in Chicago, Champaign, Decatur, Naperville, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield

Region INDIANA
Average Cost $25,591

INDIANA surgeons surveyed are located in Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis and South Bend

Region IOWA
Average Cost $25,908

IOWA surgeons surveyed are located in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines and Iowa City

Region KANSAS
Average Cost $22,167

KANSAS surgeons surveyed are located in Topeka, Lenexa, Wichita, Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City

Region KENTUCKY
Average Cost $25,201

KENTUCKY surgeons surveyed are located in Lexington, Louisville and other towns.

Region LOUISIANA
Average Cost $21,650

LOUISIANA surgeons surveyed are located in Alexandria, New Orleans, Shreveport and other towns

Region MAINE
Average Cost $29,436

MAINE surgeons surveyed are located in Augusta, Bangor, Portland and other towns

Region MARYLAND
Average Cost $30,125

MARYLAND surgeons surveyed are located in Baltimore, Salisbury and other towns

Region MASSACHUSETTS
Average Cost $26,591

MASSACHUSETTS surgeons surveyed are located in Boston, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and other towns.

Region MICHIGAN
Average Cost $25,875

MICHIGAN surgeons surveyed are located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and other towns.

Region MINNESOTA
Average Cost $23,161

MINNESOTA surgeons surveyed are located in Minneapolis / St. Paul, Rochester and other towns

Region MISSISSIPPI
Average Cost $21,850

MISSISSIPPI surgeons surveyed are located in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Tupelo and other towns.

Region MISSOURI
Average Cost $23,150

MISSOURI surgeons surveyed are located in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis and other towns

Region MONTANA
Average Cost $28,167

MONTANA surgeons surveyed are located in Billings, Bozeman, Helena and other towns

Region NEBRASKA
Average Cost $23,050

NEBRASKA surgeons surveyed are located in Lincoln, Omaha and other towns

Region NEVADA
Average Cost $16,375

NEVADA surgeons surveyed are located in Henderson, Las Vegas and Reno Areas

Region NEW HAMPSHIRE
Average Cost $31,500

NEW HAMPSHIRE surgeons surveyed are located in Manchester, Nashua and other towns

Region NEW JERSEY
Average Cost $26,467

NEW JERSEY surgeons surveyed are located in Newark, Trenton and Other Areas

Region NEW MEXICO
Average Cost $17,640

NEW MEXICO surgeons surveyed are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Other Areas

Region NEW YORK
Average Cost $32,194

NEW YORK surgeons surveyed are located in Albany, Buffalo, New York City / Manhattan, Rochester, Watertown and Other Areas

Region NORTH CAROLINA
Average Cost $28,312

NORTH CAROLINA surgeons surveyed are located in Asheville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington, Winston-Salem and Other Areas

Region NORTH DAKOTA
Average Cost $35,000

NORTH DAKOTA surgeons surveyed are located in Bismarck and Grand Forks

Region OHIO
Average Cost $23,083

OHIO surgeons surveyed are located in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Other Areas

Region OKLAHOMA
Average Cost $19,300

OKLAHOMA surgeons surveyed are located in Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Other Areas

Region OREGON
Average Cost $34,433

OREGON surgeons surveyed are located in Portland, Bend, McMinnville, Salem, Medford, Springfield, Eugene, Beaverton, Corvallis, and Coos Bay

Region PENNSYLVANIA
Average Cost $23,390

PENNSYLVANIA surgeons surveyed are located in Allentown, Altoona, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Other Areas

Region SOUTH CAROLINA
Average Cost $25,167

SOUTH CAROLINA surgeons surveyed are located in Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill and Other Areas

Region SOUTH DAKOTA
Average Cost $25,500

SOUTH DAKOTA surgeons surveyed are located in Dakota Dunes, Rapid City and Sioux Falls

Region TENNESSEE
Average Cost $25,045

TENNESSEE surgeons surveyed are located in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville

Region TEXAS
Average Cost $17,490

TEXAS surgeons surveyed are located in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas / Ft. Worth, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio

Region UTAH
Average Cost $18,148

UTAH surgeons surveyed are located in Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George

Region VERMONT
Average Cost $26,400

VERMONT surgeons surveyed are located in Burlington, Montpelier and Springfield

Region VIRGINIA
Average Cost $20,625

VIRGINIA surgeons surveyed are located in Charlottesville, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach and Other Towns

Region WASHINGTON
Average Cost $25,567

WASHINGTON surgeons surveyed are located in Everett, Olympia, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Other Areas

Region WASHINGTON DC
Average Cost $20,463
Region WEST VIRGINIA
Average Cost $19,104

WEST VIRGINIA surgeons surveyed are located in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown and Vienna

Region WISCONSIN
Average Cost $26,333

WISCONSIN surgeons surveyed are located in Eu Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Other Areas

Region WYOMING
Average Cost $29,375

WYOMING surgeons surveyed are located in Afton, Cheyenne and Riverton

Canada: $11,000 to $26,000 CAD

Quebec is the only province in Canada with enough “self pay” surgeons to calculate an average. Following are cost averages from that province:

  • Gastric balloon: $11,000 CAD
  • Lap-Band: $17,575 CAD
  • Gastric sleeve: $27,500 CAD
  • Gastric bypass: $25,700 CAD
  • vBloc Therapy: procedure not available in Canada
  • Duodenal switch: procedure not available in Canada

For an exact quote, click here to find and contact a surgeon.

Australia: $5,000 to $25,000 AUD

Following are the total average bariatric surgery costs in Australia by procedure:

  • Gastric balloon: $5,825 AUD
  • Lap-Band: $17,700 AUD
  • Gastric sleeve: $23,100 AUD
  • Gastric bypass: $23,100 AUD
  • vBloc Therapy: $25,000 AUD
  • Duodenal switch: procedure not available in Australia

For state and territory averages, scroll through the chart below. These cost averages (listed in Australian dollars) assume that you have insurance.

For an exact quote, click here to find and contact a surgeon.

Region Region
Average Cost Average Cost
Region NEW SOUTH WALES
Average Cost $4,500

NEW SOUTH WALES surgeons surveyed are located in Sydney

Region QUEENSLAND
Average Cost $5,246

QUEENSLAND surgeons surveyed are located in Brisbane and Gold Coast

Region SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Average Cost $3,250

SOUTH AUSTRALIA surgeons surveyed are located in Adelaide and Barossa Valley

TASMANIA surgeons surveyed are located in Hobart

Region VICTORIA
Average Cost $5,160

VICTORIA surgeons surveyed are located in Melbourne

WESTERN AUSTRALIA surgeons surveyed are located in Perth

United Kingdom: £4,000 to £11,000

Following are the total average bariatric surgery costs in the United Kingdom by procedure:

  • Gastric balloon: £4,000
  • Lap-Band: £4,995
  • Gastric sleeve: £10,000
  • Gastric bypass: £10,000
  • Duodenal switch: £11,000
  • vBloc Therapy: procedure not available in the UK

For an exact quote, click here to find and contact a surgeon.

International (Medical Travel): $4,000 to $27,000 USD

Following are average weight loss surgery costs by country for each procedure (in U.S. Dollars):

Country
Country
Australia
Australia
Canada
Canada
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Egypt
Egypt
India
India
Mexico
Mexico
Thailand
Thailand
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United States
United States
 
Gastric Balloon
Australia
$4,178
Canada
$8,600
Costa Rica
n/a
Egypt
n/a
India
$3,500
Mexico
$5,800
Thailand
$5,600
United Kingdom
$6,195
United States
$8,150
 
Lap-Band
Australia
$13,000
Canada
$13,000
Costa Rica
$8,000
Egypt
$5,000
India
$4,000
Mexico
$5,825
Thailand
$10,000
United Kingdom
$7,165
United States
$15,000
 
vBloc Therapy
Australia
$18,500
Canada
n/a
Costa Rica
n/a
Egypt
n/a
India
n/a
Mexico
n/a
Thailand
n/a
United Kingdom
n/a
United States
$18,500
 
Gastric Sleeve
Autralia
$15,900
Canada
$21,400
Costa Rica
$9,550
Egypt
$4,000
India
$9,400
Mexico
$5,125
Thailand
$10,800
United Kingdom
$14,350
United States
$19,190
 
Gastric Bypass
Astralia
$16,000
Canada
$16,000
Costa Rica
$12,500
Egypt
$4,300
India
$10,400
Mexico
$7,400
Thailand
$10,500
United Kingdom
$14,200
United States
$24,000
 
Duodenal Switch
Australia
n/a
Canada
n/a
Costa Rica
n/a
Egypt
n/a
India
n/a
Mexico
$8,600
Thailand
n/a
United Kingdom
$15,780
United States
$27,000

Click here for an in-depth review of medical travel for weight loss surgery.

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Cost Survey Results for MEXICO*


Including Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos, Mexicali, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta and Tijuana

<-- swipe to see other years -->
 201520162017
Gastric Bypass$7,422 n/a n/a
Gastric Banding (Lap Band)$5,826 n/a n/a
Gastric Sleeve$5,125 n/a n/a
Duodenal Switch$8,060 n/a n/a

* 10 Practices in Mexico were contacted to calculate these averages.

Exact Quote for You

Click here to find a top surgeon near you. Their office will be able to provide you with a more exact quote.

Vs. Not Having Surgery
Some Procedures Save Patients $11,000 Per Year

Vs. Not Having Surgery: Some Procedures Save Patients $11,000 Per Year

cost bariatric surgery

Starting 13 months after weight loss surgery, patients without insurance save about $900 per month (1). That’s almost $11,000 saved per year. Fewer prescription drugs alone save patients $3,000 or more per year (2).

In other words, depending on your final procedure costs, you should “break even” within 2 years and start saving $11,000 per year.

This applies only to the more involved procedure that do a better job improving health issues, including:

  • Gastric sleeve
  • Gastric bypass
  • Duodenal switch
  • Lap-Band

The other two procedures – gastric balloon and vBloc Therapy – improve health but not to the same degree. And there are no studies to check long-term cost savings associated with them.

Cost Components
Pre-Op, Costs During Surgery & Post-Op

Cost Components: Pre-Op, Costs During Surgery & Post-Op

cost bariatric surgery

Below are all of the potential weight loss surgery cost categories. Costs listed on this page only include standard costs during surgery.

Pre-Op (Costs Before Surgery)

  • Physician-supervised weight loss program (required)
  • Dietitian/nutritionist consultations
  • Psychologist (mental health clearance)
  • Cardiologist (heart health clearance)
  • Lab/blood work, echocardiogram (also known as an “ECG” or “EKG”) and/or X-Ray fees
  • Surgeon consultation fees
  • Sleep study

Standard Costs During Surgery

  • Hospital fees
  • Surgeon fees
  • Surgical assistant fees
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Operating room fees
  • Device fees (for procedures that use a device like Lap-Band and vBloc Therapy)

Non-standard Costs During Surgery

  • Pathologist fees (for reviewing biopsies, if necessary)
  • Radiologist fees (for reviewing x-rays, if necessary)

Post-Op (Costs After Surgery)

  • Addressing any complications
  • Follow-up doctor visits
  • Bariatric vitamins
  • Extra food costs (healthier food tends to cost more)
  • Personal trainer and/or gym membership
  • New clothes (wait to go crazy with this until you reach your plateau weight)
  • Plastic surgery to remove sagging skin (more on this in the Downsides section below)

Patients Without Insurance
3 Options Offered, 6 Discounts Available

Patients Without Insurance: 3 Options Offered, 6 Discounts Available

cost bariatric surgery

If you don’t have insurance and ask a surgeon for a bariatric surgery quote, you will get one of 3 responses:

  • No Self-Pay Option – Some practices only work with patients who have insurance.
  • Partial Quote – Some practices only quote the surgeon’s and surgeon assistant’s fees. They don’t know the cost of services that are not under their direct control, like hospital fees. Most of these surgeons can provide phone numbers for you to conduct that cost research on your own.
  • All-Inclusive Packages – Many practices quote an up-front, all-inclusive cost. If any costs are not included in the package, they should outline those as well. These programs often include between 3 and 13 months of follow up visits in the packaged price.

Click here to find a top surgeon to ask for a self-pay quote.

How to Get Weight Loss Surgery Insurance in the U.S.

There are 2 ways to get weight loss surgery insurance if you don’t already have it:

  • The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) requires insurance companies to include weight loss surgery coverage in some states. You may be able to sign up for one of these plans. See our Obamacare page for more information.
  • Convince your company to add it to your plan. If you work for a company with 50 or more employees, they decide if your plan includes bariatric surgery. There are many good business reasons for adding it that they may respond well to. Click here for information to share with your HR department.

Discounts: 6 Discounts to Ask Your Surgeon About

Talk with your surgeon about whether any of these discounts are available:

  1. Self-Pay Discounts. Most surgeons offer self-pay discounts or payment plans. Just ask!
  2. Other Discounts. Some offer discounts if you pay the total amount in advance.
  3. Same Surgeon, Different Hospitals. Some surgeons operate at more than one hospital. Hospital costs make up the biggest part of the bill, so find out if your surgeon has a choice.
  4. Pre-Op Costs. Some surgeons include pre-op costs in their quoted fees. Pre-op costs include things like testing and office visits.
  5. Complications. Should they arise, may increase total costs. Ask your surgeon who will pay if a complication arises during surgery. Some surgeons will include the cost of any complications in their quote while others will charge extra.
  6. Health Insurance That Does Not Include Bariatric Surgery. You may still get insurance to pay for some costs that could be applied to covered treatments. For example, lab work is needed for many reasons outside of bariatric surgery. Your surgeon can help you find the loopholes in your plan.

Insurance
Covered If Your Policy Includes Bariatric Surgery

Insurance: Covered If Your Policy Includes Bariatric Surgery

cost bariatric surgery

Click your country below for gastric bypass insurance information:

United States: Covered for Some Plans

In the U.S., the following procedures are covered by insurance, but only if your specific policy includes it:

  • Gastric sleeve
  • Gastric bypass
  • Duodenal switch
  • Lap-Band

Gastric balloon and vBloc Therapy are currently not covered by insurance in the United States.

Use our Check My Insurance Tool to find out if it’s covered by your plan:

CHECK MY INSURANCE TOOL

Can’t find your insurance company/plan or have updated info? Click here to contact us.
Disclaimer: Accuracy not guaranteed. Contact your insurance company to confirm all benefits.

Click one of the following for more information:

How Do You Know If Your Insurance Includes Weight Loss Surgery?

It depends on where you get your insurance:

  1. Individual/Family Plans & Small Group Plans (under 50 employees) – The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires bariatric surgery coverage in many states.
  2. Large Group Plans (50+ employees) – Your company decides whether weight loss surgery is covered. Talk with your HR department or contact your insurance company to find out if it’s covered.
  3. Medicare & Medicaid – Medicare and Medicaid both cover gastric bypass surgery, but not all surgeons accept them.

Use the Check My Insurance Tool at the top of this section to find out if your plan includes weight loss surgery.

If Your Policy Covers It: Ask for a Free Insurance Check

Many surgeons offer a free insurance check. They have a staff that is experienced at working with insurance companies.

Rather than figuring it out on our own, talk with a surgeon’s office about doing the legwork for you.

Contact a top surgeon for a free insurance check.

Following are average bariatric surgery costs by procedure and plan type, after insurance pays:

  • 4-Way Tie: Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and Lap-Band: $2,000M
  • Gastric balloon: $8,150 (usually not covered by insurance)
  • vBloc Therapy: $18,500 (usually not covered by insurance)

(Click here for assumptions)

  • No money has been paid towards your calendar year deductible for other services
  • Calculations made using special formulas that take into account the average plan designs from Kaiser Family Foundation’s Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (3)

Your final out of pocket cost after insurance depends on several factors, including:

  • Discounts Negotiated By Your Insurance Company

    Insurance companies often have pre-negotiated rates for doctors and hospitals in their network. They may also try to negotiate deeper discounts on top of any negotiated rates.

  • Calendar Year Deductible Level

    You must pay all medical costs until you reach your calendar year deductible amount. Some expenses, like copayments and prescriptions, do not count towards your deductible. Prescriptions may have their own Calendar Year Deductible.

    After you reach the deductible, you share the cost with the insurance company. The amount you share depends on your Coinsurance percentage (see below).

    Deductibles reset on January 1st. As a result, many weight loss surgery patients “rush” to get a surgery date before the end of each year.

  • Remaining Calendar Year Deductible Amount

    The amount of money you still owe towards your deductible.

  • Hospital Copay

    The amount you will pay for each hospitalization (including weight loss surgery). Does not count towards reaching the Calendar Year Deductible.

  • Hospital Coinsurance

    The percentage of the total bill you are required to pay after you have “paid off” your Calendar Year Deductible.

  • Out of Pocket Maximum

    This is the most you will have to pay through deductible and coinsurance before your plan pays 100%. You will still be responsible for copayments, such as:

    • Office visits
    • Hospital copays
    • Prescription drugs
  • Total Year-to-Date Coinsurance Paid

    The total amount of coinsurance you have paid so far this calendar year. This is needed to determine whether your weight loss procedure will cause you to reach your annual out of pocket maximum.

If Your Policy Does NOT Cover It: Seek Partial Coverage

You may be able to get part of the costs paid for by insurance even if weight loss surgery isn’t covered. It’s all about how your doctor and hospital submit your claims to your insurance company.

For example, there are many non-bariatric surgery reasons for your doctor to recommend:

  • Cardiology exam
  • Lab work
  • Medically supervised diet program
  • Psychological exam
  • Sleep study

These are ordered for many reasons other than bariatric surgery and may be covered as a result. If your doctor submits one of these claims using a weight loss surgery CPT code (Current Procedural Terminology Code), your insurance is unlikely to cover it. But if your doctor uses a general CPT code, it probably will be covered.

While this may sound “sneaky”, it is an ethical practice. After all, these tests will be beneficial regardless of whether you move forward with surgery.

Find a Top Surgeon

The U.S. Insurance Approval Process

The entire bariatric surgery insurance approval process takes between 1 and 12 months.

The approval process usually happens in these steps:

  1. Your body mass index (BMI) requirements are confirmed by your physician:
    • BMI over 40 –OR–
    • BMI over 35 with one or more of the following:
      • Clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea
      • Coronary heart disease
      • Medically refractory hypertension
      • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
      • Other obesity-related health issues
  2. Complete 3 to 7 consecutive months of a medically supervised diet program.
  3. Schedule a consultation with your bariatric surgeon.
  4. Schedule a consultation with your primary care physician to get a medical clearance letter.
  5. Schedule a psychiatric evaluation to get a mental health clearance letter.
  6. Schedule a nutritional evaluation from a Registered Dietitian.
  7. Send the following to your insurance company:
    • All the above documentation
    • Detailed history of your obesity-related health problems
    • Difficulties and treatment attempts
  8. The review process usually happens in under one month.
  9. Insurance company sends approval or denial letter:
    • If approved, your surgeon’s bariatric coordinator will contact you for scheduling.
    • If denied, you can choose to appeal the denial.

Your bariatric surgeon’s office will do most of this legwork for you. They may even have all the required people on staff (registered dietitian, psychiatrist, bariatric coordinator, etc.).

Click here to access the weight loss surgeon directory to get started. Most offices will check your insurance for free to confirm coverage criteria.

For more information about gastric bypass insurance, see our Bariatric Surgery Insurance Patient Guide.

Disability Insurance During Recovery

Your employer decides whether to offer Disability insurance (DI). You can continue coverage as an individual if you leave the company.

DI pays you a percentage of your monthly income if you are unable to work. Short term disability insurance (STD) usually pays 2/3 of your salary for the first 90 or 180 days of your recovery.

Disability insurance usually includes pre-existing conditions limitations. The best way around this is to sign up during the initial enrollment period (when you’re hired). They might not allow you to enroll at any other time. You then need to stay enrolled for the entire “pre-existing conditions exclusionary period,” which lasts between 6 and 12 months.

Call your insurance company, talk with HR, or review your plan documents for details.

Canada: Covered, But Long Wait Times

Jurisdictional Health Care covers gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, Lap-Band, and duodenal switch surgery in the following provinces:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

Gastric balloon and vBloc Therapy are not currently covered by insurance in Canada.

If you want insurance to pay, wait times can be very long, ranging from 2 years to over 10 years.

If you don’t want to wait, you have two options:

  1. Insurance may pay for surgery outside of your province. But most provinces will not cover any expenses other than the surgery itself.
  2. Finance bariatric surgery on your own and receive treatment in a private facility.

Most weight loss surgery patients in Canada take the self-pay option. Private-pay clinics perform two-thirds of all weight loss surgeries in Canada (4).

See our Weight Loss Surgery in Canada Patient Guide for more information.

Click here to find a private-pay clinic in Canada or the United States.

Australia: Covered by Medicare & Private Insurance

In Australia, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, Lap-Band, and duodenal switch (DS) are covered by insurance, although you will have a tough time finding a DS surgeon.

Gastric balloon and vBloc Therapy are currently not covered by insurance.

Australian Medicare will pay for part of gastric surgery as follows:

  • Apply a set rate to your procedure that is much lower than the actual costs
  • Pays 75% of that set rate

But the rebate amount will still leave the majority of costs up to you and your private insurance.

For example:

  • If the total procedure costs = $10,000
  • And Medicare’s set rate is $850
  • Then Medicare will pay $637.50 of the total bill ($850 X 0.75)
  • You and your private insurance will be responsible for the balance

To get the current reimbursement levels for weight loss surgery in Australia:

  1. Click here to access the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) database
  2. Type in one of the following Item Numbers:
    • Gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy): 31575
    • Gastric bypass (gastric bypass by Roux en Y): 31572
    • Lap-Band (adjustable gastric band): 31569
    • Duodenal switch (Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch): 31581

Private insurance in Australia covers bariatric surgery, but you will need to wait at least 12 months after joining a health fund. After insurance and Medicare pay their part, you will need to pay between $2,000 and $6,000.

Contact your health fund directly for costs and coverage information. Provide them with the same Item Numbers as those listed above.

Click here for a full list of Australian health funds and their contact information.

Click here to find a top bariatric surgeon in Australia or review our Australia Patient Guide.

Financing
7 Ways to Make Surgery More Affordable

Financing: 7 Ways to Make Surgery More Affordable

cost bariatric surgery

Weight loss surgery financing is available almost everywhere. It helps pay for:

  • The entire cost of surgery
  • The part that insurance doesn’t cover, like deductibles, copays, or coinsurance

Financing options to make bariatric surgery more affordable include:

  1. Payment Plan Through a Qualified Surgeon
  2. Brokers, Direct Lenders, and Credit Cards (Unsecured Medical Loans)
  3. Friends & Family
  4. Secured Medical Loans
  5. Retirement Plan Loans
  6. Permanent Life Insurance Loans
  7. Medical travel – having surgery in a location that is less expensive than where you live

Tax Savings
Tax Deductions & Special Tax-Favored Accounts

Tax Savings: Tax Deductions & Special Tax-Favored Accounts

cost bariatric surgery

Click your country below to find out if tax savings are available:

United States: Might Be Deductible, Special Tax-Favored Accounts Available

Weight loss surgery is tax deductible, which can have a big impact on the total cost of surgery.

You can deduct medical expenses if the costs are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income.

To receive the deductions, you’ll need to complete Schedule A of the IRS Form 1040. You’ll also need to save your medical bills and payment statements as proof.

Money in special savings accounts (or even your IRA) may also be a way to pay for part of surgery tax-free:

  1. Health Savings Account (HSA)

    You can open an HSA alongside a “qualified high deductible” health plan. Tax-free HSA money can be used pay for qualified medical expenses. No other account receives better tax treatment. You can even transfer IRA money into an HSA. See the IRS’s Site for more info.

  2. Archer Medical Savings Account (Archer MSA)

    Archer MSAs are like HSAs for the self-employed or small businesses. Click here for details.

  3. Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

    HRAs are only offered by employers who set them up and contribute money to them. If your company offers one, make sure your plan allows the use of HRA funds to pay for “all qualified medical expenses.” Click here for more info.

  4. Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

    Both employers and employees can contribute to an FSA, also known by its IRS code, “Section 125”. Money from them can be taken out tax-free if it is used for qualified medical expenses. Click here to get the summary from the IRS.

Canada: Is Deductible

Canada is generous compared to other countries when it comes to medical tax deductions. If you have a prescription, receipt, or other documentation, you can write them off.

If surgery is covered by your insurance, you can still deduct your:

  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Monthly insurance premium

If your income is below a certain amount, you may qualify for a tax credit called the refundable medical expense supplement.

Australia: Might Be Deductible

You can write off your bariatric surgery expenses if the costs are over the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) threshold.

According to the ATO:

“To claim the net medical expenses tax offset in your tax return, you will need to know the total medical expenses you incurred for yourself and your dependants. You then deduct any refunds from Medicare, your health fund or any other reimbursements that relate to those expenses received during the financial year.”

Click here for updated Medicare Benefit Tax Statement information from the Department of Human Services.

Free Insurance Check & Cost Quote

Most surgeons offer a free weight loss surgery cost quote and a free insurance check. Most also offer a free in-person seminar, free webinar, or free initial consultation.

Surgeons and their staffs are experts in all steps of the bariatric surgery process, including financing and insurance. Take advantage of their knowledge by contacting a local surgeon today.

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[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 09/01/2016]

* Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Read More