Free Weight Loss Surgery – Does It Exist? (Including Free Gastric Bypass Surgery & Free Lap Band Surgery)

Free weight loss surgery can be tough to come by, but it is possible. And due to the proven positive health impacts of bariatric surgery, free or reduced-cost bariatric surgery may become more available as time goes on…

Weight Loss Surgery Grants

Surgery grants help those who cannot afford surgery by funding all or part of the treatment costs. Currently, the only grant available specifically for weight loss surgery comes from the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (WLSFA).

The WLSFA raises funds to grant people who need help obtaining weight loss surgery or post weight loss reconstructive plastic surgery. Grant recipients must work towards helping others by donating time and resources back to the WLSFA.

You must meet three requirements in order to be considered for a grant from the WLSFA:

  1. You must have been approved for weight loss or reconstructive surgery
  2. You must either have no insurance, been denied coverage for surgery by your insurance carrier or have insurance that won't cover all of the costs
  3. You must be willing to be part of the grant process and be willing to help raise 10% of the funds you are requesting

To learn more and to apply for the grant, see the WLSFA's web site.

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Charity Care for Discounted or Free Weight Loss Surgery

If you are within a certain range of the federal poverty level and don’t have insurance, you may be able to qualify for weight loss surgery charity care from a hospital in your area. For instance, some hospitals provide free health care to people with household incomes up to three times the federal poverty level.

In addition to meeting income requirements, hospital charity care requires the surgery to be medically necessary (not cosmetic).

To determine whether you are eligible, you will typically need to complete a financial application which may include proof of income and other personal information. In addition, the hospital will likely require the referring doctor to be part of their staff.

If you choose to explore this route, keep in mind that your referring doctor may not be up-to-date on the benefits of bariatric surgery and could take some convincing. If your doctors are reluctant to refer you, share the following studies with them…

If your financial application for charity care is denied, don't give up right away. Many hospitals will still work with you, based on the information you submit, to come up with a reduced payment.

To find out which hospitals in your area offer charity care, go to their web sites and search for “charity care.” If you can’t find their policies listed online, call them directly to get the details.

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Other ways to make bariatric surgery affordable

If you are unable to receive free weight loss surgery through charity care and don’t have insurance, you have several options to reduce the cost and make surgery affordable…

Go to our Financing Bariatric Surgery page for an in-depth review of each of these options.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. 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