Gastric Sleeve Cost in 2017 - $3,500 With Insurance & Discounts

The average total gastric sleeve cost is about $19,000. That drops to around $3,500 with insurance. Your final out-of-pocket costs depend on:

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

Read and click the sections below for details about each of the above gastric sleeve surgery cost points.

01 Cost With Insurance

Cost With Insurance

$3,500 average out-of-pocket costs, depending on plan Click here to check your insurance

gastric sleeve cost

GASTRIC SLEEVE COST-AFTER-INSURANCE ESTIMATOR

Projected Out Of Pocket Costs After Insurance

PROJECTED OUT OF POCKET COSTS AFTER INSURANCE

Click Below to Update Your Plan's Details from U.S. Averages

Data is for illustrative purposes only. Please check with your insurance company for specific costs and benefit information.

The following variables may or may not impact your projected out of pocket costs.

GASTRIC SLEEVE INSURANCE TOOLS

Cost-After-Insurance Estimator

Check My Insurance Tool

CHECK MY
INSURANCE TOOL
1

Choose your plan, state, and insurance company below.

Can’t find your insurance company/plan or have updated info? Click here to contact us.

This tool provides estimates only. Please contact your insurance company to verify your actual out of pocket costs.

Click to Collapse Section Click to Learn More

Click your country below for gastric sleeve insurance information:

United States: Covered If Your Plan Includes Bariatric Surgery

In the U.S., gastric sleeve is covered under any plan that includes weight loss surgery.

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

CHECK MY
INSURANCE TOOL
1

Choose your plan, state, and insurance company below.

Can’t find your insurance company/plan or have updated info? Click here to contact us.

This tool provides estimates only. Please contact your insurance company to verify your actual out of pocket costs.

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:

  • Individual/Family Plans & Small Group Plans (under 50 employees). The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires bariatric surgery coverage in many states.
  • 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.
  • Medicare & Medicaid – Medicare and Medicaid both cover gastric sleeve 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.

Click here to contact a top surgeon for a free insurance check.

Note that you’ll need to show your insurance company that you attended a weight loss program supervised by a medical professional. If you haven’t done this already, your weight loss surgery can do this as well.

Following are average gastric sleeve costs after insurance pays, depending on plan type:

  • HMO: $1,475
  • PPO: $2,542
  • POS: $2,270
  • High-Deductible Health Plan: $1,901

(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 (1)

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 gastric sleeve insurance approval process takes between 1 and 12 months. The typical 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 sleeve 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 66 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 in several provinces cover gastric sleeve surgery, including:

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

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 (2).

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

The cost of gastric sleeve surgery in Australia averages $23,447 AUD before Medicare rebates and insurance.

Australian Medicare will pay for part of gastric sleeve 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 gastric sleeve:

  1. Click here to access the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) database
  2. Type in Gastric Sleeve Item Number 31575

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 $1,700 and $5,300.

Contact your health fund directly for costs and coverage information. Provide them with the same Gastric Sleeve Medicare Item Number: 31575.

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.

02 Cost Without Insurance

Cost Without Insurance

Total Cost: $19,478, on average Loan Payment: $453/month, on average Discounts & Tax Savings: Usually available

gastric sleeve cost

GASTRIC SLEEVE
LOAN ESTIMATOR

Choose Your Monthly Payment

5

Years

Time to Pay Off Procedure

Disclaimer

This tool provides estimates only. Please contact your insurance company to verify your actual loan estimator.

Your Location

Click to learn
about discounts:

Contact a Surgeon for a Specific Quote

DISCOUNTS
6 Discounts to Ask Your Surgeon About

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

Click to Collapse Section Click to Learn More

If you don’t have insurance and ask a surgeon for a gastric sleeve 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 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 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 their 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 gastric sleeve 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:

  • Self-Pay Discounts. Most surgeons offer self-pay discounts or payment plans. Just ask!
  • Other Discounts. Some offer discounts if you pay the total amount in advance.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Op Costs. Some surgeons include pre-op costs in their quoted fees. Pre-op costs include things like testing and office visits.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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03 Cost Without Insurance – By Location

Cost Without Insurance – By Location

Click here for state-specific costs United States: $19,228 USD Canada: $19,919 CAD Australia: $4,263 AUD United Kingdom: £11,233 International (Medical Travel): $5,187 to $10,927 USD

gastric sleeve cost

Select a province or cost tier

$32,000

AVERAGE
GASTRIC SLEEVE COST IN

MINNISOTA

Including Albany, Buffalo, New York City / Manhattan, Rochester, Watertown and Other Areas

Click your province in the map or select a cost tier below

Cost tier

Cost

$$$

HIGHEST COST STATES $20,500 - $58,000 range

If you do not have gastric sleeve insurance, the highlighted states above will be the most expensive. If you have insurance that covers gastric sleeve, your out of pocket costs will be about the same in all states.

$$

AVERAGE COST STATES $17,450 - $20,500 range

If you do not have gastric sleeve insurance, the highlighted states above will have mid-level costs. If you have insurance that covers gastric sleeve, your out of pocket costs will be about the same in all states.

$

LOWEST COST STATES $12,400 - $17,450 range

If you do not have gastric sleeve insurance, the highlighted states above will be the least expensive. If you have insurance that covers gastric sleeve, your out of pocket costs will be about the same in all states.

Click to Collapse Section Click to Learn More

The cost of gastric sleeve surgery depends on 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.

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

United States: $19,228

The average cost of gastric sleeve surgery in the United States is about $19,228. But there is a big cost difference between states. Costs range from $13,181 in Nevada to $58,367 in Alaska.

For state averages, 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 $19,203

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

Region ALASKA
Average Cost $58,367

ALASKA surgeons surveyed are located in Anchorage

Region ARIZONA
Average Cost $17,764

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

Region ARKANSAS
Average Cost $14,131

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

Region CALIFORNIA
Average Cost $22,466

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 $15,754

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

Region CONNECTICUT
Average Cost $21,877

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

Region DELAWARE
Average Cost $17,157

DELAWARE surgeons surveyed are located in Dover, Newark and Wilmington

Region FLORIDA
Average Cost $15,915

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 $16,327

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

Region HAWAII
Average Cost $20,839

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

Region IDAHO
Average Cost $17,648

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

Region ILLINOIS
Average Cost $17,785

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

Region INDIANA
Average Cost $22,491

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

Region IOWA
Average Cost $20,456

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

Region KANSAS
Average Cost $13,789

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

Region KENTUCKY
Average Cost $19,117

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

Region LOUISIANA
Average Cost $14,238

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

Region MAINE
Average Cost $25,327

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

Region MARYLAND
Average Cost $25,500

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

Region MASSACHUSETTS
Average Cost $21,681

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

Region MICHIGAN
Average Cost $22,365

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

Region MINNESOTA
Average Cost $24,018

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

Region MISSISSIPPI
Average Cost $13,151

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

Region MISSOURI
Average Cost $19,165

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

Region MONTANA
Average Cost $18,722

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

Region NEBRASKA
Average Cost $16,833

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

Region NEVADA
Average Cost $13,181

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

Region NEW HAMPSHIRE
Average Cost $20,645

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

Region NEW JERSEY
Average Cost $18,249

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

Region NEW MEXICO
Average Cost $14,337

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

Region NEW YORK
Average Cost $27,951

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

Region NORTH CAROLINA
Average Cost $22,748

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 $27,830

NORTH DAKOTA surgeons surveyed are located in Bismarck and Grand Forks

Region OHIO
Average Cost $19,565

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

Region OKLAHOMA
Average Cost $13,593

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

Region OREGON
Average Cost $26,447

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

Region PENNSYLVANIA
Average Cost $17,874

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

Region SOUTH CAROLINA
Average Cost $19,228

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

Region SOUTH DAKOTA
Average Cost $12,650

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

Region TENNESSEE
Average Cost $18,925

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

Region TEXAS
Average Cost $12,565

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

Region UTAH
Average Cost $14,531

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

Region VERMONT
Average Cost $23,934

VERMONT surgeons surveyed are located in Burlington, Montpelier and Springfield

Region VIRGINIA
Average Cost $17,879

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

Region WASHINGTON
Average Cost $19,013

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

Region WASHINGTON DC
Average Cost $18,064
Region WEST VIRGINIA
Average Cost $17,662

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

Region WISCONSIN
Average Cost $23,411

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

Region WYOMING
Average Cost $16,305

WYOMING surgeons surveyed are located in Afton, Cheyenne and Riverton

Canada: $19,919 CAD

Quebec is the only province in Canada with enough "self pay" surgeons to calculate an average.

Average gastric sleeve costs in Quebec are $19,919 CAD.

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

Australia: $4,263 AUD

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 $5,303

NEW SOUTH WALES surgeons surveyed are located in Sydney

Region QUEENSLAND
Average Cost $4,454

QUEENSLAND surgeons surveyed are located in Brisbane and Gold Coast

Region SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Average Cost $3,070

SOUTH AUSTRALIA surgeons surveyed are located in Adelaide and Barossa Valley

TASMANIA surgeons surveyed are located in Hobart

Region VICTORIA
Average Cost $4,742

VICTORIA surgeons surveyed are located in Melbourne

Region WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Average Cost $3,553

WESTERN AUSTRALIA surgeons surveyed are located in Perth

International (Medical Travel): $5,187 to $10,930 USD

Following are averages by country (in U.S. Dollars for comparison purposes):

  • Australia – $16,091
  • Canada – $21,657
  • Costa Rica – $9,665
  • Egypt – $4,048
  • India – $9,513
  • Mexico – $5,187
  • Thailand – $10,930
  • United Kingdom – $14,522
  • United States – $19,420

Click here for an in-depth review of medical travel for gastric sleeve surgery.

04 Cost Vs. Remaining Obese

Cost Vs. Remaining Obese

Patient will save ~ $11,000 per year after year 2, post-surgery

gastric sleeve cost

Cost Savings After Surgery

Click to Collapse Section Click to Learn More

At a total average cost of about $19,000, gastric sleeve surgery is expensive. But it’s not as expensive as the medical costs of obesity.

Starting 13 months after surgery, patients without insurance save about $900 per month (3). That’s almost $11,000 saved per year. Fewer prescription drugs alone save patients $3,000 or more per year (4)

In other words, about 1 year and 9 months after surgery you will “break even” and start saving $11,000 per year.

05 Cost Vs. Other Procedures

Cost Vs. Other Procedures

With Insurance: Tied for Lowest Cost Without Insurance: 5th Lowest cost out of 7

Gastric sleeve is tied for the lowest-cost procedure if your insurance covers weight loss surgery. If your insurance does not cover it, gastric sleeve has the 5th lowest average total cost.

06 Cost Breakdown

Cost Breakdown

Pre-Op (before surgery) Standard costs during surgery Non-standard costs during surgery Post-Op (after surgery)

gastric sleeve cost

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

Unstandard 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)

07 Financing Options

Financing Options

7 ways to make surgery more affordable

gastric sleeve cost

Click the buttons to learn more about each financing option.

Payment Plan Through a Qualified Surgeon

Some surgeons offer a payment plan to make treatment affordable. Some allow you to pay them interest-free over time, while others will agree to charge you a very low interest rate. Some even offer reduced-cost or free weight loss surgery for those who can’t afford it.

If your surgeon is willing to work with you, your arrangement will almost always be set up on a one-off basis. Always negotiate a fully packaged up-front price for all services so there are no surprises down the road.

Click here to learn more.
Brokers, Direct Lenders, and Credit Cards (Unsecured Medical Loans)

Unlike secured loans, unsecured loans allow you to borrow money without putting up any collateral (such as your house). The trade off comes in the form of an interest rate that you pay back to the bank over the term of your loan.

Click here to learn more.
Friends & Family

Financing gastric sleeve surgery by borrowing money from friends and family will save you the interest that banks will charge, which can amount to thousands of dollars. You may be surprised how willing your loved ones are to help, especially after you educate them about gastric sleeve surgery’s impact to your obesity health issues.

Click here to learn more.
Secured Medical Loans

A secured medical loan is a loan from a bank or credit union that you back with some sort of collateral. If you don’t pay the loan back, the financial institution has a right to take ownership of whatever collateral you used.

The most commonly accepted form of collateral is your home (also called a mortgage loan).

Click here to learn more.
Retirement Plan Loans

Your 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan may allow you to take out a loan to pay for your gastric sleeve surgery.

Contact your HR department or your retirement plan provider to find out whether you plan allows hardship withdrawals. Hardship withdrawal provisions allows you to to take out money from your retirement plan for unreimbursed medical expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents.

Click here to learn more.
Permanent Life Insurance Loans

A form of life insurance called “permanent” life insurance includes an accumulation of a “cash value” that can be borrowed against.

If you already have permanent life insurance, this may be an option for financing gastric sleeve surgery. If you don’t, this will not be an option as it usually takes years to accumulate enough cash value to pay for the surgery.

Click here to learn more.
Medical travel

Having gastric sleeve surgery in another country could save you a lot of money if you don't have insurance that covers the procedure.

Your decision about whether it’s right for you comes down to a few key factors:

  • Safety – before seriously considering it, understand the risks of traveling before and after surgery.
  • Money – weigh the savings and risks specific to your situation.
  • Travel Companion - you absolutely need someone you trust to go with you for support and to help you through the process. If no one you trust is able to go with you, it’s best to stick with bariatric doctors in your area.
Click here to learn more.
Click to Collapse Section Click to Learn More

Gastric sleeve financing is available almost everywhere. It helps pay for:

Click your country below for gastric sleeve insurance information:

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

Financing options to make gastric sleeve 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

08 Tax Write-Offs

Tax Write-Offs

Bariatric surgery may be tax deductible Tax-favored savings accounts help offset costs Click here to use the tax write-off calculator

gastric sleeve cost

Can you deduct your gastric sleeve costs?
Enter your info below to find out.

1
Does your insurance cover weight loss surgery?

Tip

You can deduct weight loss procedure expenses if all of your medical, dental, and prescription out of pocket costs are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. We need to know whether or not you have insurance that covers bariatric surgery in order to estimate your out of pocket costs.

In order to determine your tax savings, we need to know if your insurance covers weight loss surgery. Click here to use our Check My Insurance tool.

2
Annual Income
?

Tip

The IRS will use your adjusted gross income for this calculation. Adjusted gross income (AGI) is your total gross income minus specific deductions.

Click here to figure our your specific deductions
3
Total annual medical + dental + Rx payments
(NOT INCLUDING your weight loss procedure)
?

Tip

The number you enter should include anything medical-, dental-, or prescription-related that you've already paid and plan to pay out of your own pocket from January 1 through December 31 of this year.

Do NOT include any amount that is reimbursed or paid for by others. More specifically, the number you enter should include all medical and dental plan premiums, medical and dental treatment (e.g. deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket costs), and prescription drugs for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents.

For a full list of qualifying expenses, Click here.
4
Select a Procedure

Tip

You can deduct weight loss procedure expenses if all of your medical, dental, and prescription out of pocket costs are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. We need to know which procedure you are considering in order to estimate your out of pocket costs.

YOUR RESULT

Yes, you can deduct everything you pay out of pocket for medical, dental, and prescription expenses.

The IRS allows you to deduct these costs as long as your total medical + dental + prescription drug out-of-pocket costs are greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income.

Based on your selections, it appears that your out-of-pocket costs will meet this requirement.

YOUR RESULT

No, you cannot deduct everything you pay out of pocket for medical, dental, and prescription expenses.

The IRS allows you to deduct these costs only if your total medical + dental + prescription drug out-of-pocket costs are greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income.

Based on your selections, it appears that your out-of-pocket costs will not meet this requirement.

Click to Collapse Section Click to Learn More

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

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

Gastric sleeve 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.

09 Help & Support

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Tips for Lowering the Cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?*

Hello, I have decided to get weight loss surgery (probably the sleeve, although I'm open to other options). My insurance doesn't cover it, so I was wondering if there were…


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[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 05/18/2017 ]

* 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