Bariatric Surgery in DC

Weight Loss Surgery in Washington D.C.

More than 1 out of every 5 adults in Washington, DC is considered obese. While this rate is relatively low compared to the national average, it is still alarmingly high compared to DC’s 13% rate in the mid-90’s.

Many insurance plans in the area cover the most popular weight loss surgery procedures including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and Lap-Band, as long as your specific policy includes it. Out-of-pocket costs without insurance are lower than the national average.

Gastric sleeve info for Washington, DC:

  • The sleeve is performed just under 2,000 times per year in the DC Area
  • At least 7 weight loss surgeons to choose from within 25 miles of The Mall
  • As long as your plan includes bariatric surgery, the gastric sleeve is almost always covered
  • Costs $3,500 with insurance, on average
  • Without insurance, gastric sleeve costs about $18,000, but make sure to ask your surgeon about discounts

Click on any of the topics below to jump directly to that section

  1. Bariatric Surgeon Directory
  2. Washington, DC Obesity Facts
  3. Cost
  4. Insurance
Bariatric Surgery Source

Bariatric Surgeon Directory


Obesity in Washington, DC

Washington, DC has the 2nd lowest rate of obesity in the United States after Colorado (1). As a result, the percentage of the population who suffers from diabetes is also among the lowest in the country at 7.8%.

However, obesity-related health issues are still a big problem. For example, obesity-related cancer rates are expected to increase by 2.4 times by 2030.

Minorities in DC are more likely to suffer from obesity than whites, with 36% of blacks, 20% of latinos, and only 10% of whites qualifying as obese. At about 1 in 3 of their respective genders, DC women and men are equally likely to obese.

The region’s effort to curb increasing obesity rates has focused largely on the youth with initiatives like setting nutrition standards for early childhood education, leaving school recreational facilities open outside of school hours, and establishing physical education requirements for elementary, middle, and high school students.


Cost of Weight Loss Surgery

Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and Lap-Band are the most popular bariatric procedures in the area. Insurance commonly covers these procedures, but when it doesn’t, out of pocket costs can be steep.

For example, gastric sleeve costs about $18,000 on average, gastric bypass costs about $21,000, and Lap-Band costs about $13,000. These levels place DC in the less expensive half of the country in terms of average cost. In addition, self-pay costs are often far lower than these average amounts at certain local practices.

Click here to find out if your insurance covers it, or click here to learn more about financing options if you do not have coverage.


Weight Loss Surgery Insurance

The most popular insurance companies in DC are CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (24% of the market) and Kaiser (22%), followed by Aetna (15%), Independence Health Group (8%), and Medstar Health (4%). Each of these companies, along with all others, has similar bariatric surgery qualification requirements.

In order to qualify, your specific plan must include bariatric surgery. If it does, the first requirement is that you have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35 (if you have obesity-related health conditions) or at least 40 (without health conditions).

Click Here to See Your BMI

Click the links below for more information about each insurance company’s bariatric surgery policy:

MedStar Health

MedStar is a DC-based, not-for-profit healthcare organizaiton. It runs 10 hospitals in the Baltimore-DC area, as well as many other, smaller facilities.

MedStar does cover bariatric surgery as long as you meet certain requirments, such as:

  • Be over 18, although MedStar will consider adolescent bariatric surgery under certain conditions
  • You must pass certain psychological evaluations to make sure you’ll be able to handle the lifestyle changes after surgery
  • Have a BMI of over 35 with associated health conditions like diabetes or have a BMI over 40 without the additional health conditions requirement

For full details you can read MedStar’s coverage requirements here.

MedStar covers the Gastric Bypass, Duodenal Switch, Gastric Banding, or Gastric Sleeve surgeries. These are the typical four procedures covered by insurance.

MedStar has a variety of ways to contact them. Visit their contact page for further details.

Bariatric Surgery Source

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