Making the decision to address obesity head on is a great one that can have benefits that ripple throughout life. Not only does shedding pounds help people feel better about themselves, it can improve health while lowering the risks for a long list of serious medical conditions. Footing the bill for gastric band surgery, however, can sometimes be a tricky prospect even when medical insurance is available and there’s a genuine need to have surgery performed to address obesity and safeguard health.
There are some things patients can do to help better position themselves to handle the costs so they can gain the benefits of a procedure like the gastric band. Here are a few tips that may help:
• Know the costs – Get a complete estimate from the bariatric surgeon who will be performing the procedure. The costs range from about $12,500 to $26,000, depending on region, hospital and other factors. The total bottom line generally includes such necessities as access to counselors, medication, supplements and other items.
• Work with doctors and insurance companies – If there is a genuine medical need to address weight, many insurance companies will cover most of the costs associated with lap band surgery. To facilitate this, take time to get appropriate referrals and recommendations. Talk with the insurance company to find out exactly what is covered and what is not. If a second opinion is required, go in for it.
• Consider financing – Finance companies will often help patients cover some or all of the costs associated with surgery. Many bariatric surgeons offer their patients access to such companies. Be sure to ask about this option if insurance coverage isn’t likely.
Lap band surgery can help people get control of their weight while improving their overall health. Losing weight can reduce the risks for some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious concerns. If this surgery is deemed necessary, there are ways to make it happen even if insurance isn’t readily available. Be sure to talk with a reputable surgeon for advice on covering the costs.