Paying for Bariatric Surgery
Prospective bariatric patients want to know what options they have for paying for surgery. Certainly not to be taken lightly, payment options are varied – each with their benefits and drawbacks. Generally speaking, patients either use financing or insurance to pay for part or all of their procedure while others pay for the entire procedure out of pocket. The following is a quick guide to the different payment options available today.
- Insurance: If a patient’s insurance policy covers bariatric surgery at all, it may pay for a significant portion of the procedure. Depending on co-pays and deductibles, the patient may be responsible for some of that cost. While insurance coverage may reduce the cost of surgery significantly, patients will also encounter a strict set of qualifying guidelines. If these guidelines are not met, coverage may not be available. These criteria may include anything from certain weight characteristics to the presence of diseases and the completion of a medical weight loss program.
- Financing: There are many third-party medical financing companies that specialize in coverage of bariatric and other surgical procedures. Financing offers a patient a greater deal of flexibility as strict insurance coverage requirements do not necessarily apply. There is also the option of a personal loan in the form of a home equity loan, borrowing from friends and family and using credit cards. Please note that it may require a certain credit score to qualify and there are ramifications of non-payment which should be explored fully. Further, be sure to understand the finance and interest charges as they may be significant.
- Cash Pay: Self-pay patients have the greatest degree of flexibility since they don’t have to worry about insurance guidelines or credit score and interest. Cash payers may also be able to bundle their services by speaking to their bariatric surgeon and hospital. The result may be a lower overall cost.
Paying for surgery is a big decision and time must be taken to evaluate all the options. Speaking to our office or the bariatric surgeon’s office in your area is the best way to figure out which payment option is right for you.