Bariatric surgery financing and cost information

Financial barriers shouldn't stand in the way of your good health. If you don't have health insurance, or if after working with your insurance provider you determine that you don't have bariatric surgery insurance coverage, you still have options. Many patients use bariatric surgery financing to cover out-of-pocket costs. Because it is an investment in good health and quality of life, you may also consider the procedure to be worth the cost even without bariatric surgery insurance.

Bariatric surgery costs

The cost of bariatric surgery will be determined by the surgeon you select and the hospital where the procedure is performed. A recent study found that the initial investment for bariatric surgery is approximately $26,000 for open surgery and $17,000 for laparoscopic surgery.11 Most surgeons prefer the laparoscopic approach. The costs of gastric banding can range from $10,000 to $17,000. Gastric bypass costs, adjustable gastric band costs, and sleeve gastrectomy costs vary depending on the hospital fees and surgeon fees. If you choose the REALIZE® Band, the hospital will purchase the device, and it is usually billed to you as a part of the entire cost of the procedure.

Financing options

Many lenders can provide bariatric surgery financing. Some bariatric financing options include:

  • Credit card
  • Personal line of credit
  • Home equity line of credit
  • Mortgage

When you speak with a lender about bariatric surgery financing, make sure to ask them to explain a range of solutions, such as:

  • Flexible monthly payments and reasonable interest rates
  • Secured and unsecured loans
  • Higher approval rates
  • Quick application and approval processes

You should also know that bariatric surgery is considered a major medical expense by the IRS and may be tax deductible. Consult with your tax advisor to learn more.

Table: Flexible Financing Options
Options Credit card Personal credit Home equity Mortgage
Amount needed $0-$25,000 $5,000-$50,000 $10,000 + $10,000 +
Description of financing In addition to traditional accounts, many credit card companies offer healthcare-specific financing programs. Unsecured personal loans that do not require the use of home equity as collateral. Loan allows you to access the equity that you have built in your home. Get cash out of your home by refinancing your mortgage with new terms.
Benefits
  • Simple application process
  • Quick credit decisions
  • Terms up to 60 months
  • Fixed-rate loans
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Simple application process
  • Loan and line of credit options are available
  • Fixed- and adjustable-rate products available
  • Lower interest rates than credit cards and personal loans
  • Terms up to 25 years
  • Provides the longest term structure
  • Consolidates loan amount into your mortgage payment
  • Interest paid on mortgage is often tax-deductible
Considerations
  • Variable interest rates from 1.9% to 25.99%
  • Lower credit limits
  • Higher approval rates
  • Non-variable interest rates from 9.99% to 24.99%
  • Discounts may apply if you have a preexisting relationship with your lender
  • May be available where you currently do your banking
  • Financing fees and closing costs may apply
  • More complex application process
  • Loan is secured by your home
  • Most complex loan process
  • Title insurance may be required

Initial surgery costs can lead to savings over time

A recent study showed that bariatric surgery pays for itself in about 2 years.11 Since weight loss surgery helps improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholestero9, patients save money on prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits.11 In fact, monthly savings associated with laparoscopic bariatric surgery were shown to reach more than $900 as early as 13 months following surgery.11

People who suffer from obesity pay 36% more for healthcare and 77% more for medication when compared with people at a healthier weight. These increases are higher than the costs associated with smoking or drinking.29 Weight loss surgery can help reduce these costs.

Quality of life improvements

Clinical studies of laparoscopic bariatric surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.9