Medical Financing

How To Finance Weight Loss & Bariatric Surgery

Are you struggling with your weight and looking at a medical procedure weight loss surgery to help you reduce your weight and get down to a healthier size? If so, you may be excited about the results you can achieve with bariatric surgery but discouraged by the high price tag.

As we explain in this article, the costs can be expensive. However, there are many options to finance weight loss that can improve your health and quality of life.

We will cover the main types of weight loss and bariatric surgery, how much they cost, and several bariatric surgery financing options you can choose from. By the end, you will know your options and will have the information needed to find the best solution for you.

Before answering the question of ‘How to finance my bariatric surgery?’ it’s important to understand what kind of surgery you are looking to get and how much it will cost. Let’s briefly review your options.

4 Main Types of Medical Weight Loss Procedures

Here are the various forms of bariatric surgery available today, as well as their fees for patients. It is important to remember that, as with any healthcare procedure, results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person depending on individual situations and life circumstances.

#1 Restrictive Surgery Procedures

With restrictive bariatric surgery, the doctor and surgeon will use techniques to make your stomach smaller. This lowers the amount of food you can eat at each meal. There are three popular forms of restrictive gastric surgery.

Gastric Sleeve: $2,000 to $19,000

A gastric sleeve removes a part of your stomach, leaving a far smaller pouch linking the esophagus to the small intestine. The stomach is stapled closed, and the rest is then discarded. This surgery is best used with patients who have a BMI over 40, which generally means they are 100 pounds or more overweight.

Gastric Banding: $2,000-$15,000

An adjustable band is wrapped around the stomach and tightened. This forms a far smaller section that food enters through, creating a fuller feeling more quickly.

#2 Malabsorptive Surgery Procedures

With each bariatric surgery listed below, part of your digestive system is either removed or altered. This means your body absorbs fewer calories but also fewer nutrients. Here are the two types.

Gastric Bypass: $2,000-$24,000

In gastric bypass bariatric surgery, a portion of the stomach is cut away and then stapled at the end of the esophagus to form a smaller pouch. This pouch is then attached to the small intestines, which are also connected to a section known as the ‘Roux limb.’ The Roux Limb allows digestive juices to do their work while food is in the intestines. Your stomach will also be far smaller as a result of gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric Lap Band: $2,000-$15,000

If you choose this bariatric surgery route, you will have a gastric sleeve to reduce your stomach size. Your intestines are then altered, which helps reduce the calories that are absorbed when eating. Additionally, fewer hunger-stimulating hormones are released, which will help reduce your appetite.

Bariatric_Surgery_Cost

#3 Vagal Nerve Blocking Surgery: $18,500

With this procedure, a device is put into your body that uses electrical stimulation to help control patients control their appetite by blocking hunger signals traveling from the brain to the stomach. There is currently only one medical device that has been granted approval for patients by the FDA for this, which is called the V-Bloc. It can be implanted into the stomach by a bariatric surgeon in about a 60-90 minute outpatient procedure.

The device can also be removed or deactivated at any time, make vagal nerve blocking surgery one of the more low-risk and flexible surgical choices.

#4 Aspiration Surgery: $10,500

This final bariatric surgery helps you lose weight by stopping your stomach from fully digesting the food you eat. It does this by emptying the contents of your stomach before the food is digested. The FDA has approved this method but with only one medical device available for patients, the AspireAssist.

Financing and Healthcare Costs for Patients

The chart below from the Bariatric Surgery Source shows what you can expect each of the surgeries to cost if your insurance company will help cover bariatric surgery.

Finance Weight Loss

Insurance companies will vary in coverage, so be sure to contact them to find out about their terms and conditions. If you’d like to browse a range of popular insurance providers, click here.

Can You Get Weight Loss Surgery Without Insurance?

Of course, the cost of bariatric surgery without insurance is going to be far higher. This chart shows the average healthcare costs you can expect if you do not have insurance or if your insurance company will not cover the cost.

Finance Weight Loss

As you can see, these surgeries can be very expensive. Even with insurance coverage, the lowest average out-of-pocket cost is $2,000. With this in mind, let’s look at your financing options.

Weight Loss Surgery Financing and Bariatric Surgery Financing

Here’s how you can secure financing for bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery. We will cover doctor payment plans, unsecured personal loans, and secured loans. Each option can help make the process more affordable.

In-house bariatric surgery financing

Because bariatric surgery procedures are so costly, many doctors who perform them have payment plan options to help you fund the surgery.

Most of these payment plans allow you to pay for the cost of the bariatric surgery in monthly payments, either interest-free or at a lower interest rate than many other credit options. In some cases, doctors may even reduce costs further if patients obviously cannot afford it.

How it Works

Most of these payment plans allow you to repay the cost of the surgery in monthly installments, either interest-free or at a lower interest rate than many other credit options. In some cases, doctors may even reduce costs further if patients obviously cannot afford it.

WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS

Compare the pros and cons to make a better decision.

Pros
  • One advantage is you can spread out the cost over time interest-free or at a low interest rate.
  • It can also be easier to get approved as the doctor gains your business by financing you.
Cons
  • Although some doctors offer what seems to be a doctor payment plan, the plan is sometimes through unsecured credit card companies.
  • You may run into fees you didn’t expect and interest rates that jump up over time, so it’s important to look carefully at all of the terms and conditions. Be sure to ask if they are using a third party as you may get better rates shopping for third parties yourself.

Unsecured Personal Loans

Next up are unsecured personal loans, the most common of which is a credit card. These don’t require you to put up a form of collateral to secure the loan. Instead, you are given the loan with fees and interest rates attached, making bariatric surgery a lot more affordable and feasible for most people. The terms you receive depend on your credit score, income, and the amount of your loan, and you are required to pay the interest back over time. Different personal loans come with different rates, fees, and requirements, so check out what the best personal loans are to ensure that you choose the best option for you. There are several sources you can turn to for unsecured loans, such as banks, marketplace lenders, and credit card providers.

How it Works

As with all loans of this kind, your application will be assessed based on your credit score, income, and expenditure. This will result in a loan amount, monthly installments, and a certain interest rate being applied to the loan.

WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS

Compare the pros and cons to make a better decision.

Pros
  • These loans have a fixed interest rate which can be a blessing in volatile economic conditions. By repaying them, you build up your credit rating.
  • Another major advantage over a credit card is that once the loan amount is set, you cannot add any more credit. This means you will not be tempted to go deeper into debt.
Cons
  • Because interest rates are fixed, they are often higher than an alternate credit option with adjustable rates. This type of loan option is also not typically available to people with a poor credit score.

Credit Cards

This is referring to a regular credit card from a bank or other financial institution.

How it Works

If you are going to go the traditional credit card route, a balance transfer card is best. For example, the Citi Simplicity Card offers a 0% introductory rate for 21 months and has no annual fee. Another great option is the Citi Double Cash Card which offers 18 months of 0% interest, no annual fee, and cashback rewards.

WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS

Compare the pros and cons to make a better decision.

Pros
  • The greatest advantage for you here is that you get a period to pay back the money without any interest.
  • By paying back the credit amount, you also build your credit history. Another bonus, the application process is easy.
Cons
  • By using a regular credit card to pay for your weight loss surgery, you may not have enough credit for other emergencies that may crop up.
  • You also want to choose a card with an interest rate that will not jump up before you finish paying off the surgery.

That wraps up the unsecured personal loan section, now let’s look at secured personal loans.

Home Equity Loans Or HELOCs

With this loan option, you will need to provide some form of collateral. The most popular form of this loan is a home equity loan. As the name indicates, these loans are taken out against your house’s current equity value. Your credit score, income, and the amount borrowed will all be considered, while the interest applied to the loan is based on mortgage rates at the time. Browse and compare lenders here.

As the name says, these loans are taken out against your house’s current equity value.

How it Works

Your credit score, income, and the amount borrowed will all be taken into consideration while the interest applied to the loan is based on mortgage rates at the time. HELOCs are available from a number of lenders, not just banks. Browse and compare lenders here.

WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS

Compare the pros and cons to make a better decision.

Pros
  • These are often the easiest loans to secure if you own a home.
  • Another benefit is that the interest paid on these loans can be tax-deductible and the rates are usually significantly lower than unsecured loans.
Cons
  • Unstable economic conditions can lead to interest rate hikes putting you at risk of making loan repayments.
  • If you don’t pay your loan, your house is at risk.

Financing Weight Loss Surgery

Finding a way to finance a weight loss surgery or similar medical procedure may change your life forever. It offers each patient the chance to improve their health. Without financing options, though, this type of surgery is not an affordable option for many people. We hope one of these options will allow you the financial freedom and flexibility to get the care you need and choose the surgery option that is right for you.

Browse and Compare Financing Options

Now you know about the many options you can choose from to finance your weight loss or bariatric surgery. The best solution is going to depend on your individual circumstances. If you have good credit, an unsecured loan or balance transfer credit card may provide the favorable terms you are looking for. If your credit is not so good, maybe a 401k loan, HELOC, or in-house payment plan will be the best route.

Shop around to compare your options. Read expert reviews and consumer comments to get the best deal. Once you find it, you can go ahead with your surgery and get on the path to the weight loss you want!

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