Lap Band Surgery cost without Insurance? – Overview
Bariatric surgeries are incredibly effective in shedding the dangerous, excessive body weight. Weight loss surgeries are also important in most cases as they can lead to severe health problems, such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, body aches, depression and cancer too.
However, a patient can easily prevent these and other similar health problems from arising by choosing to undergo bariatric surgery, such as Lap Band surgery.
What is Lap Band surgery?
Lap Band surgery, also known as adjustable gastric banding, is a type of weight-loss treatment where the doctor fixes an adjustable belt at the entrance of the stomach, right where the esophagus connects to the stomach. This band can later be removed too.
The narrowed entrance to the stomach helps to control the amount of food that one can eat comfortably. This is why this type of bariatric surgery is classified under restrictive weight-loss surgeries.
Lap band surgery is comparatively more convenient as it is less invasive and also has lower risks of complications than other types of weight loss surgeries.
Although the loss of weight occurs comparatively slower with lap band surgery, it is still highly effective and efficient than most other forms of weight loss surgery.
How much does Lap Band surgery cost?
There are several factors that affect the total cost of lap band surgery in the US, such as geographic location, the hospital and surgeon of choice, etc.
Usually, lap band surgeries can cost anywhere between US$ 12,000 to US$ 25,000. The cost of weight loss surgery normally rises in urban and large areas, especially on the West and East coasts.
For instance, a lap band surgery in Baton Rouge, Houston or Dallas costs around US$ 12,500 while the same surgery can cost as much as US$ 15,000 in Michigan and can even go up to as high as US$ 20,600 in Atlanta.
Is Lap Band surgery covered under Insurance?
Yes, lap band surgery is sometimes covered under health insurance however it varies from company to company and depends on their specific policy.
Some health insurance plans exclude weight loss surgeries of all types, regardless of whether you are covered under managed healthcare plans for public sector employees.
On the other hand, Medicare offers to cover the cost of lap band surgery for patients who report a BMI over 35 and have undergone unsuccessful weight loss treatments using non-surgical methods, such as restricted dieting and regular workouts.
Medicare covers the cost of lap band surgery for patients who also report at least one co-morbidity caused by being overweight, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, type-2 diabetes, etc.
However, even with insurance cover, there are several other costs associated with lap band surgery that insurance companies generally do not cover, including the cost of office visits, coinsurance for surgery, etc.
For instance, federal employees with Blue Shield health insurance coverage are required to pay around 10% of the plan allowance and also fork out US$ 100 for hospital admission fees.
How is the cost of Lap Band surgery decided?
Insurance companies who offer to cover the cost of bariatric surgeries, such as lap band surgery, usually include the cost of the following factors:
- Cost for use of hospital facility and anesthesiologist services
- Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon/physician for the first year following bariatric lap band surgery
- May also include lifetime memberships in patient support groups
Some of the additional costs that you need to check whether they are included under insurance include:
- An additional fee of a few hundred dollars for nutritionist and psychologist consultation before and after the surgery
- Partial cost of sleep study which checks whether patients are suffering from sleep problems. This helps insurance companies to decide whether they should cover the cost of weight loss surgery for a particular patient. Keep in mind that the cost of sleep study can run up to a few hundred dollars too
- Cost of special vitamins and meals of up to a few hundred dollars
- Cost of follow-up visits in the year following bariatric lap band surgery, which can be anywhere between US$ 35 and US$ 200 for each, according to the length of each visit
- Cost to cover correction of complications that may arise following bariatric lap band surgery, which may include the cost of hospitalization and increased medical bills.
- Cost of aesthetic surgery to remove loose, sagging skin left after noticeable weight loss through skin-strengthening procedures
Lap band surgery can cost tens of thousands of dollars for those not covered under insurance. To alleviate this high amount, you can choose to take secured medical loans, personal loans or become members of hospital payment plans which help to reduce the burden of repayment significantly.
It is highly advisable to choose a certified and experienced bariatric surgeon and specialty hospital to ensure you get the best and most effective lap band surgery for weight loss.