Paying for Weight Loss Surgery: Insurance

Weight loss surgery can cost $5,000 to $30,000 or more. That's a typical figure that includes:

  • The surgery and regular medications and anesthesia
  • A pre-surgery appointment with your surgeon
  • A standard hospital stay with regular care

In general, the following factors make bariatric surgery more expensive.

  • Living far from the hospital so that transportation is expensive
  • Getting your surgery done in a state or city with a high cost of living, such as New York City or Los Angeles

The price estimate might not include all of your surgery-related costs, so it's important to ask about all additional costs that may not be included in the estimate. These include:

  • Pre-surgery medical tests
  • Post-surgery follow-up appointments with your surgeon. You will have a greater number of these if you are getting the lap-band because you will need to see your surgeon for fills and adjustments
  • Medical bills from unexpected complications, during or after surgery, that require a longer hospital stay, re-admittance to the hospital and/or extra medical procedures to treat your complication(s)
  • Pre-surgery and post-surgery appointments with a mental health professional (e.g., clinical psychologist or psychiatrist) and dietitian or nutritionist

Also keep in mind that your insurance coverage may only include partial reimbursement for the surgery, leaving you responsible for the rest. You're also responsible for any copays that are part of your plan.