How many of us have ever gotten excited about a new project, only to be halted by the money it takes to start it? Maybe your solution is to whip out that shiny piece of plastic called a credit card and deal with the aftermath later. The weight loss surgery cost can be no different, with pre-op testing, consults and various appointments. Let’s not mention the gas involved in driving to these appointments and time missed from work. You can help yourself by checking with insurance to see what portion of the surgery they’ll cover and if they have any incentives for losing weight. Getting your own financial house in order can really help in several ways too. You can also try to earn extra cash through side hustles and apps. With some hard work and creativity, you can afford the weight loss surgery cost.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Covered by Insurance?
It depends. The first thing you’ll want to do when considering weight loss surgery is to see if your medical insurance will cover the weight loss surgery cost. If so, how much will they cover and what won’t they cover? Your best bet is to call the number on the back of your medical card. Speak with a representative from your insurance company to find out the details. Medical insurance can be tricky with deductibles, premiums, health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts. It’s best to speak with someone who can put it in plain words for you. Otherwise, you could poke through your insurance company’s web site to find out, or read your enrollment materials.
You’re also going to want to make sure you pick a surgeon that is in your network. Out-of-network coverage is more expensive than in-network coverage. Some insurance companies won’t approve an elective surgery with an out-of-network provider. Also, make sure that the hospital where the surgeon will be performing the surgery is in-network. Check with your insurance first to get an idea of how much of the surgery and pre-op testing will cost you out of pocket. This number will help you determine your weight loss surgery cost.
Incentives and FSA
While you are speaking with your insurance company, it’s a good idea to also see if they have any incentives for you to lose weight. Because excess weight is known to cause some additional health issues, it’s in your insurance company’s best interest for you to lose weight.
You can also check with your human resources department at work to see if they know of any health or wellness bonuses you can use. My company offered me an extra $300 in my health savings account if I spoke with a nurse manager. They also sent me helpful books and educational materials to learn more about bariatric surgery, including this awesome recipe book.
Flexible Spending for the Cost of Bariatric Surgery
If your insurance does cover the cost of bariatric surgery, you will still be responsible for co-pays along the way and any other little thing they don’t cover. One of your options is to open a Flexible Spending Account with your company for the year. You basically designate how much you want to put in your account. They divide it up equally between your paychecks throughout the year.
For example, if you estimate your medical expense to be $1,200 one year, you could open an FSA with $1,200. They will take $46.15 from every paycheck (if you get paid bi-weekly) to pay for it. It allows you to use pre-tax dollars for qualified medical expenses, like appointment co-pays, prescription co-pays and even things like vitamins. Every company is different, but I get a credit card each year that has the amount I designated on it. I just use it like a regular credit card. The money comes out of my account. Sometimes I have to provide a receipt for proof of services or purchase, so make sure you save those. Always check with your HR department for more details. For more information on using your flex spending to pay for bariatric surgery, check out this post!
Get Your Financial House in Order
What if you don’t have medical insurance? Or your medical insurance won’t cover elective surgery? You have several options. You could get a job that offers insurance that does cover bariatric surgery (I know, way easier said than done). Purchase health insurance from the marketplace that does cover the surgery. You could take out a loan for the surgery or finance it on a credit card (Neither option I recommend–they’ll just cause you more stress with repayment). Your best option is to get your financial house in order, even if your insurance will cover it.
If you do not have a budget, I suggest starting one now. It makes life so much easier when you know where your money is going. If you need help, check out Rosemarie Groner’s 90-Day Budget Boot Camp. It’s the exact formula I used to finally take control of my spending and budget. Reducing your debt and starting to save money for the cost of bariatric surgery can help you reduce your stress too.
Start saving your money if you decide to explore weight loss surgery. I suggest opening hard-to-access online savings account like Ally. They don’t have traditional brick-and-mortar branches, but they do have a higher interest rate than most conventional banks. Set up an automatic transfer each time you get paid to start putting money away. It typically takes three to four days to transfer the money, which is why I consider it a hard-to-access account.
How Much Does Weight Loss Surgery Cost?
The cost of weight loss surgery is dependent on several factors. Each hospital, doctor and region will have different prices for weight loss surgery. Student Loan Hero wrote that a lap-band surgery is approximately $14,500, while gastric bypass runs about $23,000. However, your out-of-pocket cost is going to vary greatly based on your insurance. These numbers also don’t take into account all of the other fees – things like your pre-op appointments and testing, and other fees at the hospital. My total cost before insurance for my gastric sleeve surgery and one night stay in the hospital was about $35,000. Luckily, I had met my maximum out-of-pocket amount for the year, so I paid nothing for my weight loss surgery cost.
Earn Extra Money for the Weight Loss Surgery Cost
There are a few ways you can earn extra money to save for the cost of bariatric surgery. Some of them are more traditional, like getting a second job or starting a side hustle. Others are a little more creative, like selling unwanted items, your crafts or even flipping items. Whatever method you choose to earn extra money, make sure you’re putting the money in a high-interest savings account so your money can grow.
Jump Start Your Savings
My friend Kati Kiefer over at True Money Saver has a great program that can help you get started on saving for surgery. Try her Jump Start Your Savings Program. The average user who
Second Jobs and Side Hustles
One way to earn extra money for the cost of bariatric surgery is through a second job. I know so many of us are already working all day, every day, between our full-time jobs, being a wife and/or mother, taking care of the house and anything else that draws our attention. You could try side hustles like Lyft or Uber, which allows you to make your own schedule.
Anytime you come into extra money, like from holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, a lottery ticket or OT pay, put that extra money into the savings account. You’ll be surprised how quickly things like these little windfalls add up! Maybe you’ve also been saving change for awhile. You could cash that in and add it to your savings.
Sell Unwanted Items
Another way to make some money is to sell some of your things you no longer use. Get out that waffle maker and use Facebook Marketplace, Let Go, Craigslist, or a similar program to sell it. Hold a yard sale with your items. If you are brave enough, you could tell people what the money is being used for. Maybe you’ll even get more than your asking.
You could also try flipping items. Go to your local thrift store, find some brand name clothing, get it super cheap, then sell it for a profit on sites like eBay. I personally have no experience with flipping items, but I have read articles about people who do this stuff. They make quite a bit of money from it. In fact, my sister does this with storage units and funded an entire Disney trip for her and her family!
If you are crafty, consider selling some of your crafts to make money for surgery. Facebook is a good place to go to sell things. Crafting is a bonus if you enjoy doing it because it can also be a stress reliever, which is something that can help you get ready for surgery. It can also distract you when you are wanting to do some emotional eating or reward you for when you lose that last 10 pounds.
There are so many other ways to earn more money too. You could use apps like Ibotta for cash-back for your purchases, or take surveys on sites like Inbox Dollars. I will tell you that these are not get-rich-quick schemes, but they can add a few dollars in your pocket when you need them.
My Weight Loss Surgery Cost
Before I started exploring bariatric surgery, I was on a mission to make myself a better person. I was living an unhappy life and hated my financial difficulties, my disorganization and life in general. It seemed like I was dealt with so many crappy cards in life. I decided to stop waiting for my BlackJack to come and started dealing myself better cards. The first thing I knew I had to do was get my finances in order.
I consulted people smarter than me and stumbled upon Rosemarie Groner at The Busy Budgeter. It was like she was speaking to me, and I was in awe of her story. How she clawed her way out of debt to stay home with her children was particularly inspiring. I bought her 90-Day Budget Boot Camp Work Book and started getting my financial house in order. Today, I still use a lot of the tips and tricks I learned in her workbook to this day.
I also used medical flexible spending to help cover the costs of co-pays as I made my way through the process of bariatric surgery. When it was all said and done, I owed a few thousand dollars in medical bills. I called the hospital’s financial counselors and was able to work out a payment plan to pay off the balance. Eventually, I came into some extra money from a job severance and completely paid off the balance early. It felt so good to do that!
The Real Cost of Bariatric Surgery
The cost of bariatric surgery can be intimidating. I understand how hard it is to justify a large expense when you live paycheck to paycheck. With some hard work and creativity, you can afford the cost of bariatric surgery. Your insurance company is the best first place to start. Find out what they’ll cover, and if they or your employer will give you any incentives to lose weight. Creating a budget, saving money and reducing debt can help manage your stress. You can also look into making extra money through side hustles, part-time jobs or cashback apps.
Ultimately, bariatric surgery is your decision, and you can weigh the cost of bariatric surgery with the benefits. For me, it was worth every sacrifice, every dollar and every missed day of work. I am so much happier, healthier and more active. You can’t put a price on those benefits. The real cost of bariatric surgery is gaining your life back. It’s becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. It’s worth the extra effort it takes to afford it.
So this next one isn’t a guarantee that you’ll make money, but it’s a fun way to possibly pay down your student loans (Up to $50,000) or mortgage (Up to $25,000). Givling is a trivia app that has a weekly cash prize for the highest team score in trivia. You are paired with two other random players each day, and they give you two free plays daily, which earn you queue points. You can also watch video ads to gain queue points. Then you can use the queue points to enter the random drawings to have your student loans or mortgages paid off! It’s really fun, and a great community. Use invite code NG471789 to join today!
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free Bariatric Beginner’s Guide to get you started, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
You can pay for bariatric surgery by first checking with your insurance to see what they’ll cover. Consider using any flexible spending account benefits your company may offer. Getting your own finances in order with a line item for surgery can also be helpful. Lastly, find creative ways to make extra money: get a side-hustle or second job, flip items, sell crafts, take a savings challenge, and/or using cash-back apps.