If you are searching for weight loss surgery on a tight budget, we’ve got you covered!
Obese people who want to lose some weight are often advised to workout/exercise, then follow a healthy eating plan.
Whereas this natural method works for many, it is almost ineffective for people who are very obese. For such people, weight loss surgery is usually recommended.
While there are expensive and inexpensive kinds of surgeries, weight loss surgery falls under the list of expensive surgeries.
Due to the high cost associated with the process, low-income earners usually find it difficult to finance such weight loss surgery themselves.
However, everyone deserves a healthy life; whether you earn are a low income or high-income earner. Conversely, low-income earners should not be discouraged by the high cost of getting weight loss surgery.
If you are a low-income earner and you are considering opting for weight loss surgery, there are several ways you can pay for the cost, irrespective of your low-income status.
In this post, we will be discussing weight loss surgery for low-income earners; but, before we proceed, let’s answer the question, what is weight loss surgery, and how much does it cost?
What Is Weight Loss Surgery?
As the name implies, weight loss surgery is a surgical procedure aimed at making an obese person lose weight. In medical terms, it is called bariatric surgery.
During the surgical procedure, the surgeon will make changes to the digestive system, thereby allowing the obese person to lose weight.
Nevertheless, there are different types of weight loss surgeries in the medical world, with each operation carried out uniquely. Some of the popular weight-loss surgeries include:
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Adjustable gastric band
- Sleeve gastrectomy
- Biliopancreatic diversion
Gastric bypass surgery is the most common weight loss surgery opted for by many obese individuals.
This surgery involves creating a tiny pouch by stapling the stomach to reduce the amount of food it can contain.
Also, the small intestine is attached to the pouch to prevent food from passing through the upper and lower sections.
Nevertheless, a patient who undergoes this kind of surgery will be unable to eat plenty of food due to the reduction of stomach size.
Afterward, the patient’s body will shed weight naturally over time.
On the other hand, weight loss surgery is not recommended for every obese individual. To qualify, you have to meet some medical requirements, some of which include:
- Having a BMI of 35 – 39 and suffering from serious health problems due to obesity. Such issues include high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and sleep apnea.
- Having a BMI of 40+
- Being unable to lose weight via natural methods after some time
How Much Does Weight Loss Surgery Cost?
As earlier stated, weight loss surgery falls under the list of expensive operations, so the cost is high. According to the NIDDK, weight loss surgery can cost up to $25,000 on average.
However, the cost is not fixed as different factors affect its pricing. Some of these factors include:
Your area of residence is one of the significant factors that determine how much your weight loss surgery will cost. Surgeons charge differently in different locations. For those in the United States, you are
likely to pay about $24,000 for weight loss surgery. However, the price still varies depending on your state of domicile.
Weight loss surgery costs as high as $57,000 in Alaska, while obese individuals in Arkansas can pay as little as $15,000. In Europe, the cost is around €15,000.
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of weight loss surgery. Each of these weight loss surgeries is done uniquely, which can also affect the amount you will pay for your surgery, depending on your obese state.
Nevertheless, you cannot decide what type of weight loss surgery you prefer. Hence, you have to consult your doctor who after proper examination will determine the ideal weight loss surgery for you.
Some hospitals are costly, while some are affordable. This has to do with the hospital standards as well as the environment, equipment, method of operation, and expertise of their surgeons. Weight loss surgery is a necessary medical procedure; hence, you should choose the best hospital around not minding its standard.
Pre/Post Surgery Payments
Aside from the amount billed for the surgery fee, there are other fees you may need to pay for before and after your surgery. This can affect your budget, and some of it includes consultation fees, anesthesiologist fees, surgical facility fees, etc.
One the other hand, getting a rundown of the amount you will pay for your weight loss surgery will enable you to prepare financially.
How To Finance Weight Loss Surgery As A Low Income Earner
Irrespective of your low income, you can still finance your weight loss surgery through various means
Here are some applicable ways to finance weight loss surgery for low-income earners:
1. Payment Plan
The first option for financing your weight loss surgery as a low-income earner is to opt for a payment plan. Several hospitals allow their patients to pay via a payment plan, and you can make good use of this.
With the appropriate payment plans, low-income earners can pay for their weight loss surgery in batches; besides, you do not have to pay the entire amount at once, and you are given a specific time to complete the entire payment.
To confirm if your hospital offers payment plans, you should make inquiries with the billing department. Even if the hospital does not provide payment plans, you can request one. Your request is likely to be granted if your weight loss surgery case is severe. Also, endeavor to pick a payment plan that is convenient for you and comply with the agreement.
2. Online Fundraising
These platforms are very active, and people have been able to raise to $40,000 – $100,000 or even higher.
Besides, cheerful givers usually participate in online fundraising, most notably when it is a severe medical situation; not to mention, you can raise a high amount of money through this method.
To run a successful online medical fundraising campaign for your weight loss surgery, you need to provide necessary information about yourself and proof such as pictures or videos.
Besides, donors need to be sure that they are paying for something legit. After raising funds through his means, you should thank your donors and update them with your successful surgery details.
3. Medical Loan (Personal)
Obese persons with critical health issues can apply for medical loans to finance their weight loss surgery. Basically, medical loans are unsecured; hence, there is no need to provide collateral before applying.
Proof of your low-income and credit score is usually enough.
You can get medical loans online via platforms such as Upstart, Avant, and Lightstream. Also, some banks usually offer medical loans for their customers. Not to mention, some hospitals also provide these types of loans.
All it takes to get the medical loan is to apply, provide all the requirements, and agree to the terms. However, personal loans come with high-interest rates and fees. Therefore, you should opt for the most convenient loan that you will be able to pay back as specified for the loan duration. Nevertheless, you should make sure you pay it back promptly to avoid late fees and dishonored payment fees.
4. Family and Friends
Obese persons can always turn to their family and friends for help to raise money for their weight loss surgery. As a low-income earner, their loved ones should be able to provide financial support to finance the weight loss surgery. This is ideal if the obese person has a large family.
To get this kind of financing, the obese person should reach out to their loved ones and explain their intention of opting for a weight loss surgery (if they are unaware) while relating the cost associated with the process. Even if they are not offering the money for free, they could lend them as loans.
It will be more convenient to collect such loans from family members and friends as it will be informal. They will be more understanding although they can negotiate better payback terms; however, some may not require any interest.
5. Health Insurance
As a low-income earner who wants to undergo weight loss surgery, you can also use health insurance as a means to finance the surgical process.
Several companies offer group health insurance to their employees, which can finance several health challenges such as the dire need for weight loss surgery.
Although health insurance does not cover the entire expense associated with getting weight loss surgery, it will drastically reduce the cost.
According to the American Journal of Managed Care, the average amount paid by insurance companies for weight loss surgeries is $21,000.
This makes it ideal for obese persons who are covered with health insurance protection.
However, health insurance companies may often refer you to a particular hospital or doctor. Making use of any other hospital or doctor should not be a problem as long as the weight loss surgery operation is done.
6. Charity Support
Various NGOs and charity foundations take care of surgery expenses for weight loss surgery patients. These foundations are out to help people who cannot afford the surgery cost on their own. They can cover up to 90 percent of the weight loss surgery expenses if the patient is qualified. Besides, they can fund the surgeries by donations collected from people.
To apply for such a grant, you often need a reference in addition to your application. Fortunately, these charity foundations have approved surgery centers/hospitals while an ideal reference can be a worker in any of the recommended places.
7. Health Savings Account (HSA)
It is ideal to have an HSA for emergency medical cases, and it could be a lifesaver in this situation. Anybody can put in money into your HSA just as anyone can put in money into your savings account.
However, the only difference is that HSA savings are suitable for only qualified healthcare expenses.
For almost all HSAs, weight loss surgery is one of the qualified healthcare expenses. However, to access the money in your HSA for financing your weight loss surgery, you are expected to provide proof that the operation is deemed medically necessary..
Benefits Of Weight Loss Surgery
You might ask, is it worth undergoing weight loss surgery? Is it worth paying a high amount of money for such a procedure? Well, if you are obese, weight loss surgery offers the following benefits:
This is the primary benefit of undergoing weight loss surgery – to lose weight. As an overweight person, losing weight is something you need, and when this cannot be achieved naturally, weight loss surgery becomes essential. Besides, it reduces your food intake, which consequently results in natural weight loss.
Obesity is an unhealthy condition. As an obese person, you are prone to weight-related health issues such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and type-2 diabetes. Weight loss surgery helps you get rid of your obese condition, which ensures you become a healthier person.
Better Physical Appearance
For people who want to maintain an ideal physical appearance, it is vital to always monitor their weight and eating habits. As an obese person, your physical appearance is not natural due to excess fat. You will look and feel better, most notably when you lose weight. Ideally, your physical appearance will improve
One of the significant problems obese people face is problems with mobility. Movement is often difficult due to their high BMI; hence, engaging in activities such as walking, running, jumping, and driving becomes very difficult. Nevertheless, weight loss surgery makes you more mobile so you can move around with ease.
People suffering from obesity are often associated with depression and low self-esteem. Communicating with others becomes a problem due to the fear of being mocked or body shamed.
With your reduced body weight via weight loss surgery, you can become more confident about yourself. Besides, it boosts your self-esteem.
How To Prepare For Weight Loss Surgery
Before your weight loss surgery day, it is necessary that you properly prepare yourself for it. Adequate preparation is essential to have a successful weight loss surgery and eliminating the pre-worries and anxieties.
To prepare for a weight loss surgery, here’s what you can do:
Learn about the surgery
First, you need to know what you are about to do. It would be best if you learned as much as you can about weight loss surgeries in order to be prepared to take one.
Research it on the internet, read books/magazines, ask your doctors and other individuals who might have undergone such surgical procedures.
This applies if you are an addicted smoker. It would help if you stopped smoking before you undergo weight loss surgery. Conversely, your body should be free from tobacco and other nicotine-related products for a successful surgical operation. Besides, these harmful substances cause health issues after the surgery process.
Change your eating habits
Overfeeding is a problem related to obesity. Following healthy eating habits is a critical pre-surgery practice. Weight loss surgery will make it impossible for you to overfeed, so, ideally, you start practicing how to eat less food. That way, you won’t be uncomfortable when your digestive system changes after weight loss surgery.
Drink more water
Water is always essential for health. While preparing for surgery, ensure you take water frequently to be in good health. Also, you should take up to 64 ounces of water daily and avoid taking other liquids such as juice, soda, alcohol, caffeine, etc.
To make your surgery process more comfortable, you need to shed bodyweight naturally.
Exercising can help with this, and if you do not exercise, you should start doing so.
There are several exercising activities you can engage in as an obese person without straining yourself. Your doctor or medical consultant can recommend some for you.
Improve your mental and emotional health
It is imperative to be in good mental and emotional health before undergoing surgery. If you are not, you can always negotiate with your surgeon to postpone your surgery.
Avoid activities and thoughts that will stress you mentally or emotionally. Stay around friends and family so you can feel loved and motivated before your surgical operation.
Also prioritize getting enough rest.
Several obese persons are always nervous and scared when it is time for surgery, which is mainly due to the lack of mental and healthy preparation.
When you properly prepare, you will be more relaxed and feel very positive towards your weight loss surgery.
Not minding the cost, undergoing surgery for weight loss, is vital for the severely obese person. Besides, they can lose up to 50 – 70 percent body mass weight in about two years, which is very commendable.
As a low-income earner, the cost of weight loss surgery might be more than your financial capability. Expertise surgeons do charge very high amounts, but they will surely give you the best services.
Fortunately, you do not have to finance the entire surgical procedure all by yourself. Besides, any of the means listed above are ideal for financing weight loss surgery as a low-income earner.
While these methods have worked for many obese persons, you can also opt for any method which resonates with your preference.
Also, it would help if you prioritized adequate rest after the weight loss surgery without worrying about your low income.