Patients can choose to self-pay for their bariatric surgery procedure. Most cash pay patients do not have insurance that covers bariatric surgery, or do not wish to use third-party financing for the procedure. Cash pay patients do enjoy certain advantages, primarily in the form of a great deal of flexibility. With cash pay, many of the insurance requirements, financing limitations and qualification criteria no longer apply. Further, cash pay patients do not have to worry about additional interest costs and do not need to be concerned over insurance pre-approval.
Patients who intend to self-pay should speak to the billing coordinators at both the surgical facility / hospital and the surgeon’s office to see if they have special cash pay rates. Most facilities will be willing to work with the patient who is paying by cash and will offer preferential pricing. Of course, cash pay patients may not be able to take advantage of low or no interest special offers through some financing companies, nor will they be able to take advantage of their insurance company’s bariatric surgery benefits.
Self-pay patients are often those who wish to bypass much of the red tape that financing and insurance requires, however keep in mind that the surgeon and surgery center themselves will have qualification criteria, including minimum body mass index levels that cannot be circumvented, no matter what form of payment is used.
It may also benefit the patient to ask their surgeon about potential secondary surgical procedures during their primary bariatric surgery. Most bariatric surgeons will check for a hiatal hernia – something that many obese patients have. The gallbladder may also need to be removed if it is inflamed. These may represent additional costs and should be discussed prior to surgery.
Therefore, it remains important that any patient, including a cash pay patient, attend a weight loss surgery seminar and a consultation with a bariatric surgeon to learn more about their options for weight loss surgery.