Duodenal switch is the most expensive of all weight loss surgery options, primarily because it involves the combination of two procedures, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve. This is one of the more rare treatment options for morbid obesity, and so it is not covered by all insurance plans. It is important to know whether or not your insurance carrier is going to provide coverage for this type of procedure before you begin to explore the costs involved with it.
Make sure that you consider everything that goes into the cost of your operation, especially when you plan on paying out of pocket for the surgery costs rather than going through insurance. There are often some expenses that are not included in the aforementioned price ranges.
What’s Included in the Cost
The costs listed above generally include the use of the surgical facility, the surgeon’s time and expertise, other staff members necessary for the procedure, time in the operating room and the anesthesia for the operation. There will be costs involved that are not included as well, such as the cost of pain medication and antibiotics, which you will need to pay out-of-pocket for. Even when your insurance company does not cover the operation itself, you may still be able to get coverage for visits to your physician before and after the surgery and prescription drug costs, depending on your specific insurance coverage.
Insurance vs. No Insurance
The costs mentioned above have a cash discount rolled into them, so this operation is cheaper if you are paying cash rather than going through insurance. If you have insurance coverage that is willing to pay for the operation, the costs will be higher but the insurance policy will take care of them. Make sure that you are getting the right price depending on your insurance coverage. Because the duodenal switch is a less common and more involved operation, many insurance companies do not yet offer coverage for it. Speak to your insurance company to verify whether or not coverage is offered for the duodenal switch surgery.
Medicaid and Medicare
The duodenal switch surgery is a procedure that Medicare is willing to cover, but not one that Medicaid typically covers. It will benefit you to contact your insurance provider directly in order to determine whether or not you are covered for this type of weight loss surgery. Medicare has its own unique requirements when it comes to weight loss surgery, and meeting these criteria is important if you want to be covered fully for this procedure. Medicaid does cover several different weight loss surgery procedures, but this is not one of them.
The Bottom Line
While it is important to weigh costs when choosing a surgery and a surgeon, do not sacrifice quality for a cheaper price. You should never opt for a lesser quality surgeon just to save some money on your surgery since poorer quality can lead to more risks and potential for complication during and after your operation.