It’s no secret that billions of dollars are spent each year on weight loss, which begs the question: Why is more than half the population still obese?
Dr. Dirk points out that the statistics demonstrate a disconnect between what is spent on weight-loss efforts and the actual success rate of such efforts. People will stop at almost nothing—pills, prepackaged food, fasts—to lose those unwanted pounds, except what really works.
He says when you mention the word “surgery” as a weight-loss solution, many obese people will say they don’t need it, they can lose the weight on their own or they can’t afford it.
Typical costs for weight-loss surgery start at $20,000 and increase depending on the type of surgery, the facility where the surgery is being performed and what the doctor charges to perform the services. Because of this daunting expense, many potential patients don’t even consider surgery as an option and continue to spend $50 here and $100 there on supplements, weight-loss books and, worst case, weight-related health problems.
Surgery is sometimes covered by insurance companies if it is medically necessary and when it is proven to help ease other conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol or help prevent heart disease. But even with the health benefits of weight loss, insurance companies are not always willing to step up and cover bariatric surgery costs.
Grants are sometimes available to patients, but the application and approval process can be tedious. A committee determines if the effort from the patient and their probability for financial hardship warrant the funds. It might not seem fair to have other people make this decision for you, but it is one possible source of funding that should not be overlooked if finances are an obstacle to surgery.
Dr. Dirk and Northstar work with you and for you, offering competitive pricing, flexible financing plans and multiple payment options. The knowledgeable staff will work with you to determine what your insurance policy will cover and ensure that you are aware of your financial obligations going in.
If health insurance and other types of funding covered more bariatric surgeries, it’s likely obesity-related illnesses and overall insurance costs for these patients could decrease. Health problems such as diabetes, leg and joint pain, heart failure and a host of other medical issues could be minimized if not eradicated in surgical patients.
Hopefully as weight-loss surgeries receive greater acceptance, funding avenues will expand. This type of surgery can save lives and should be an option for any and all obese patients.