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Gastric Balloon Insurance Alternatives

Gastric Balloon Insurance Alternatives

Most insurance companies in the US do not cover balloon insertion. Balloon is a device inserted into the stomach to promote weight loss for bariatric patients.  This procedure includes putting a saline-injected silicone balloon into your stomach.

This balloon helps you lose weight because of its ability to limit your food intake drastically.  Another bonus to gastric balloon surgery is that you feel fuller much faster than monitoring your portion sizes without weight loss surgery.

The gastric balloon is an excellent way to lose weight safely when dieting and exercising are no longer helping you achieve your weight loss goals.  After the procedure, you need to commit yourself to an overall positive and healthy lifestyle for a successful and healthy life.

Having a healthier lifestyle promotes positive habits and overall changes that are helped with consistent diet and exercise.  To have a healthy and successful procedure, there are many required steps to achieving these goals.  

Discuss your medical coverage with an agent that can assist you with the process. 

Creating a pros and cons list helps you analyze your options more clearly. 

Detailed Gastric Balloon Insurance Plan

Compared to other weight-loss surgeries, gastric balloon surgery is the most cost-effective if you pay out of pocket.  In the United States, a gastric balloon surgery on average costs between $6,000 and $9,000.

Most insurance companies do not cover balloon insertion. Therefore, you will have to cover this aspect of the procedure more than likely.  Your bariatric healthcare team may be able to have your insurance cover some of the outstanding costs.

Most of the United States health insurance companies, including Medicare, do not have coverage for gastric balloon weight loss surgery.  This is usually because this type of weight loss surgery is still relatively new compared to gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries.

According to Medicare, “The long term safety and efficacy of the device in the treatment of obesity has not been established.”

This indicates that the United States government is not comfortable covering this procedure because of the lack of evidence to support its ability to help bariatric patients lose weight successfully.

Other countries coverage of gastric balloon surgery include:

  • Canada: Not Covered
  • United Kingdom: Maybe Covered
  • Australia: Usually Not Covered
Looking into loans and discounts are great ways to pay for your surgery.

Financing Gastric Balloon Surgery

Because you will more than likely not receive full coverage for your gastric balloon weight loss surgery, you need to have other options for financing.  Some helpful ways to navigate through this process include using:

  • Loans
  • Brokers, Credits Cards, Direct Lenders
  • Secured and Unsecured Medical Loans
  • Permanent Life Insurance Loans
  • Retirement Plan Loans
  • Cover the amount your insurance does not
  • Copays
  • Coinsurance
  • Deductibles
  • Discounts
  • Payment Plan Options
  • Self-Pay Discounts
  • Pay the total amount in advance

There are many financing options available to help pay for your weight loss surgery.   If you have any questions, you can discuss all of your available options with your Bariatric healthcare team, and they will let you know what options you have.

During this process, you need to maintain your mental health throughout this process. 

Gastric Balloon Risks

As with any surgery, there are potential risks that need to be considered before scheduling your weight loss surgery.  Bariatric surgery is a weight loss procedure that has many risk factors that affect your recovery after surgery.

Some of the most common surgery side effects include:

  • Nausea and Pain from the placing of the balloon
  • Symptoms usually last a few days
  • Vomiting and Stomach pain can also occur after procedure
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen
  • Balloon Deflation
  • Deflation risks your digestive system
  • Creating blockage
  • Overinflation
  • Ulcers or hole in your stomach wall

All of the potential health risks of a gastric balloon are serious and should be monitored closely as your health from weight loss surgery.

Thoroughly research your weight loss surgery options before making a final decision.

Gastric Balloon Explained

There are two ways of inserting the balloon into your stomach.  One way is through a pill or placing the gastric balloon through endoscopy.

Endoscopy involves using a camera that moves through your esophagus.  The gastric balloon is then placed into your stomach and filled with saline air.

The entire gastric balloon insertion procedure takes a total of 20 minutes.  Although the procedure time is relatively quick, the recovery time takes more time.  Your bariatric health care team will closely monitor your body and notice any adverse reactions.

You should notice results from the gastric balloon surgery because of your drastically reduced stomach.

The gastric balloon takes up to have space in your stomach.  Your food and liquid restriction help you lose weight quickly and effectively.

Another great aspect of this surgery is it is temporary.  The gastric balloons only remain in your stomach for six months before they are removed.  After six months, your gastric balloon is deflated and removed through endoscopy.

Overall this is a fascinating and effective treatment for obesity and allows patients to lose weight.

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Kelsey Renae Schulze

Author

Kelsey is a post-op bariatric patient who had sleeve surgery in 2018. She is a writer, focusing on a variety of topics given her background in legal studies and criminal justice.