Nearly 40% of all Americans are considered to be obese, which is a shocking figure all by itself. If you happen to fall into this category, you’ll know how all that extra weight has limited your mobility and inhibited your lifestyle. It is essential if you are considering medical weight loss methods, knowing what you can expect, how much they will cost on average, and how you can expect to pay for them.
What is Medical Weight Loss?
There is any number of weight-loss strategies that you might consider or that you might already have tried, but in terms of medical weight loss programs, all of them have the same thing at their center, and that’s achieving a healthier lifestyle. That means eating healthier foods, incorporating a regular program of exercise, and sleeping well, so that you’re better able to manage the stresses of the day.
One of the fundamental aspects of medical weight loss is managing nutrition because losing weight is closely tied to maintaining a proper diet. That means eating foods that are low-fat, low in sugars, and which contain a good deal of naturally fiber-rich content. Medical weight loss also involves coaching and guidance by professionals who can help you stick to the program and who will measure your progress periodically to keep you on track.
For people who are in the obese category, some more drastic medical weight loss approaches may be considered. If you don’t want to invest six months to a year in a medical weight loss program that focuses on gradual shedding of pounds, there are more drastic measures that can be taken that produce more immediate results.
A gastric bypass or lap-band surgery are two of the most common surgical approaches to extreme weight loss, where a really significant amount of weight can be shed during surgery. All types of medical weight loss call for a change of lifestyle so that any weight loss which has been achieved can be maintained indefinitely.
How Much Does Medical Weight Loss Cost?
The weight loss surgery cost will always depend on a number of factors, for instance, the duration of the program, the number of visits the doctor, prescriptions, special foods, and aftercare visits. An initial consultation for medical weight loss will generally cost somewhere between $100 and $300, and at that time, your doctor will develop a plan for you.
If the medical weight loss program consists of a nonsurgical approach to weight loss, you can expect such a program to last for between three and six months and to cost in the neighborhood of $1,000. If you take the surgical approach to weight loss, the costs are significantly higher, simply because a surgical procedure is involved. In cases like this, you can expect to pay anywhere between $14,000 and $28,000, depending on the specific type of surgery that you undergo.
The exciting thing about the cost of medical weight loss is that for the most part, it will cost the same as or less than private companies who offer weight loss programs. Many nationally-known weight loss centers will charge between $300 a month and $800 a month for supplying you with their meal plans designed to help you lose weight consistently. Sometimes you’ll have to attend meetings to receive the support of others going through the program and to keep you on track.
While most of these privately operated weight loss centers can be sufficient at helping you lose weight, they aren’t usually scientifically based in the same way that medical weight loss programs are. When you’re thinking about the cost of a medical weight loss program, you should take into account the fact that in many cases, it will cost less than a private company would charge you, but it is likely to achieve better results.
Can my Insurance Cover it?
There are three main ways to lose weight in a medical program, those being bariatric surgery, behavioral counseling, and the use of medications. Whether or not your insurance company will cover any one of these, depends on the company itself. This will vary from state to state by regulations currently in effect. Some states provide for bariatric surgery coverage when it is deemed medically necessary, while others have rules in effect which allow for limited coverage.
When bariatric surgery is considered, many insurance companies require pre-authorization, as well as some specific conditions which must be met before approval. For instance, a doctor’s recommendation might be necessary, and the patient must have a particular body mass index. In some cases, patients must have tried and failed to lose weight by several other means.
In extreme cases involving obesity-related conditions like Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, and sleep apnea, this might weigh more heavily into an insurance carrier’s decision. The bottom line is, you can expect your insurance company to provide some level of coverage for your weight loss program, but exactly what that kind of coverage that entails will be subject to state regulations as well as the carrier’s own policy on the matter.
Start Losing Weight Today
If you’re ready to take a significant step in your life to lose a considerable amount of weight, we can help you at the North Texas Medical Center. One of our specialty services involves medically-assisted weight loss, and we can guide you through the entire process, from initial consultation right through to the aftercare, which is associated with the procedure.