If you have private health insurance, then the price of your bariatric surgery is most likely covered by your insurer.
In recent years health insurers have recognised that an investment in weight loss surgery now can save them a lot of money in long run, as they are less likely to pay for other weight-related chronic conditions down the track. As such most health insurance companies will cover the cost of the surgery itself. To confirm cover with your insurer, quote the codes 181 and 183.
However that doesn’t mean that your weight loss surgery is entirely free. You will still have to pay for some things:
- Your health insurance policy will most likely have an excess for being admitted to hospital as an in-patient. My charge was €75, but this varies by insurer and policy.
- Appointments with your surgeon, dietician and other doctors before and after surgery are chargeable because you’re seeing them privately. If you have day-to-day benefits, your health insurance may also cover part of the cost of these as well. My health insurance covers 50% of the cost of visits to all hospital consultants, which I am able to claim back afterwards.
I got my gastric bypass with the St Vincent’s Private Hospital Bariatric Team in Dublin, and as of 2019 the costs to see them were:
- Pre-assessment appointments with the physician, psychologist, dietician and surgeon – €600
- Post-surgical care with a follow-up appointment with the surgeon, and three appointments with the dietician and/or physician, and 12 months phone and email support – €1,800
You may also need to pay for getting blood tests, and for drugs and supplements that you’ll need to take after surgery.
However these costs are certainly a lot cheaper than the €15,000 price tag of paying for the surgery yourself if you don’t have insurance!