One of the factors that goes into the decision-making process for vertical sleeve gastrectomy is cost. While some patients can simply dip into their savings accounts for VSG, many others must look to outside sources in order to afford the procedure. Even if they’re comfortable with gastric sleeve in Mexico and their ability to commit to the VSG lifestyle, some patients forego their VSG dreams because they can’t afford it. But it may be worth thinking outside the box in order to access what could be a life-saving procedure.
How much does gastric sleeve surgery cost?
In the U.S., gastric sleeve costs around $20,000—and that may or may not include your actual hospital stay, medications, etc. Insurance coverage varies widely, but even if insurance pays for bariatric surgery, most patients have steep deductibles. At Endobariatric, our procedures start at $7,999. Why does bariatric surgery in Mexico cost so much less? Generally speaking, it’s because everything costs less in Mexico. But at the endo hospital, patients get a level of VSG expertise and care that often exceeds what they’ll find in the U.S. And outside of transportation costs to San Antonio, our prices are all-inclusive; there are no hidden fees.
Does the endo hospital offer payment options?
If paying $7,999 up front is impossible, you aren’t alone. That’s why Endobariatric partners with financing companies that can help patients who qualify for assistance. The companies are geared toward our Canadian and U.S. patients, and each has its own qualification process. In general, it takes two to three years to pay off the loan, and there are no penalties for early pay-off.
Are there other options?
Our patients have used a variety of other avenues to pay for surgery:
• Borrow against an IRA or 401(k). Using retirement funds for VSG may have tax implications, so speak to a financial professional. But the patients who’ve gone this route have no regrets. Says Misty, “I took out a loan against my 401k. The repayment came out of my paycheck at about $129 a week. Not too bad.” Marlene says when weighing the pros and cons, she realized that if she didn’t get sleeved, she might not be around to use her retirement savings. “My health is my main concern. I have never touched my retirement, but this for me is my life-altering need.”
• Join a credit union. “Their financing is much cheaper,” attests Monya. Fred says his credit union didn’t ask questions about the loan after he told them it was for medical purposes. “I borrowed 6k of the 8k and came up with the other 2k on my own,” he reports. “My notes are $136 a month.”
• Get a part-time job. If you don’t want to borrow the money, you might be able to earn it in a relatively short amount of time. Seasonal or retail work, restaurant servers and bartenders, and delivery drivers are just a few positions that always seem to be in need of employees.
• Choose a good credit card. One patient says she found a credit card that offered 0% interest for 12 months. Confirm what the interest rate will be after the no-interest period, of course, but it may still be lower than what you’d pay with other loan types.
• Take out a personal or home equity loan. While most people use home equity loans to pay for costs associated with their house (ie: remodels), they technically can be used for anything. And the interest rates are typically lower than with personal loans. When all else fails, though, a personal loan may be an option for you.
If you’ve decided that VSG is right for you but are still looking for a way to pay for it, hopefully these ideas from your sleeve brothers and sisters have inspired you to look in fresh directions. And as always, please feel free to get in touch with our staff to discuss pricing and financing options.
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