Costs

Costs

How much does a Gastric Banding Procedure cost?

There are many factors that come into play with each individual procedure, which varies the Gastric Banding Procedure costs. The majority of Gastric Banding Procedures in Australia are covered under private health insurance. All the final costs of your personal Gastric Banding Procedure will depend on the costs associated with:

  • The surgeon and assistant surgeon who carry out your procedure
  • The anaesthetist
  • The hospital where the Gastric Banding Procedure is carried out
  • Post-procedural medication (i.e. pain relievers, etc.) purchased from a pharmacy.

Your surgeon will establish the final Gastric Banding Procedure costs with you.

I have private health insurance

If you have appropriate private health insurance, you could be covered for Gastric Banding Procedure. There will usually be a ‘gap’. This is the amount that is not covered by your fund and is your out-of-pocket cost.

The out-of-pocket expense for those with private health insurance is typically between $3,000 and $5,000. Generally, your clinic fee will cover all aspects related to your Gastric Banding Procedure, as well as all associated aftercare and support. Check with your clinic to determine if your costs include:

  • Surgeon, anaesthetist and assistant surgeon
  • Band check-ups (these are usually done monthly until you reach your goal weight and then usually once to twice a year)
  • Band adjustments
  • Support such as: Psychologist consultations and dietician and nutritionist consultations.

Check your private health insurance to ensure your Gastric Banding Procedure is covered. Most levels of private health insurance cover weight-loss procedures, but some of the more basic levels of cover may not. There may also be a waiting period, especially if you have recently joined a health fund. To check your coverage with your insurer, you can give them the Medicare Gastric Banding item number 30511. Some of the major private health insurers you can contact are:


For a more detailed and comprehensive explanation of the estimated out-of-pockets, contact your local clinic, as costs can differ from clinic to clinic.

I have private health insurance

I do not have private health insurance

The Gastric Banding Procedure is not covered by Medicare Australia. If you do not have private health insurance, you can still undergo the Gastric Banding Procedure by having the procedure performed as a self-insured private patient. Alternatively, there are other Gastric Band financing and payment options you can consider:

  • Early release of superannuation

    In certain circumstances, you may be able to access your superannuation funds early to cover the costs of your Gastric Banding Procedure. Consult your financial advisor or accountant to see if this is right for you. You will need to check with your superannuation fund to see if this is possible and apply to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). More details can be found on www.apra.gov.au.

  • Medical expenses tax offset

    You may be able to claim a significant rebate from your procedure through your tax return. You can claim a tax offset of 20% – 20 cents in the dollar – of your net medical expenses over $1,500. There is no maximum limit on the amount you can claim and it is not means or assets tested. Check with your financial advisor or accountant if this is appropriate for you. For details visit the
 Australian Taxation Office website.

  • Third-party medical finance

There are several options available for Gastric Banding Procedure finance, using providers that allow your fees to be repaid through regular instalments. Interest and other fees are charged. Speak to your accountant or financial advisor to see if this is an option for you.

I do not have private health insurance

Long-term savings

Long-term savings

Gastric Banding Procedure pays for itself over time through health costs savings.

Excess weight, in particular obesity, is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It can also make it more difficult to control chronic conditions. On top of the cost to your health, being overweight and obese can have a major financial impact on an individual.

The cost of the Gastric Banding Procedure can often be an important factor for those considering it. But a recent American study shows that the cost of the Gastric Banding Procedure is offset by reductions in medical costs associated with obesity. In this study, the obesity-related medical costs of obese patients who didn’t have the Gastric Banding Procedure continued to rise whereas for those who did have surgery medical costs declined.

Importantly, within 4 years all the Gastric Band patients had broke even financially. Patients with diabetes broke even financially even earlier, in just 2.25 years. The results emphasise the important effect the Gastric Banding Procedure can have on keeping healthcare costs down.

So, although there is an initial financial outlay for a Gastric Banding Procedure, the benefits in terms of reduction in healthcare costs can be significant within a relatively short period.