Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday June 16th, 2011 - Final cost of Realize Band Surgery

Finally!!! Quick note: Costs in the United States vary according to insurance stipulations and contracted cost controls with the hospital and the surgeon.

As stipulated by my insurance, I had to use a surgeon who has been awarded "Center of Excellence" status. My surgeon, Richard Tillquist with Swedish Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, was awarded this recognition through a history of great patient outcomes from the operation and a clear commitment to comprehensive, high quality bariatric care.

My healthcare insurance is Anthem Blue Cross/ Blue Shield PPO. Our particular plan is on the high end of our choices because we wanted the extra coverage's and smaller deductibles ($1,000 per person). Plus, the pharmacy coverage is great. It is a group policy through my wife's employer and I believe the healthcare insurance premiums cost our family of five about $1,300 a month.

After the hospital did some research, they decided that I qualify for the contractual lesser amount of $9,000 for the surgery. My insurance will pay the hospital $4,500. I will have to pay the hospital an additional $4,500 before the surgery.

The contractual insurance limits my surgeon to $1,800 for his cost which includes the first three post-op appointments. The insurance has $3,000 limit for the surgeon so the remaining $1,200 will go towards additional office appointments. I do not need out of pocket money until the $1,200 is exhausted.

The anesthesiologist costs around $2,000, however, if I pay in advance they will reduce that to $1,080. The only other cost is for the surgeon's assistant. I believe it costs $800, however, if I pay in advance they will reduce that to $270.

In conclusion, due to insurance contracts with the surgeon and the hospital, the total cost of the operation is an astoundingly low $13,350. That's compared to the estimated cost of $17,000 to $20,000 that I found online for the larthoscopic Realize Band surgery. Overall, I am responsible for $5,850 which is lower than I ever imagined.

Now I am waiting for the surgeon's office to call me once they have the final insurance approval. Then I can pick a date for the surgery. I will pick the earliest available appointment.


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