This is a topic I am not very comfortable talking about. Especially when I get asked ‘how to get weight loss surgery for free,‘ rather than being asked, ‘should I get weight loss surgery.’ This option is simply over used in my opinion. Having gone to weight loss surgery discussion groups, meetings, and events, I know quite a few people who have had the surgery. The astonishing part is the disparity between those who get the surgery. Ranging from young adults (Late teens) and Elderly (Over sixty – not exactly elderly). The sad truth is, this option is considered by people who really do have other options. But, Can you really get weight loss surgery for free?
Before we dig into the question I was asked, ‘can you really get weight loss surgery for free,’ we first need to address the reality of weight loss surgery, and the fiances behind this procedure. This option is the last resort and should only be taken if it is medically necessary. This is not just an attack on people who have had this type of procedure as we also need to discuss some of the common misconceptions relating to the last resort option.
The Reality of Weight Loss Surgery
Okay, I am jumping ahead. This type of procedure is not what it is made out to be. In fact, most people assume it is the easy way out. It is far from the easy way out, but it is the panic button option. In order to qualify for any type of bariatric procedure you must first pass a psychological examination which tests your mental health and food dependency as well as lose a significant amount of weight before you get to the operating table.
Within one fiscal year you are required to lose enough weight to qualify for the procedure until your psychological examination expires. You must lose enough weight before the surgery to qualify due to higher risk of the procedure while on the operating table, and also fear of relapsing. You are also required to learn enough about nutrition to make sound choices pre and post operation. Your entire life is at least put on hold to tackle your weight, and frankly, most people fail.
The Personal Look
This is anecdotal, but most people I met failed the psychological examination several times. Once you go through the surgery (No matter which specific procedure) you are then are forced to have an entirely new diet. Either your stomach is permanently limited or you have a band severely restricting food intake. The lifetime of fighting appetite and hunger now leaves you unable to fill your appetite with food. Most people in this predicament are tackling issues which got them to the point in the first place.
Not only does a person having this surgery now have to lose all the weight, they must battle their demons which brought them to that point. The health risks also continue. There are huge vitamin deficiency risks when going under the knife for this procedure, ranging from Vitamin B 12 deficiencies to risk of the band breaking. The various Vitamin deficiencies can lead to death, and more commonly Anemia.
It is Harder than a Diet
A person taking this option is essentially risking life or death to lose weight. If they even survive the procedure, which until recently was far from guaranteed. After the initial hurdles or weight loss, psychological exams, and surgery, the reality of a new life sets in. No longer being able to eat the same food or you will vomit is not exactly pleasant. This is what you are warned about pre surgery, that everyone who has weight loss surgery will over eat and violently vomit.
Sprinkle in the lifetime of over priced vitamins after the procedure. A dash of of liquid diet after surgery. Top it all off with extreme pain the following days after having your stomach pulled from your skin internally during the procedure, you are left with a horrible experience.
This section is my warning to people who want to get this procedure. It is not the easy way out. You will be required to lose weight still on your own. Most likely you will not qualify for the procedure. To everyone who calls this the easy way out, this is more painful than most things the rest of us in the western world have gone through, and it is a drastic life change nearly over night. Not exactly a cake walk. Pun intended.
Can you get Weight Loss Surgery for Free?
Yes, and no. The truth is someone will always be paying for it. For most people, they have insurance to cover the large part or all of the surgery. Politics aside, this was extended under the Affordable Care Act. The fiscal reality is the one time, very expensive procedure is less expensive than treatment and medication patients must be on to qualify for the procedure in the first place.
But free weight loss surgery is a myth. Just like no health care is free. Someone will pay for it. This gives us two real options. One, is financing weight loss surgery. Two, is getting someone else to pay for your weight loss surgery. Neither option is easy. The easiest way to have the procedure is with insurance and to pay the co – pays. The question really should not be how to get weight loss surgery for free, but should be how can you afford what residual costs. I digress, let’s tackle the question at hand.
How to get free Weight Loss Surgery?
Free for you means someone else foots the bill. The real option on the table for this is to have a charity pay for the procedure or a grant to cover the expense. It just so happens some of those in the US Government agreed with the financial reality that people on medication their entire mortal lives is more expensive than surgery. Many states are required to cover this procedure under the Affordable Care Act. With some simple forms and screening, residents in states like Arizona, Michigan and Hawaii. Yes, a huge spectrum of states with different make ups and demographics.
If you can not afford the surgery, most likely you qualify for government assistance in the US to cover the expense. If your state is not covered, every other state in the US is required to provide consoling and obesity screening. This means even if you can’t get covered due to financial hardship, you can get help in the form of education and consoling to help combat your weight.
More than One Option on the Table
You then have organizations such as WLSFA, or the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, who helps fund various weight loss surgeries for people who meet specific conditions. These biggest conditions are being either denied by insurance or not having insurance and raising 10% of the funds yourself to cover the procedure. This is still a massive help for people in a challenging financial position. The WLSFA also covers weight loss constructive surgery if required. The stipulation is you must be pre approved for the procedure you are requesting the grant for.
There is also the option of care at a free or funded facility. Most research facilities whom test new procedures offer free or greatly reduced procedures. This is a great option for people as, aside from traveling, would be greatly subsidized. Additionally, the procedure would be preformed by experts using cutting edge science. The down side is this option has the longest weight list and most difficult process to get approved.
The last major free resource for weight loss surgery funding is local charities. You would be amazed the amount of money flowing into organizations which promote weight loss for people struggling with there weight. These options are normally addressed with patients on a case by case basis. If your doctor knows you need the assistance, they will point you in the right direction.
Is Financing Weight Loss Surgery an Option?
Absolutely. The best option is a payment plan through the surgeon directly. In fact, every hospital with a program I know of and have researched offer free seminars detailing the procedure, requirements and financing options. It is assumed you will need some help. Even if you have insurance, the co – pays are expensive and the medical community knows this.
Medical procedures also qualify for personal loans, and credit card or unsecured loans. Albeit, those are not the best options for financing weight loss surgery. It is important to note the fact weight loss surgery is deductible from your taxes in the US. If that fails, you can also opt for medical tourism. No, that is not a joke. Several counties offer less expensive options, and have there own free options available in research facilities. Since the US has the highest rate of obesity, it is far quicker to get into a medical facility in another country, while also being cheaper.
Final Thought on Weight Loss Surgery
It is your life. You only live it once. If you get to the point where you can be approved for weight loss surgery, maybe you should take it. Be warned, it is far from easy. Either way, you will be losing the weight yourself. No one will remove the fat for you. As a person getting the surgery you must tackle the reality of what got you to that point. You must overcome the psychological obstacles.
If you just really like food and have a huge appetite, the surgery will not stop this. You will eat until your new stomach is full and you will get sick. This is far from pleasant. Your diet will change as you must eat food high in protein to even survive after the procedure. Expect expensive vitamins as well as a liquid diet following the procedure. You also are required to have some reeducation classes to instill sound nutrition advice into you. Advice you can get here, for free. Yes, shameless plug. Read this website before going under the knife.
Can you really get weight loss surgery for free? There is no such thing as free anything. Weight loss surgery costs thousands upon thousands of dollars. You take off of work. You must buy new food and vitamins after the surgery. The procedure will also cost your time – and a lot of it with the required doctor visits and nutrition education. If you still can not get the money together after exploring these options, it normally means you do not really need the procedure. Funding options are available if you fully qualify for the surgery. If you do not, you should not even be considering this option.
Find all the resources used in this article and the scientific basis of all our article at The Science Behind Fitness.