Weighing the Cost: How Much Does a Gastric Balloon Cost & What Are Your Payment Options?
Have you thought about taking real steps toward losing weight but worry about the cost?
You’re not alone. The weight loss industry prices gauge the patients who need our help most. Jenny Craig can cost $680 per month for a customized meal plan – and that doesn’t include food for the rest of your family. And bariatric surgery? The prices are astronomical.
The gastric balloon is different. It doesn’t require surgery, fancy meal plans, or any of the other things that make the cost of weight loss unaffordable. Not only does it ring in at half the price of gastric surgery, but it’s easy to finance.
Here’s what you need to know about the gastric balloon cost – and how you can pay for it.
What Is the Orbera Gastric Balloon?
Orbera is an FDA-approved weight loss balloon that can help you lose three times the weight you might lose on diet and exercise alone. The manufacturer also claims that patients who choose the Orbera balloon lose 48 percent more weight than patients who use other gastric balloons.
Because Orbera is a removable balloon and doesn’t require surgery, it is an option for patients who struggle to lose weight but who don’t qualify for bariatric surgery.
How Much Does a Gastric Balloon Cost? What Goes Into the Procedure
The Orbera gastric balloon costs an average of $6,000 to $10,000 depending on where you live, your provider, and your general health.
Those costs cover inserting the balloon, removing the balloon, and the balloon itself.
Although Orbera isn’t cheap, it pales in comparison to the cost of weight loss surgery, which can run from $20,000 to $25,000. It’s also much less expensive than those expensive meal plans, which can cost upwards of $1,500 every month.
Here’s what you pay for.
Gastric Balloon Insertion
Orbera is a year-long program that involves inserting the gastric balloon directly into your stomach and removing it.
Fortunately, it doesn’t require any surgery. It takes only 20 minutes, and there’re no incision required.
First, you receive a diagnostic endoscopy to make sure there’s nothing that could prevent you from receiving the balloon.
Your doctor then sedates you so you’re comfortable enough to insert the balloon. We then put the deflated gastric balloon through your esophagus and into your stomach. Then, we inflate the balloon inside your stomach using a sterile saline solution. We stop filling it once it becomes the size of a grapefruit.
The Next Six Months: Appointments with Your Support Team
Once your balloon is in, you can go back to your life. The balloon retains your body in the best ways to eat and digest food. Because the balloon takes up space, you will feel fuller sooner and teach your brain on portion control.
But you don’t do it on your own.
During the first six months, you work with your team, including your doctor, a dietician, fitness trainer, and a psychologist. They’ll help you not only manage your weight loss but prepare you for life after the balloon.
After Six Months: Gastric Balloon Removal
When your six months is up, the balloon comes out. Your doctor removes it much the same way it went in: sedation, deflation, and removal through your esophagus in a 20-minute appointment.
The Final Six Months
As you enter the final six months of the program, you continue to work with your team to follow a diet and exercise plan that matches your goals and lifestyle.
If you want more help, you can use the Orbera Coach, which allows you to talk to a virtual team using an app on your phone. The Orbera Coach is part of an add-on after-care program.
How to Pay for a Gastric Balloon
There are a few ways to pay for Orbera or another gastric balloon. Because there’s no surgery or general anesthesia involved, the billing process is much less complicated than it is for traditional weight loss surgery, which requires dealing with the hospital billing department.
Many patients finance the cost of the Orbera gastric balloon directly through their Orbera Specialist. According to Orbera, financing can cost as little as $150 per month, depending on your total procedure costs and credit.
What Is CareCredit?
Many providers turn to a product called CareCredit to help patients finance a gastric balloon.
CareCredit is a credit card designed exclusively to pay for healthcare services. Unlike a loan, it offers an existing line of credit that you can use over and over again to pay for services that your insurance provider won’t cover.
You can use it for yourself, a family member, or even for veterinary care for your pets. All you need to do is ensure that your provider accepts CareCredit.
To apply for CareCredit, visit the website and fill out the application. You get a decision instantly. You are more likely to be approved with a minimum FICO score of 623.
Once approved, you get your card within ten business days, and you receive a monthly statement.
Be sure to look out for CreditCare’s promotions.
For example, if you can pay off your gastric balloon procedure over two years, then you can apply for a Deferred Interest program. If you qualify, then a payment schedule for $8,000 might look like this:
- 6 x $1,334 monthly payments
- 12 x $667 monthly payments
- 18 x $445 monthly payments
- 24 x $334 monthly payments
It could save you a significant amount of money in interest.
Is the Gastric Balloon Cost Worth It? Yes
The gastric balloon aids weight loss by teaching your mind and body when it is full and slowing digestion. It all takes place over a year, and the $6,000-10,000 gastric balloon average cost includes insertion, removal, six months of check-ups and check-ins with your weightloss team.
If you want to lose weight, but you don’t qualify for weight loss surgery and are tired of trying to subsist on delivered meals, then the gastric balloon may work for you.
Get in touch for a free consultation with an Orbera gastric balloon specialist to learn how it can transform your life.