Trying to figure out if gastric band surgery in Canada is covered can be confusing, not to mention frustrating if you’re in serious need. Sometimes it seems like there’s no definitive answer. In some cases, gastric band surgery can be considered a CRA-eligible medical expense. In other cases, it’s not. It’s completely dependent on whether or not the procedure is defined as medically necessary.
Without the right coverage, you can be left with little to nowhere to turn, as gastric band surgery isn’t covered by most provincial healthcare. Thankfully, a registered health savings account can cover the entire amount, including the taxes.
Why Consider Gastric Band Surgery?
Deciding on weight loss surgery is no easy decision. However, it can be the best options for many overweight or obese Canadians. With obesity come a number of other health complications, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Often times, weight loss surgery is the first step for getting the participant’s health back on track. Gastric band surgery can help eligible candidates lose 35 to 45 percent of excess weight, improving overall health and helping lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Where To Start?
As mentioned above, in order for your gastric band surgery in Canada to be covered, it needs to be deemed medically necessary. In fact, to be considered for any weight loss surgery, one must have a BMI of 75+, and this number can be higher depending on the doctor performing the procedure. This ensures those with a serious need get the help needed, as fast as possible.
The best place to start is with a consultation. Whether it’s a family doctor or another medical professional, it all starts with an initial exam to determine your need. From there your coverage from government health plans is negotiated. If you opt to use the coverage provided with your RHSA, you can explore the options available at private clinics. This greatly reduces wait times and is becoming more standard practice, with two thirds of weight loss surgeries being performed in private clinics.
What Costs Can You Expect?
Undergoing gastric band surgery in Canada is no easy endeavor, especially when it comes to the pressure on your wallet. In Canada, gastric band surgery can range from $14,000 to $16,000. While you can opt to have a five-year payment plan to help ease the burden, the costs can still be overwhelming, especially if you have little to no health coverage.
How an RHSA Helps?
Fortunately, an RHSA offers flexible coverage for gastric band surgery in Canada. Because gastric band surgery is a CRA-allowable medical expense, you can use the funding available to cover the costs of the procedure, including the taxes and post-op care.
Unlike other health benefit plans, each employee is able to use their RHSA according to their own needs, as apposed to having standard coverage for each employee. This allows every employee to use their coverage for things they truly need, whether it be a dental appointment or gastric band surgery.
Additionally, coverage can be combined with other traditional benefit plans to cover any gaps one might come across. This ensures all your needs are covered, without sacrificing the other medical expenses you may have.
If you need gastric band surgery in Canada, an RHSA can be your greatest ally. With traditional health coverage you can be left with gaps that leave you in a tough place. However, an RHSA ensures your needs are covered and you have access to the care you need, when you need it.