How Much Does the Obalon Balloon Cost?
If you’re hoping to lose weight but do not want the stress and cost of surgery, the non-surgical Obalon Balloon system may be the answer for you. This system can help you lose weight with results comparable to that of surgeries, but it is significantly less expensive and requires no down time as surgery does. Its function is relatively simple: it involves introducing three inflated balloons, each one the size of a small orange, into your stomach. These balloons take up space and make it so you cannot eat as much as usual. Below, we will go over what is involved in this system as well as the cost breakdown of the procedure.
What Does the Obalon Balloon System Price Cover?
The Obalon balloon cost does not just cover one procedure. Before you begin the program, you must consult with your physician to determine whether you are a good candidate for the therapy. Some of the more general criteria for receiving the therapy include the following:
- You must have a BMI between 30 and 40.
- You must not have had prior weight loss surgery.
- You must be willing to follow a diet and exercise program.
If you are determined to be a good candidate, you will generally have three balloons placed over three months. The balloon placement must be done in your doctor’s office. To have a balloon placed, you swallow a small capsule that contains a balloon and has a tiny catheter attached. When you swallow the capsule, your doctor will verify that the capsule is placed properly in your stomach. If the placement is correct, the doctor will then inflate the capsule with the catheter before detaching the catheter and leaving the balloon in your stomach. The entire placement process for each balloon makes about 10 minutes and does not require downtime. The balloons are placed gradually in order to give you time to adjust to their presence.
When you pay the Obalon balloon pill cost, you are paying for each balloon placement and for the removal of all balloons after six months. The cost also covers a professionally supervised diet and exercise program, which is designed to help you maintain a permanent lifestyle change.
After the six months of having the balloons in and of working on diet and exercise changes, you then must have the balloons removed. For the balloon removal, you will typically need a light sedation. Then, using an endoscope, the doctor will reach each balloon, deflate it, and remove it through the esophagus. In total, this procedure generally takes about 15 minutes, and as with the balloon placement, you will not have any downtime, except for the brief amount of time it will take to allow the light sedative to fully wear off.
The Obalon balloon pill cost also covers antacid medication, which is prescribed by your doctor throughout treatment. This antacid is prescribed because the introduction of balloons to your stomach makes it more likely that you will experience acid reflux.
Is the Obalon Gastric Balloon Cost Spread Out Over Time?
When you choose the Obalon system, you do not have to pay the Obalon balloon price all at once. If you have the funding and would like to pay ahead of time, you may do so, but you are not generally obligated to do this. If you are unable to pay up front, you may spread out the cost of Obalon balloon over time in most cases.
Many practices that offer Obalon also offer affordable monthly payments. Because the total procedure cost as well as the monthly payment options will vary depending on where you live and any specific policies your doctor’s office may have, it is best to talk with your doctor’s office ahead of time about the different available payment plans that may be available to you. Some offices have built-in payment plans, while others will require you to obtain outside financing.
Are Obalon Gastric Balloon Prices the Same Everywhere?
Because different locations have somewhat different costs of care, the cost of Obalon balloon is likely to be somewhat different depending on where you are. The price difference may or may not be significant. If cost is a major concern for you, it may be helpful to look into the Obalon balloon system cost not only near you, but also in nearby areas. If you are willing to travel for multiple procedures, you may prefer to go somewhere where the total Obalon balloon price is less. Generally, the cost can vary by up to $3,000 depending on location.
What is the Total Obalon Balloon System Cost?
The total Obalon balloon system price ranges between $6,000 and $9,000, with an average total cost of $8,150. When this average cost is broken down, the average monthly payment is $178. As mentioned above, the Obalon balloon cost can vary depending on where you are.
Many potential Obalon balloon candidates want to know if the procedure is covered by insurance. Unfortunately, at this time, the procedure is rarely covered by insurance. However, in some cases, your doctor’s office may be able to offer you a payment plan. Loans and other financing options may also be available to you.
The total Obalon balloon system price ranges between $6,000 and $9,000, with an average total cost of $8,150
How Does the Obalon System Save You Money?
Obalon gastric balloon prices are significantly less than the costs of bariatric surgery. For the sake of comparison, the average cost of Lap Band Surgery in the United States is $14,532, the average cost of sleeve gastrectomy is $14,900, and the average cost of gastric bypass surgery is $23,000. These surgical costs do not include nutritional and exercise support, which the Obalon system includes as part of the cost. Surgical costs also do not include follow-up visits and physician supervision of nutrition and exercise.
Major surgeries like the Lap Band, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass also have hidden costs that don’t show up in your hospital bill. For instance, having major surgery necessitates downtime. If you work, this downtime translates into lost wages, and if you need a family member to care for you during this downtime, it can also translate to lost wages for that person. If a person has a surgery without making a healthy lifestyle change, he or she may end up regaining weight, thus defeating the initial purpose of the bariatric surgery.
When you successfully lose weight and then keep the weight off, you lessen your risks for joint problems and various health issues that are caused by obesity. In particular, when you also adopt and follow the diet and exercise program that goes along with this system, you will be making healthier choices that are very likely to cut down on the number of doctor’s visits you will need in the future.
Because the Obalon system has a very low complication risk, it is also highly unlikely to incur additional medical costs. Currently, less than one percent of adverse reactions to the Obalon system are classified as severe. Common side effects like acid reflux are preemptively treated by your doctor, and the fact that you are monitored by your doctor throughout the therapy makes it less likely that you will suffer a severe adverse reaction.
What Long-Term Benefits Are You Paying for With the Obalon Gastric Balloon Cost?
When evaluating the costs and benefits of a given procedure, it is important to look at the long-term benefits that you are paying for with the cost of the procedure itself. Many people who have used the Obalon system begin to lose weight during the six months that the balloons are in. However, they also seem to keep the weight off for six months (and more) afterwards. Part of this is likely due to the Obalon system’s unique combination approach. This approach combines the physical balloons with the behavior modification supervised by your doctor.
With this behavior modification, you are coached and monitored in a diet and exercise program designed to help you lose weight. This becomes habit during the six months you are monitored, so once the balloons are removed and the treatment is done, you will be much more likely to continue eating healthily and exercising, and this will likely translate to further weight loss.
In summation, when you ask about the cost of the Obalon balloon system, it is important to consider a variety of factors. For instance, the cost will vary depending on where you live, but the price of the system is uniquely comprehensive in that it covers an entire lifestyle change program and not just a single procedure. If this system is something you’re considering, it may be helpful to look into costs and payment options specific to your doctor’s office. It also may be helpful o examine the short-term and long-term benefits that the procedure may give you. Once you have determined costs and payment methods, you will be free to focus on your journey to health and wellness.
How Much Time Will The Obalon Balloon System Cost You?
Like with every other medical procedure, recovery time is almost always an issue that needs to be addressed. Time is, after all, one of our most precious commodities. We can safely say that we spend our time working so that we can get the necessary material resources to live our lives the way we wish. Similarly, in the case of a medical procedure, we usually spend a certain amount of time in recovery, sometimes in the hospital, to ensure that everything went well and there won’t be any complications.
The Obalon Balloon System is a non-invasive procedure which only involves swallowing a capsule that is later inflated. And after the full treatment has passed, the balloons will be removed via an endoscopic procedure. The endoscopy will only require light sedation, but no general anesthesia, or anything like that. What this means is that the Obalon Balloon will allow you to be a perfectly functioning person both during and almost immediately after the treatment has ended. There will be no time wasted in recovery rooms, allowing you to enjoy life to the fullest while, at the same time, helping you to get your weight under control.
What Other Costs May Be Attached to the Obalon Balloon Procedure?
There may or may not be additional costs to the Obalon Balloon procedure. These may vary, based on some factors and mostly apply before or after the process, itself.
- Dietitian/nutritionist consultations
- Psychologist fees for mental health clearance
- Cardiologist fees for heart health clearance
- Lab/blood work, echocardiogram (also known as an “ECG” or “EKG”) as well as any X-Ray fees.
Non-Standard Costs during Procedure
- Pathologist fees for reviewing biopsies, if necessary
- Radiologist fees for reviewing x-rays, if necessary
- Addressing any potential complications
- Bariatric vitamins
- Gym membership and personal trainer
- Additional food costs – healthier food tends to cost more
- New clothes
- Plastic Surgery to remove excess skin – if necessary.
Are There Any Tax Deductions for the Obalon Balloon System?
You can tax deduct the Obalon Balloon procedure as long as the costs represent more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. But to receive these deductions, you will first have to complete a Schedule A of the IRS Form 1040. You will also need to save all of your medical bills and payments as proof of the procedure.
Some special savings accounts may also be used to pay for part of the procedure, which will be tax-free. These include:
Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) – This is an account that both the employer and employee can contribute to. Money can be taken out tax-free as long as it will be used for qualified medical expenses such as the Obalon Balloon System.
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) – HRAs are only available with companies that set them up and contribute money to. If your organization has one such HRA, make sure that your plan will pay for “all qualified medical expenses.”
Health Savings Account (HSA) – HSA is a type of account that receives the best tax treatment. You can also open one alongside a “qualified high deductible” health plan and can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, tax-free. There is also the possibility to transfer individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) funds into your HSA.
Archer Medical Savings Account (Archer MSA) – These are similar to HSAs but apply for small businesses and the self-employed.