One of the reasons health insurance companies pay for bariatric surgery for severely obese people is that the extreme weight loss that occurs may improve their overall health afterward. In other words, the surgery is justified because the weight loss makes people healthier, thereby lowering their medical costs.
But bariatric surgery is expensive. Depending on the type of procedure, it costs anywhere from $17,000 to $35,000. So is the surgery truly “cost-effective,” in that it improves health enough to recoup surgery costs? (more…)