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Health insurance for weight loss surgery

Health insurance for weight loss surgery starts at around $61 a week* with gold-tier hospital policies. It comes with a 12-month waiting period, so it's worth getting sooner rather than later.

What you need to know:

*Prices are based on a single person living in Sydney earning less than $93,000 per year.

Health insurance that covers weight loss surgery

Here are a few policies from Finder partners that cover weight loss surgery. To see more about great health policies, see our guide to Australia's best health insurance products. All prices are based on a single individual with less than $93,000 income and living in Sydney.

Name Product Treatments Price Apply
Gold Top Hospital Excess $750/$1500
Gold$750 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$241.03
per month
Medibank Gold Protect
Gold$750 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$242.50
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$245.63
per month
Frank Gold Hospital
Gold$750 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$247.02
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$249.55
per month
Gold Top Hospital Excess $500/$1000
Gold$500 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$250.45
per month
Medibank Gold Protect
Gold$500 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$260.74
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$265.19
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$265.23
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$266.15
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$272.77
per month
advanced hospital gold
Gold$750 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$273.97
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$288.15
per month
Medibank Gold Protect
Gold$250 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$289.02
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$291.05
per month
advanced hospital gold
Gold$500 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$300.10
per month
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What weight loss surgeries are available?

If a physician recommends weight loss surgery, it will usually be one of the following types. To learn more, see our guide to getting weight loss surgery.

One

Lap band (also called gastric banding)

This is where the surgeon wraps a silicone band around the top portion of your stomach, reducing the amount you can fit in your stomach.

Two

Sleeve gastrectomy

This is where the surgeon reduces the size of your stomach by permanently removing a section of it. Like the lap band, this causes you to feel full quicker and eat less.

Three

Gastric bypass

This is where the surgeon divides your stomach into 2 sections, then connects your small intestine to the smaller of the new stomach sections. This helps you to eat less, absorb fewer calories and react negatively to sugar.

Four

Duodenal switch

The surgeon removes a section of the stomach (as they would with a sleeve gastrectomy) and then relocates the bottom of the stomach further down the small intestine. Like the gastric bypass, this procedure causes you to eat less and absorb fewer calories.

Five

Liposuction

In this procedure, the surgeon puts a small tube into your body and sucks the fat out with a vacuum. Liposuction doesn't affect your appetite.

How much does weight loss surgery cost without insurance?

Weight loss surgery costs without insurance differ depending on how much the surgeon, anaesthetist and assistant charges, pathology costs and the type of procedure you undergo. Here's an overview of surgery costs in Australia based on a number of health providers we looked at.

SurgeryCost
Gastric/Lap band$10,000 - $20,000
Sleeve gastrectomy$12,180 - $20,000
Gastric bypass$16,000 - $18,000
Duodenal switch$29,000 - $55,000 (average ~$33,000)

Costs sourced from Advanced Surgicare, Central Coast Surgery, Medibank, New Body Specialists and Bariatric Surgery Source.

To help lower these costs, make sure you get the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) number for the type of surgery you require. Don't expect it to significantly lower the costs, though. For example, Item 31575 (sleeve gastrectomy) pays a $663 benefit. Some useful item numbers for weight loss surgery are outlined below.

Can anyone get weight loss surgery?

No, it's not always possible for anyone to get weight loss surgery. This is because it's not always the best course of action for everyone. It also depends on whether you receive treatment through the public system or privately.

Public system icon

Medicare

To be eligible for treatment in the public system (Medicare), you need to have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, demonstrate that you've failed using other approaches and you'll have to undergo a psychological evaluation. You'll also have to find a public hospital that will do this sort of treatment, and there are only a few in Australia.

Private contract icon

Private health

Private health insurers will require you to have a face-to-face consultation with a physician to determine if the surgery is necessary, and some insurers require you to have a BMI above a specific number. However, these requirements are less restrictive than Medicare and you will have more choice of hospitals.

Cover for weight loss surgery vs weight management

Weight Loss Surgery

Cover for weight loss surgery

You'll only find health insurance for weight loss surgery with a gold-tier hospital policy. If you're not already on one, you'll want to get on one soon because there will be a waiting period, usually around 12 months.

Weight Management

Cover for weight management

Many extras policies cover weight management programs such as fitness classes, money off gym memberships and nutritional consulting programs such as WW (previously Weight Watchers) and Jenny Craig. This can give you a chance to learn new wellness habits pre-surgery or, in some cases, avoid having surgery altogether. Waiting periods are a lot shorter – usually around 2 months.

How much does health insurance cost?

We ask hundreds of Australians what they're paying for health insurance every month. Here's what they told us in May 2024.
  • Basic: $110
  • Bronze: $143
  • Silver: $162
  • Gold: $197
Price based on 1,000+ responses for single hospital insurance.

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Frequently asked questions about weight loss surgery

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