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Financing bariatric surgery in Quebec

Financing bariatric surgery in Quebec

Information on costs, health insurance reimbursement and financing options available to Quebec residents.

Waiting several years in the public sector for life changing bariatric surgery isn’t an option for some people. When the decision is made to begin your bariatric journey, you don’t want to wait 2 years just to meet with the surgeon for the first time, you want to transform your life now. This is why many choose to consider the private surgery option as evidenced by practice at Weight Loss Surgery Inc. having begun in 2006 and thriving more than ever.

What is the wait time for private bariatric surgery?

The wait time in the private sector at Weight Loss Surgery Inc. with Dr. Simon Chow is approximately 4 to 6 weeks after having your first consultation. The wait time to schedule your first consultation with Dr. Chow can be within 2 weeks or less from contacting our clinic.

The public sector in Quebec has up to a 3 year wait time and this varies from hospital to hospital. You would need to have a referral from your family doctor or any doctor in order to be able to apply to be put on the waiting list. Some hospitals do not accept referrals that you, as the patient, fax in yourself; they may ask that your doctor complete a formal hospital-specific form which can add some back-and-forth delays to the process. Once your form is officially confirmed to have been received, your 3 year waiting time begins.

Will I automatically be accepted for surgery after waiting up to 3 years in the public sector?

After waiting for 3 years, it’s possible in some cases that you may be refused surgery. This is highly variable and dependent on multiple factors, however, if your body mass index (BMI) is not in the range of what the hospital or surgeon accepts, you may have waited 3 years only to receive this bad news. The old guidelines state that a person is a candidate for surgery if their BMI is above 40 or above 35 with obesity-related health conditions.

At Weight Loss Surgery Inc. with Dr. Simon Chow, we follow the updated evidenced-based guidelines indicating that a BMI as low as 30 with obesity-related health conditions makes you a candidate or a BMI above 35. To find out if you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery with Dr. Simon Chow, click here.

What do private fees cover for bariatric surgery?

The cost of bariatric surgery in the private sector is not given. The $18,000 price tag for a sleeve gastrectomy and $25,000 for a gastric bypass encompasses every single visit that you will need, including:

✔ Your first consultation with the surgeon and the nurse.

✔ Your pre-operative tests, review of the results, and education needed from our nurse, dietitian, and surgeon to prepare you for surgery.

✔ Your pre-operative diet which will be mailed to you.

✔ Your surgery and all that is required the day of your surgery.

✔ Your hospital stay for 1 to 2 nights in the only private accredited hospital in Quebec (we do not operate in a day surgery centre. Your recovery will be in a real hospital and we do not send you to recover in a hotel).

✔ Your follow-up visits with the surgeon up until 3 months after surgery.

✔ Your follow-up visits with the nurse at 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after surgery.

✔ Your follow-up visits with the dietitian at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after surgery.

✔ Any phone or email support needed along the way.

What is not covered in the fees for private bariatric surgery?

✔ Your transportation to our clinic and our hospital.

✔ Hotel stay the day prior to or the day following your discharge from hospital (not applicable to everyone, only those who live very far from the hospital).

How much am I expected to pay and at what timeframes?

The first deposit is the $250 consultation for your first consultation with the surgeon. This is payable prior to your consultation in order to reserve your spot. It is payable by credit card or e-transfer.

The second deposit is $3000 to reserve the surgery date that you will select. This is due 1 week after selecting and reserving your surgery date and it is payable by certified cheque, bank draft, credit card, or e-transfer.

The final deposit is the balance remaining depending on the surgery you have selected with Dr. Chow. This is due 2 weeks before your planned surgery date and is payable by certified cheque, bank draft, or a wire transfer.

Will the RAMQ pay for my private surgery?

The RAMQ does not pay for surgery in the private sector with Dr. Chow. Since 2015, Dr. Chow has been a “NON-PARTICIPATING PHYSICIAN” within the meaning of the health act (section L.R.Q., c. A-29 of the Health Insurance Act of Quebec).

Will private insurance pay for my private surgery?

Most private insurances from our experience will not cover the cost of your surgery but they may accept to cover certain parts. For example, the consultations with our dietitian are generally covered at an average of 75-80% of the fees, and in some cases the hospital room stay is covered as well. You will need to verify with your own private insurance if they cover any of the services listed on this page.

Do you offer financing?

We do not offer financing through us, however you can choose to finance your surgery with a third-party such as Medicard or Credit Medical. Many patients choose to consult with these companies prior to consulting with Dr. Chow to verify if they are candidates for receiving financing.

Can my private surgery be claimed as a medical expense on my taxes?

Yes! Bariatric surgery is a medically-indicated procedure and all of the expenses of the cost of the surgery can be claimed. Only cosmetic procedures cannot be claimed for tax purposes, however bariatric surgery is not considered cosmetic. From previous experience with some of our patients, they have obtained up to $5000 in tax credits after filing their taxes. This amount can add up to be nearly a 25% return on the total cost of the surgery for a sleeve gastrectomy. Our clinic will provide you with the necessary receipts. It’s important to first verify with your accountant for an estimate of the tax credit you would receive should you have surgery with us as this is dependent on your income.