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Bariatric Surgery Cost & Financing Options In Canada [GUIDE]

Last Updated on April 1, 2024

Whether you’ve marked your calendar with a surgery date, or you’re weighing your options, you likely already know that weight loss surgery is a complete game changer for living better and how you experience life. 

In fact, bariatric surgery on average increases life expectancy by 5 years for patients without diabetes and a whopping 9 years for patients with diabetes. 

The gastric sleeve surgery is recognized for its effectiveness in facilitating significant weight loss, typically around 60-70% of excess body weight. This procedure not only aids in weight reduction but also plays a crucial role in alleviating or diminishing numerous health issues linked to obesity.

As patients explore weight loss surgery, these big questions usually come up: 

  1. Will I really lose a life changing amount of weight?YES! 
  2. What Is The Cost Of Weight Loss Surgery in Ontario?
  3. How Much Does Gastric Sleeve Cost in Canada and how do I pay for it? – Find out below. 

We’ve created this Canada Bariatric Surgery Cost Guide to help:

  • Break down the ins and outs of sleeve surgery costs
  • Share how our patients plan for those costs
  • Highlight important rebates and tax credits that can offset costs

At the end of the day, if sleeve surgery is right for you, finances shouldn’t stand in your way. Public or private, there’s always a route to the healthier life you deserve. 

Disclaimer: Finances are deeply personal and multifaceted. This article outlines the most common financing avenues The Sleeve Clinic patients take. When it comes to making your own money decisions, it’s always smart to speak with a financial expert. 

“Your health isn’t an expense. It’s the most precious investment you’ll ever make.” 


Key Takeaways  – Weight Loss Surgery Cost Canada

  1. Average Cost: The typical cost of sleeve surgery in Canada ranges from $18,000-$22,000.
  2. Financing Options: Multiple financing options are available, including loans, credit cards, and medical financing companies.
  3. Employee Benefits: Many employers offer health spending accounts that can offset some of the costs.
  4. Tax Credits: Medical expense tax credits can provide some financial relief.
  5. Real-World Scenarios: Patients often use a combination of savings, loans, and benefits to finance their surgeries.

Real Cost of Bariatric Surgery In Canada: Expenses Explained 

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Let’s crunch the numbers off the scale and on a calculator.

If you’re exploring the route of private sleeve surgery in Canada, understanding the cost of weight loss surgery is important. 

The typical cost of sleeve surgery through a private clinic in Canada ranges from $18,000-$22,000+. 

In Ontario, the coverage of gastric sleeve surgery under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is limited and subject to stringent criteria, often accompanied by extended waiting periods.

Given many constraints, many individuals opt for weight loss clinic in Toronto, such as The Sleeve Clinic, to undergo this surgery.

At first glance, this price tag might seem high, but it’s essential to understand three key cost considerations: 

  1. You may be able to leverage tax credits and employee benefits to offset the overall expense
  2. Savings from eliminating diet plans and spending less on groceries can help offset surgery financing
  3. There are multiple payment and financing options available to fit your monthly budget 

It’s also crucial to understand the cost isn’t just for surgery day – let’s breakdown what the price tag covers.  

Each private clinic has its own pricing structure and offerings for sleeve surgery. 

Here’s insight into what The Sleeve Clinic’s package includes:

  1. Pre-surgery consultation: Thorough evaluation with our lead bariatric surgeon, bariatric nurse, registered dietitian, and anesthesiologist . This includes an assessment of your medical history and facilitation of necessary tests Medical and operation expenses: Our pricing transparently covers:
    1. Anaesthesia fees
    2. Surgeon fees and surgical equipment
    3. Pre-operative, operative and postoperative nursing care
    4. Surgical facility fees
  2. 5-Years of aftercare: Our unparalleled 5-year aftercare program is multifaceted, including personalized sessions with dietitians, frequent touchpoints, group support opportunities, online learning modules, remote weight tracking and exclusive access to a private patient community. 

 

Additional Bariatric Surgery Cost Considerations:

While the cost of sleeve surgery at most private clinics cover a broad spectrum of expert medical support and services, there may be additional expenses you should plan for separately:

  • Travel arrangements: Transportation and related costs.
  • Supplementary expenses: This could include protein shakes, vitamins or medications before and after surgery. 


Again, it’s important to know that private clinics have varying fee structures. What one clinic includes, another might list as an additional expense. 

If you’d like more in-depth information about The Sleeve Clinic’s program, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our Program Advisors. This consultation is complimentary, ensuring you have all the information you need without any obligations. 

See also  The Ultimate Guide to Optifast for Sleeve Surgery

More than 50% of The Sleeve Clinic patients finance some or all of the cost of their surgery. 

Options for Financing Your Sleeve Surgery


Over half of patients at The Sleeve Clinic use some form of financing to pay for sleeve surgery. 

Opting for sleeve surgery through a private clinic offers a quick end to ongoing or worsening stress and physical impacts from being overweight. 

For many, financing sleeve surgery now means seizing the moment and taking charge of their health today, investing in a longer and healthier life to come. 

There are more options than you might be aware of to pay for sleeve surgery, including:

  • Your employee benefits
  • Medical Tax credit
  • Your savings
  • A bank line of credit or loan
  • Financing from a medically focussed financial company
  • Financing from other non-bank companies
  • Credit card

Each of these options comes with their own advantages and considerations, and not all of them are available to everyone. 

Let’s take a closer look at the pro’s and con’s of each option.

Pro’s and Con’s of Sleeve Surgery Financing Options

 

Employee Benefits and Tax Credits: Your Hidden Financial Aids

Each financing option has its pro’s and con’s, but the good news is financing doesn’t need to be a one-size fits all solution. You can use a combination of multiple options to reach your goal of sleeve surgery.

Financing Source Pro’s Con’s
Employee Benefits A health-spending account can offset some of the cost, sometimes at zero interest and is not a taxable benefit.

Nearly half of Canadian employers offer some sort of health spending account.

Average health spending accounts will cover $1,500 to $2,500 but this amount varies.
Federal Medical Expense Tax Credit Medical expense tax credit is available to anyone with eligible expenses above the lesser of $2,479 or 3% of their net income. Tax credits don’t help pay for the surgery upfront, but do return some money afterwards.
Savings The lowest overall cost to pay for sleeve surgery (no interest).  Can take a long time to save up the money, delaying the benefits of surgery.
Bank line of credit or loan Banks can be the lowest cost source of loans.

Many options are available including lines of credit, personal loans, reverse mortgages, secured loans.

Higher credit score and income requirements can make it harder to qualify for some patients.

Loan approvals are slower than other lending companies.

Medical Financing Company Convenient, quick and simple process – The Sleeve Clinic can help you apply and you may get approved in 1-3 days. Borrowing costs could be higher than at a bank.
Other Non-Bank Companies Financing available for those with lower credit scores. Borrowing costs tend to be higher than at a bank.

Less flexible borrowing options than a bank.

Credit Card A credit card can help cover part of the cost of sleeve surgery.  Credit card limits may not cover the entire sleeve surgery cost. 

Credit cards may have the highest borrowing costs.

 

The best approach to financing your sleeve surgery is to start at the top of the list above and use as many resources as needed to pay for the surgery, moving to the next funding source as required.

For example, the lowest cost option is personal savings, but let’s say you have $10,000 saved and need another $10,000 for your surgery. Rather than wait to save up the money, or wait for coverage, you may find you can use $2,500 from an employee health spending account and then move down to a bank loan as the next lowest cost option, finding the remaining $7,500. In this example, you would only be left with a $7,500 loan which might be at the lowest available interest rates.

Your own options might vary depending on what benefits you have available and what financing you can qualify for. 

Let’s take a look at how your credit score could impact which options are available to you. 

What Sleeve Financing Options Might I Qualify For?

Qualifying for financing for weight loss surgery in Canada depends on a few things:

  • Your credit score
  • Your income
  • Any collateral you may be able to use to secure the loan (e.g., a car, home, item of value)
  • Ability to get a co-signer

We’ve broken down the financing options available at each credit score range below to give you an idea of what you might qualify for. 

However, each lender has their own criteria so you’ll need to apply to determine if you are eligible or not.

Qualifying for Financing: Your Credit Score 
Good (660+) Fair (560-660) or better Poor (Less than 560) or better
·       Line of credit

·       Bank loan

·       Reverse mortgage

·       Secured loan

·       Medically focussed loans ·       Other non-bank loans

·       Credit card

Typical interest rate range: 5-10% Typical interest rate range: 10-25% Typical interest rate range: 25%

 

How Much Does Financing Cost?

When you finance your surgery, your loan repayment is split into two categories: principal (the amount you borrowed) and interest (the fee charged to borrow the money).

In order to figure out how much financing your sleeve surgery costs, you’ll need to know a few things:

  • How much you need to borrow (the principal)
  • How long you’ll repay it over (the term)
  • How often you’ll make payments (for example, weekly, biweekly, monthly)
  • The APR of the loan (the interest rate as an annual percentage rate)

With that in hand, the easiest way to calculate how much you’ll pay is to use a loan calculator like this one.

Here are a couple examples you can use to understand what different financing options cost:

Source Amount borrowed Repayment Term Payment Frequency APR Payments (Weekly)
Bank loan $10,000 5-years Weekly 7.5% $46.13
Medical loan $10,000 5-years Weekly 17.5% $57.65
Credit card $10,000 5-years Weekly 25% $67.20
Other financing companies $10,000 5-years Weekly 33.5% $78.86

 

The amount of time you spread your loan over can also affect your payment and interest amounts. 

Here are a few examples to help you understand how your loan term affects your payments:

Source Amount borrowed Repayment Term Payment Frequency APR Payments (weekly)
Medical loan $10,000 3-years Weekly 17.5% $82.39
Medical loan $10,000 5-years Weekly 17.5% $57.65
Medical loan $10,000 7-years Weekly 17.5% $47.56
Medical loan $10,000 10-years Weekly 17.5% $40.61

 

Ways to Save for Sleeve Surgery

There are many options for how you can finance your sleeve surgery so it can help to see a few real-world examples of how patients combine the different options. 

We’ve included three different examples below showing the most common sleeve financing paths patients take. 

It’s important to know that when you pay for your sleeve surgery at The Sleeve Clinic, you’ll not only be getting the procedure, but 5-years of high quality, surgeon-led aftercare including one-on-one support, access to nutrition counselling, and virtual tools to check-in and keep you on track. 

For many of our patients, realizing how different their life will be in five years makes the decision between waiting and saving or finding a way to finance their surgery and getting started sooner a much easier one.

Mary | Employer Health Spending Account + Savings + Medical Financing + Medical Expense Tax Credits

Mary had hit her breaking point, she had been dieting off and on for over 20 years. Each time she bounced back, her weight ended up higher than when she started and now that she was a new grandmother she wanted to be able to play with her grandkids for as long as possible.

Mary was still working and luckily her employer provided a health spending account, which Mary was able to use to offset some of the procedure costs. Her total cost for sleeve surgery was $19,995 but Mary used $1,500 from a health spending account, $8,000 from her own savings and then financed the remaining $10,500 over 7 years with Beautifi (a medically focused financing company). 

Mary also claimed a Medical Expense Tax Credit for her surgery costs and got back $3,638.75 (based on her $75,000 salary). Mary’s loan payments were only $38.87 a week. Flash forward to today, and Mary is a proud grandmother who has managed to lose and keep the weight off and enjoys playing with her two grandchildren. 

Steven | Medical Financing, Non Bank Financing, Credit Card, Medical Expense Tax Credits

Steven battled with depression for many years and it led him to overeating, which then fueled his depression. He had gone to college but was working a minimum wage job and felt his weight was holding him back from getting a job he wanted and from being more social.

Steven wanted sleeve surgery but with little savings and low credit, he wasn’t sure when he’d be able to afford it. After realizing it would take him at least 5 years to save up by himself, he decided to use a variety of financing methods to meet his goal.

Steven’s surgery came to $19,995 and he paid $1,000 out of pocket. The remainder was financed over 5 years through a few different loans – a $7,500 loan through Beautifi, $7,500 loan from a non-bank financing company and he put the remaining $3,500 on his credit card. Steven timed his surgery for the end of the year so he could make use of the tax credit as soon as possible. Steven was able to claim a tax credit and received $3,799.22 back which he used to repay his credit card and the interest he had accrued.

Steven’s loan payments totalled $93.82 per week. In order to repay these, he took on a side hustle taking small web design jobs from online freelancing platforms. He was able to make around $200 extra per week which helped him pay down his loan. Shortly after, Steven had lost most of his excess weight and he was able to put his freelance experience together with his college degree to land a new job. He now enjoys going out with his new work friends and playing on his work’s pickup volleyball team.

Krishna | Savings 

Krishna started noticing the impact his weight was having a few years ago. He had been steadily gaining weight since university but recently was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was starting to have trouble sleeping. His doctor was clear that his weight was unhealthy and getting it under control would help him manage these symptoms. Krishna had failed at dieting before so he started researching his options and came across sleeve surgery. 

Ever since university, Krishna had been working his way up in a software company and was fortunate to have put $17,000 aside in investments along the way. Krishna strategically booked his sleeve surgery date to empower him to save up the remaining money to cover the $19,995 expense, while staying motivated for the major life milestone ahead. Krishna was able to save up for one more year and then paid for the entire surgery from his savings. To his surprise, when filing his taxes he was able to get $3,591.81 back, which he used to buy a new road bike. Krishna is now an active cyclist and both his diabetes and sleep apnea are in remission. 

Conclusion: Managing the Cost of Sleeve Surgery in Canada

Financing sleeve surgery might initially feel like a barrier. 

Yet, the good news is that there are so many options available to help pay for surgery. 

Many patients suffer from conditions like type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, joint pain, and depression – these conditions have serious impacts on their quality of life.

Sleeve surgery is a way to rapidly lose weight and get it under control for the rest of your life. Many patients find relief from their symptoms immediately after having sleeve surgery, and in many cases it’s not worth waiting to improve your health and start getting the life you deserve back.

The Sleeve Clinic patients are often surprised to find out about the amount of money they can get back through taxes, or that their employer might be able to cover part of the cost of the procedure. 

For many who choose to finance a portion of the surgery via loans the monthly repayments often turn out to be more manageable than anticipated. Interestingly, post-surgery savings on diet plans and grocery expenses often balance out these costs. 

Ultimately, this is your choice. Your health is priceless and sleeve surgery is an investment in yourself. 

If you have questions, you can reach out to our excellent care team here anytime.


If you’re thinking about sleeve surgery, here’s some next steps to take:

Please note that the information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance regarding weight loss surgery. If you are considering sleeve surgery you can book a consultation with one of the best bariatric surgeon in Canada at our weight loss clinic in Toronto Ontario here: Contact us!   We also serve other locations such as St Johns, NLVancouver BCNiagara, ON, Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Manitoba, Calgary Alberta , Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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As one of the leading weight loss surgeons in Canada, Dr Gmora has gained a reputation for being a master of his surgical craft and producing outstanding weight loss results.

 

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