According to the latest statistics, the number of people having bariatric surgery (gastric bypass or gastric band) has increased in the US over 800 percent between 1998 and 2004. What many do not realize when pursuing the life-saving weight loss option is that there are many unexpected costs to consider. First, verify that your insurance actually pays for the surgery as only about half of large employer health plans do. Second, ensure you have a good understanding of what insurance will not pay for. Bariatric surgery often has a higher co-payment and some costs, such preoperative programs and specialist consults, may not be covered at all. There is also the consideration of cosmetic surgery afterward as extreme weight loss can lead to excess skin. This is rarely covered by insurance.