Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a part of or the whole uterus. Some opt for it to treat excessive bleeding, others due to cancer, and a fraction aiming to stop their child-bearing capabilities.
Regardless of the reason, an expert usually recommends hysterectomy when no other option can bring relief to a woman.
If ever you’ll undergo the operation, here’s a guide on the hysterectomy price.
Average Cost Of Hysterectomy
Estimated prices that are available online greatly differ from each other. However, we can rely on the HealthcareBlueBook.com for an idea of the fair price. Following are averages for each surgical approach:
- Abdominal hysterectomy: $15,321
- Vaginal hysterectomy: $14,592
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy: $15,120
As defined by the website, a “fair price” is what you should expect to pay for a particular medical service.
Hysterectomy Price Factors
- Your location
- Prices can change dramatically depending on your state. For instance, abdominal hysterectomy in New York can cost as high as $14,627. The same procedure in Oklahoma may only price as low as $9,995 in Oklahoma. The latter belongs to the top 10 least expensive metro areas for the said procedure.
- If you live in the urban area, there are more hospitals or health centers to choose from, thus the wider the price range.
- Your health insurance plan
- Hysterectomy is often covered by health insurance plans. However, how much the company will pay for your expenses varies.
- The network rate is the amount negotiated between your insurance company and your health provider. Whatever price they agree on will affect how much you’ll pay.
- The total payment will also be affected by co-insurance, co-pay, and how much deductible you have left.
- Call your insurance company to confirm about the costs.
- The doctor’s fee
- How much surgeons charge for the procedure vary. The price they will ask for will also depend on your location and the hospital/health center you choose.
- “In-network” doctors are those who have made an arrangement with your insurance company. Typically, they will charge a lower price compared to “out-of-network” surgeons.
- Your personal health
- You might have to pay more if you’re diagnosed with other health problems.
- Unexpected costs during the procedure
- You would likely pay more if an emergency arises during the surgery.
At Ethicon, the following costs for different surgical approach apply:
- Abdominal (open) hysterectomy: $11,739
- Vaginal hysterectomy: $7,627
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy: $9,426
Notice that minimally invasive techniques are less expensive than the open procedure. If your doctor initially recommends the latter, ask if you can opt for either the vaginal or laparoscopic approach instead to save on costs. You can also ask for a second opinion.
The benefits of minimally invasive techniques include:
- Less blood loss
- Fewer complications and infections
- Shorter hospital stays
- Faster recovery
Another reference for sample hysterectomy costs is HealthGrades.com. The website places the price range of the procedure from $5,000 to $11,000. They noted that the surgery will cost more if it uses advanced technology (such as robotics).
Similarly, Invasive surgeries will also cost more.
HealthGrades.com also notes that vaginal hysterectomy costs around $2,000 less than other surgical approaches. That is true if your condition is not related to cancer. Otherwise, the price range will range from $7,600 to $12,400.
Hysterectomy With Insurance
Earlier, we said that hysterectomy is usually covered by your insurance company. But, here’s the catch: most of them will categorize the surgery as “elective”. That means, they will not pay for it unless the procedure is considered “medically necessary”.
That said, you should communicate well with your insurance company. Basically, you will need to prove to them that you need the procedure for your health treatment. To do that, you may opt to:
- Write a letter to your insurance provider.
- A formal request to your company may do the trick. Just make sure to include in your letter your condition, history of treatment, and why the procedure is necessary. In short, convince them to grant you coverage.
- Ask assistance from your doctor.
- Your statement alone might not be enough to convince your insurance company. That said, you should ask your doctor to provide support. This may include their medical opinion.
- You can also ask your health provider to conduct additional tests and explain that other treatment options have already failed.
- Try negotiating with the company.
- If they can’t pay for the price of the whole procedure, maybe your insurance company can at least cover parts of it.
- Opt for other treatments.
- Maybe you don’t really need a hysterectomy? Other procedures may be covered by your insurance company so ask your doctor if it’s alright to opt for the alternative.
Saving On Costs
Is it possible to save money if you’re to undergo hysterectomy? Aside from getting help from your insurance company, here are other cost-cutting tips:
- Cover out-of-pocket expenses using your Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA).
- Do not stick to one doctor or hospital. Research and compare prices.
- Outpatient centers have less expensive surgery options. Try looking into them first.
- Try to acquire some form of a discount from your doctor. You can ask for it especially if your insurance company will not cover your hospital expenses.
- If possible, opt for a non-invasive procedure as they cost lower.
Of course, the best way to save money is to for you to never undergo a hysterectomy at all. That’s why it’s important that you get a second and third opinion before agreeing to a surgery. Who knows, there might just be a cheaper and better solution out there that doesn’t involve going under the knife.
Most importantly, always take care of your health. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. Live a long and healthy life!