When you're considering lap band surgery, you're likely so focused on the weight loss and potential changes to your body that you might not stop to think about the costs and long-term payments involved. Does insurance cover the surgery? Is financing available to help pay for it? These are questions you'll want to know the answers to before you have the procedure.

The average lap band surgery procedure costs anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000, depending on the surgeon and where the surgery is performed. While your choice in doctor will determine price, this is too important to just think about cost. Make sure it's a doctor you are comfortable with.

So what are ways to defray those costs?

Loans: There are companies that specialize in health care loans for situations just like this. Make sure you do your homework on these companies before committing and be very clear about the fine print, terms, fees, rates and timeline. You don't want to be locked in before you find out that you're paying too much in interest.

Financing: Often, lap band surgeons have financing programs or work closely with companies that provide it. One such company is CareCredit, and if you qualify they can help cover immediate costs while you pay off the debt, kind of like a credit card. Do some researchof these options and never hesitate to ask us for advice.

Insurance: Believe it or not there are several insurers that will offer partial or full coverage for weight loss surgery. Medicare services cover the surgery, with some restrictions. To find out if your insurance company covers it, refer to their materials or contact them. Some companies will only cover it if the operation is deemed "medically-necessary". Most insurance companies that cover it require authorization beforehand, so don't just assume they will cover it after the fact. Make sure they know about it before you have the surgery.

Out Of Pocket: Of course, if you're able to, you can pay for your own weight loss surgery, or at least a large sum of it before getting a loan.