Many Americans have things about their bodies that they would like to change. Whether for medical reasons, or purely for looks, cosmetic surgery can serve many benefits. It also proves a lucrative industry, as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported 15.1 million procedures in 2013.
If you’re exploring the idea of plastic surgery, you might wonder how you’re going to pay for it. Procedures usually don’t come cheap. For example, a tummy tuck may cost around $8,000 while a facelift may cost more than $12,000. Many potential cosmetic surgery patients wonder how their health insurance will cover a procedure. Without the correct information, a patient may find themselves facing unexpected costs.
Insurance Coverage for Cosmetic Surgery
Health insurance is coverage that means to help people afford medically-necessary care. This carefully determined definition often poses a predicament for those who want to use their health insurance for cosmetic surgery. A health insurance policy only cover cosmetic surgery under certain, pre-approved circumstances.
- Purely cosmetic procedures usually do not have health insurance coverage. Purely cosmetic procedures are best thought of as those that have very little real medical benefits. They are usually those that only enhance a person’s appearance.
- Medically-necessary cosmetic surgery often does have coverage under health insurance. If cosmetic surgery improves the health or physical well-being of the patient, many insurers consider these procedures medically-necessary. For example, medically necessary cosmetic procedures may include rhinoplasty (commonly called a nose job) to correct a deviated septum. A deviated septum routinely causes breathing difficulties and other issues. Therefore, its correction may lead to improved all-around health and prevent more serious issues. An insurer may likely cover these procedures.
Even though health insurance may cover medically-necessary plastic surgery, it may exempt certain procedures from coverage. Furthermore, physicians may have to submit documentation to prove that a procedure is medically-necessary. This may include written statements, photographs or other chart information.
Preparing for Cosmetic Surgery
As a patient begins to contemplate cosmetic surgery, they often have a lot of thinking to do. Preparing for a cosmetic procedure means contemplating the financial ramifications of the surgery.
If a patient wishes to seek surgery covered by their insurance, they should first check with the insurer. Insurers will often provide information on how they cover cosmetic surgery and inform patients if they need to seek extra documentation for coverage. Patients should then talk to their doctors to determine the medical necessity of a procedure. The physician might help the patient navigate getting coverage for the procedure.
With the proper attention, patients can tap into insurance resources available for cosmetic surgery.
We’ve got you covered. Miller's Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you get a fast, free Downingtown health insurance quote. Call us at (610) 269-4500 for more information.