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can insurance cover your plastic surgery?

Summary: Finding an insurance carrier who will cover your plastic surgery procedure might be close to impossible. However, there are some procedures that insurance companies will sometimes cover if they have an underlying medical condition. Let’s take a look at a few plastic surgery procedures that might be covered by health insurance.

Plastic Surgery and Health Insurance

Paying for elective procedures has always been a concern for many patients, so finding out if insurance can cover your plastic surgery can often be an important—but disappointing—pursuit. Because they’re elective in nature, cosmetic procedures tend to be paid for out of pocket. And because plastic surgery is still a medical procedure, those costs can be quite high.

It’s not like those costs aren’t justified. After all, there are inherent risks involved with plastic surgery, and paying for the expertise and equipment that keeps you safe is always a good idea. That said, the cost can certainly be a hardship and a barrier to some patients, keeping those who want plastic surgery from getting it.

There are some procedures, however, where your insurance company might be able to provide a bridge of some sorts, covering the bulk (or majority) of the costs. There are only a few procedures where your insurance company is likely to step in. But let’s take a look at some of those procedures are see what they might have in common (and how that could help you).

Breast Reduction and Breast Lift

Most people don’t think of a breast reduction and health insurance in the same sentence. But it’s not uncommon for patients to rely on insurance in order to pay for at least a portion of a breast reduction procedure. Often, a breast lift will be wrapped up with the reduction—included in the cost, as it were—allowing your insurance to offset the cost of both.

The reasons for this are pretty straightforward: having overly large breasts can be a painful condition. It’s somewhat uncommon for it to be portrayed that way. We’re used to narratives in which larger breasts are unquestionably desired. But that’s not always the reality.

Indeed, breasts that are too large for your frame can cause significant issues, including the following:

  • Chronic neck pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Loss of confidence and self esteem

The pain and discomfort that individuals feel will depend, somewhat, on their unique situations. But it’s important to remember that these are chronic issues that won’t be resolved until the stress on the body—in the form of breasts that are too large—is relieved. That’s why health insurance will often help pay for this procedure.

Procedures of the Face

The breasts are not the only place where you might be able to get a little relief thanks to your health insurance. The face is also one of those areas that, commonly, insurance can help you bear the cost. But only for a couple of specific procedures. In most cases, if you want a facelift in order to appear slightly more youthful, health insurance is not going to help very much.

But there are two procedures, specifically, that are often covered:

  • Rhinoplasty: More commonly known as a “nose job,” this procedure changes the shape, structure, or function of the nose. While rhinoplasty is often performed for purely aesthetic purposes, it’s often used as a way to return a broken nose to its original look. (In this way, it’s reconstructive.) Rhinoplasty is also sometimes used to correct a deformity or poor function in the nose. Health insurance will sometimes help cover these costs for patients.
  • Blepharoplasty: As you age, the skin around your eyelids tends to droop, often going so far as to interfere with your vision. This drooping, wrinkled skin can also make you look significantly older than you feel. But because it can hamper your vision, health insurance will often help cover the costs of an eyelid lift procedure. As an end result, you will look more youthful and you’ll probably be able to see better.

Check With Your Insurance Provider

To say that health insurance is complicated is an incredible understatement. To say that insurance is labyrinthine is to be kind. So when it comes to finding out if insurance will chip in for your procedures, you’re going to want to check (and double check) with your insurance company ahead of time.

But a good rule of thumb is this: if you have documented medical issues caused one of the areas of the body described above, it’s possible your health insurance will cover it. It’s okay for you to benefit cosmetically as long as there is an underlying medical issue that will be solved.

Getting more information will be key—and even if insurance won’t cover your procedure, you will likely have financing options. The conversation all starts with your plastic surgeon—and with your insurance company. Can insurance cover your plastic surgery procedure? The answer is an emphatic maybe.

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