Will my insurance cover the cost?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Typically, most insurance plans won't cover any procedure that's strictly cosmetic in nature. 'Cosmetic surgery' means reshaping normal structures of the body for reasons of appearance. Examples of cosmetic procedures not generally covered are treatment of spider veins, age spots, and wrinkles; breast augmentation, when not needed for disease or injury; and most liposuction in normal-to-heavy individuals. By contrast, reconstructive surgery is done to improve function or restore a body part damaged by trauma, burns, or disease. Federal law requires insurance companies to cover breast reconstruction after mastectomy (mass-TECK-tuh-mee). Other reconstructive procedures that may be covered include nose operations to correct problems that interfere with breathing, breast reduction when breasts cause back pain or stooped posture, and eyelid surgery when the drooping is so severe it impairs vision. Of course, insurance plans may vary, and the procedures covered may change from time-to-time. There may also be disputes between a doctor and an insurance company as to whether a given surgery is 'medically necessary.' Therefore, if you aren't willing or able to pay for a procedure yourself, it's wise to check with your insurer first to determine what amount, if any, will be covered.
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