Does my insurance cover cosmetic surgery? Paying for cosmetic surgical procedures is not easy. The first question that many patients have after they begin to consider plastic surgery is in regards to insurance. Premiums on insurance are high enough already and paying for another procedure often does not fit into people’s budget.

Will Insurance Pay for Your Plastic Surgery?

The short answer is simply no. There are exceptions to this rule but, in general, most insurance policies will not pay for a cosmetic procedure. In order to get an exception, you would have to prove that you needed the surgery for reconstructive purposes. Also, patients with breast cancer sometimes require mastectomies. Breast reconstruction after this procedure is usually covered in most insurance plans. Other exceptions include breast reductions when the patient can prove that the weight of her breasts causes significant physical pain.

The line between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery can get blurry sometimes. If you are repairing a cleft palate, you can usually count on coverage because that is considered reconstructive. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is usually considered cosmetic and not covered. However, if a hooded eyelid is interfering with your vision, the procedure might qualify for coverage as a reconstructive operation.

Sometimes cosmetic surgery can qualify for partial coverage. If you have your deviated septum corrected during rhinoplasty, then that part of the procedure would be covered. A deviated septum interferes with proper breathing. Cosmetic changes to the exterior of the nose during the same procedure would not be covered.

How to Pay for Your Cosmetic Surgical Procedures

Since it is most likely that you will not get your insurance to pay for your plastic surgery in full or even in part, you should start thinking about how to handle this situation financially. The first thing to do is request an itemized list of all the costs involved with the procedure from your doctor. Get this ahead of time and verify to the best of your ability that the cost will be restricted to what you see on the list. Then consider the following options.

  • Pay with Credit

Many procedures only cost a few thousand dollars out of pocket. You may have room on a credit card for this expense or you may even be able to get a new one and dedicate it just to this expense. That makes it easy to commit to paying a certain amount every month for your cosmetic surgery. However, when choosing this option, be sure that you are able to make the payments as necessary and that your interest is not too high.

  • Payment Plans

Ask your doctor if his or her office can finance your operation. You may have to make a significant down payment. Many medical professionals are offering this option now because they recognize that insurance costs are high, and even good insurance plans leave the patient paying a lot of money. However, you should be aware that this is not the norm among plastic surgeons because the operations are expensive.

  • A Combination of Credit and Direct Payment

Pay what you can in cash and then pay the remainder with a credit card.

  • Start Saving

This is the old-fashioned way of doing things, and many people think it is the best. If your operation is truly cosmetic, but you really want it, make the sacrifices necessary to save the money. Create a separate savings account at the bank to make it easier to calculate.

  • Seek Donations

Maybe your friends and family would be willing to help you fund the operations. Ask them for some financial help and offer to repay, if necessary. They may pay for the whole thing or just for the part that you cannot cover.

  • Seek a Personal Loan

If you have good credit, then a personal loan from the bank might cost you less in interest than using a credit card. If that is the case, it should not be difficult to get a loan for a few thousand dollars that could either cover the whole cost or just the part that you cannot pay on your own.

Whatever method you choose to fund your cosmetic surgical procedures, be sure that you have done your research. Being stuck with large medical bills after a procedure can be difficult and stressful. Knowing your options and being prepared can be of great relief in the long run.

Dr. Elizabeth Harris is retiring, she will no longer be doing surgeries, but she will be available for existing patients until January 31st, 2023.DIRECTIONS