Americans have a nose for looking good, but they don’t always want to foot the bill. Cost took on a beauty of its own last year when consumers spent some $11 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. More than any other facial procedure, Americans led with their nose. Rhinoplasty, according to an American Academy of Facial and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery survey, was the most popular surgical procedure for both men and women under 35.
In fact, rhinoplasty each year attracts some 500,000 patients determined to enhance the appearance of their nose to seek consultation with a plastic surgeon. After all, your nose is probably the most noticeable feature and it has a great impact on the overall symmetry of the face. Still, no one wants to pay through the nose to enhance features and restore facial harmony. That’s why it’s important to know ahead of time what a health insurer will and will not pay for.
Line Drawn for Insurance Assistance for Rhinoplasty
There is a fuzzy line between the desire for improved physical appearance and medical need. Even though few people expect to have their health plans cover their costs for cheek implants or facelifts, some cosmetic surgeries cannot only benefit your appearance but legitimately warrant medical coverage.
Of course, the bottom line when it comes to an insurer’s decision to pay for a procedure is typically determined by whether or not the surgery is considered medically necessary, experts say. If a procedure is necessary to repair or preserve the healthy functioning of the body, it’s likely to be medically necessary. On the other hand, if the procedure is typically considered standard practice for any given diagnosis, that may also meet the criterion for medical necessity. Exactly where that line is drawn depends on the patient and circumstances, not the procedure itself.
You’re Covered for Your Rhinoplasty Procedure
Insurers are not likely to have much sympathy for a middle-aged man interested in finally addressing that weak chin with a chin implant. However, these same health insurance providers may be more willing to turn an ear toward a patient requesting a nose job to repair a deviated septum or eyelid surgery to lift drooping eyelids that impair vision.
Consumers should know they have a variety of legal protections that guarantee access to certain cosmetic procedures. While rhinoplasty can improve your overall dissatisfaction with the look of your nose – too long or big, crooked or twisted, thick tipped – breathing concerns and injuries can satisfy insurance requirements and guarantee coverage for reconstructive surgery. Keep in mind, however, that if you choose to make cosmetic changes at the same time as your functional rhinoplasty, insurers typically only cover the portion of the surgery related to the functional changes. This means that while some of the cost may be covered the patient will still have to pay some out of pocket.
There is no reason to get your nose bent out of shape about cost. Rhinoplasty – sometimes referred to as a “nose job” – can correct impaired breathing caused by structural abnormalities in the nasal passage and, and the same time, enhance your facial harmony and improve self-confidence and self-esteem.
Make Sure to Know Your Insurance Benefits Before Rhinoplasty
It is important for patients to know their insurance benefits and deductibles. Sometimes after all of the copays, deductibles for operating room, anesthesia costs and surgery combined with any supplemental cosmetic fees the total can equal more than one out of pocket fee for everything. At Palm Beach Face, we have found this is a difficult concept for patients to grasp and therefore want to stress the importance of understanding just what your insurance covers.
Rhinoplasty can improve the look of most any nose. However, it is important to understand that the anatomy of the nose is complex. The goal of any procedure is to make the nose look attractive and fit your particular facial structure. A reshaped nose may not be for everyone. Open communications with a board certified plastic surgeon is imperative for realistic expectations, both physically and emotionally.
To learn more about pre- and post-operative preparations before cosmetic surgery, including insurance coverage, contact West Palm Beach facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael L. Schwartz, M.D. F.A.C.S. for a consultation or visit our rhinoplasty procedure page.