When you think about cosmetic surgery, whether it’s elective or medically necessary, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t the word “affordable.” So, if you’re not sure about the best way to go about paying for your cosmetic surgery, here is some information that could help.

Know the difference between optional and necessary surgery

It’s very easy to assume that cosmetic surgery just refers to liposuction and boob jobs. But what many people don’t know is that there are many other types of surgeries and procedures that are also classified as cosmetic and many of them are deemed as medically necessary. Whether these operations are reparative (for example, in the cases of damaging injuries or burns) or preventative (such as a postmastectomy breast reconstruction), many of these operations receive either government funding through Medicare or reimbursement from private health insurance.

Cosmetic procedures that are completely essential and not elective are typically defined as reconstructive plastic surgery. These procedures are usually performed with the purpose of correcting congenital (from birth) or acquired (from an accident or other injury) abnormalities, or repairing trauma-induced damage. These types of surgery are deemed to be medically necessary.

Weigh up your rebate

Before committing to any type of surgery, it’s important to be aware of the costs involved. While yes, it can be expensive (depending on what you’re having done), what many Australians don’t know is that there is a range of procedures that Medicare and your private health insurer may reimburse you for. Have a look at the Medicare website to see if your procedure is listed.

Know what you can claim for

If you have comprehensive hospital cover, any procedure you undergo that is medically necessary should be eligible for reimbursement. This can include (but is not limited to) procedures for:

  • Congenital abnormalities. Conditions that you have had since birth.
  • Burn-related injuries. Including scar treatments, skin grafts and skin tightening.
  • Traumatic injuries. An example of this is facial bone fractures, where you have been in an accident that has caused severe damage.
  • Post-cancer or tumour treatment. Including reconstructive surgery following preventative tissue removal or skin treatments following tumour removal.
  • Other scar repair.

Try to save on other expenses

There are lots of options available to you if you’re already paying for various services on a regular basis and are looking for a discount. Not only can you cut out unnecessary costs (like entertainment subscriptions) but you can save money on what you’re already paying for.

For example, gyms regularly offer discounts and bonuses on memberships and personal training sessions that you may not be aware of. You can also bag a discount on necessary expenses such as life insurance policy. This may sound insignificant, but when utilised over a longer period of time, discounts like these could save you hundreds.

Consider a loan

If you don’t have health insurance but are looking for a way to fund your surgery, there are a few alternative options you can consider. For example, there are personal loans available for cosmetic surgery and using a comparison website can help you find a loan with a low interest rate so that repayments are affordable.

Cosmetic procedures can be necessary for a huge range of reasons. Have a look online, know what you can claim for and consider your options and you shouldn’t have a problem paying for your surgery.

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Bessie Hassan

Bessie Hassan is a Health Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.

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