Many of us pay health insurance thinking that we’re covered for most of the medical expenses that might arise. However, plastic surgery is often not covered, and if it is, there are strict conditions and small print attached.
Health insurance can make a huge difference to the costs involved in having a plastic surgery procedure. However, make sure that the fund you are with, will cover you when the time comes.
What does your insurance policy cover?
Check out the fine print in your health insurance policy. Do they cover the procedure you are considering? You can also cross reference this with making sure they cover the Medicare item number of the procedure you are looking at. If you are not sure, phone them. Ask them directly as to what you are entitled to for a particular procedure.
When looking around for the right health insurer who will cover you for the procedure you want, there are a few things to think about. Keep in mind that most funds will make you wait at least 12 months after becoming a member before they will cover you for a surgical procedure.
Compare Health Insurance Funds, be aware of funds that are listed companies
Compare funds. There are a few websites that will enable you to do this – the main one being www.privatehealth.gov.au. This is the independent, government run website to help you choose which one is best for you. Consider the one that will give you the biggest rebate. Beware of those health insurance funds that are listed companies – they are legally obligated to answer to their shareholders which can sometimes lead to reduced rebate ratios for the policy holders.
Also be cautious of funds that don’t pay until after they see a medical report, which is after the surgery. This means they do not guarantee the rebate on the surgery. There is even one fund that does this, but at the same time advertises cheap surgery in Thailand where they won’t have to pay out as much for the procedure! This may not be in your best interests, and we would suggest you find a fund that will cover you for surgery in Australia by Australian surgeons!
Hunter Plastic Surgery in NSW have got some great advice when it comes to choosing a health fund. Dr Nicholas Moncrieff and his wife Amber are passionate about providing their patients with the best advice possible when it comes to plastic surgery and getting the right outcome for you. If you’d like to read more about insurance funds we suggest you check out this article on their website.
We also suggest you might want to read more about the recent changes to the Medicare Item Numbers and what is and isn’t covered by Medicare (note: what Medicare covers is completely different to what your private health insurance will cover, however also keep in mind that the changes to Medicare Item Numbers might also have affected your level of cover under your health insurance). If you’re not sure, phone your private health insurance company and ask them. In fact, even if you are sure, phone your private health insurance company and get confirmation – even in writing if you can. You need to cross your T’s and dot your I’s.
Here’s a few more articles that might be helpful,
Industry Lobbies Medicare Re: Abdominoplasty
What are the Changes to the Medicare Funding for Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty?
Dr Allan Kalus – Changes to Abdominoplasty Medicare Cover