Well, this topic is certainly stirring up some heated discussions and concerns. The speculation surrounding the proposed new Medicare item numbers relating to abdominoplasty or tummy tucks is gathering momentum as surgeons, practitioners and patients wrap their heads around the possible changes to be implemented on 1 November 2015.
As we mentioned in our original article posted last week, it has been said that the rules will be changing with regards to who will be able to claim a rebate for abdominoplasty through Medicare. We want to be clear that although this proposal has not yet been signed off by the Federal Ministers for Health and Finance and is therefore not legislated, it is very likely to happen unless industry protest is heard and considered.
There will be other plastic surgery item number changes as well, including some additional inclusions; it’s just that this particular exclusion relating to tummy tucks will affect a larger number of future patients. Tens of thousands of Australians undergo this procedure each year and that number is only growing.
We, like all of you, look forward to the release of the new set of numbers to be released by the Medical Services Advisory Committee, however as always we are here to give our readers quality and informative information that gives the latest news at the forefront of the industry. Our purpose is to give our readers a chance to make the best possible decision when it comes to their plastic surgery experience.
For any of you in the process of researching or looking to undergo an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, particularly after pregnancy, we still suggest you consider that this information may affect you.
Medicare coverage of any plastic surgery procedure has always revolved around whether it is considered essential for quality of life, i.e. reconstructive versus purely aesthetic (or cosmetic). It has always been difficult to claim for purely appearance-orientated surgeries. Private Health Insurance is not really any more comprehensive and tends to only cover what Medicare covered. For more information on Private Health Insurance and plastic surgery read our article here.
If you would like more information on what Plastic Surgery procedures are currently covered by Medicare as at 27 August 2015 you can see the list we have compiled.
As we always recommend here at the Hub, if you are booked in, or are considering booking for any plastic surgery procedure and want to know what you are covered for, speak to your Plastic Surgeon. We always suggest you have at least two consultations, just to make sure you choose the right surgeon for you. If you would like to check out any of our contributing surgeons, all Fellows of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons with proven qualifications, experience and quality reviews, click here and check out the ones with the orange banner across their photo!