Perhaps the most well known surgery that exists in the world is liposuction. It’s been in the media, it’s often the subject of talk shows and right around 400,000 Americans had liposuction surgery just last year.
In years past, liposuction was often viewed as a luxury surgery. Celebrities and affluent people could simply go to a surgeon, schedule the surgery, and after the procedure was complete, they would return home slimmer and more fit.
Today, liposuction is a common surgery that many people can afford. As with any surgery, a common question that arises is if the procedure will be covered by health insurance.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering liposuction, or know someone who is, and you have some questions that need to be answered.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, often times referred to as lipo, is a cosmetic surgery that removes the excess fat deposits on the body that cannot be removed by regular diet and exercise; it’s a body reshaping procedure – a luxury procedure.
Many people wrongly believe that liposuction is used for weight loss and that it can replace regular diet and exercise. However, liposuction is not recommended as a weight loss plan but rather a surgery used to tighten up and remove excessive fat from areas that cannot be reached by conventional diet and exercise.
Is Liposuction Covered by Health Insurance?
Unfortunately, the answer is usually no, the procedure will not be covered. Liposuction is considered to be a cosmetic, elective surgery which often automatically disqualifies you from being able to claim the costs with your health insurance.
The purpose of health insurance is to make necessary medical procedures affordable. Unfortunately, most cosmetic surgeries are considered to be a luxury and not something that a person would generally need in order to improve or maintain overall health. However, this isn’t always the case.
The most common exception where a person could have liposuction surgery and have health insurance bare the weight of the bill is if the surgery was for preventive health measures.
For example, let’s say you have lipomas (non-cancerous fat deposits) that are growing on your body. If your health insurance will cover lipoma removal, a procedure to remove lipomas is liposuction. Usually in this case, your health insurance will cover the costs of your procedure.
Another common way health insurance covers liposuction is for breast reduction surgery. In this situation, liposuction would be required if a doctor determines that without breast reduction surgery, the patient’s health could be at risk.
In short: if you are getting liposuction simply to reshape and tone your body, your liposuction surgery will generally not be covered. If you’re getting liposuction as a preventive health measure, then your procedure may be covered.
Bottom line – review your health insurance policy and even call your agent to determine if liposuction will be covered; you’ll discover that coverage is found on a case by case basis.