Financing For Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery can be expensive. If your surgery is reconstructive in nature, that is, if the surgery is to repair a congenital defect or a condition arising from a traumatic injury or disease, it will probably be covered under your medical insurance. If the surgery is being done simply to improve your appearance, and not for any medical reason, most medical plans will not cover it.
Most cosmetic surgery is done to improve the appearance of the patient, and not for medical reasons. Anti-aging surgery, rhinoplasty, cheek augmentation and mentoplasty are usually not covered by medical insurance.
The insurer will make the final decision as to whether the surgery is medically necessary. They will review your doctor's report and unless they are an HMO, they may require a consultation with their own doctor. They will review your medical records and make a decision. If they consider the surgery reconstructive, it will be covered, If the surgery is deemed cosmetic, it will not be covered.
The most frequently covered reconstructive procedures are;
rhinoplasty, to correct nasal function
Surgery on the ear to correct a congenital defect or deformity
Breast reduction surgery or surgery to correct asymmetry,
Facial surgery to correct congenital defect
Surgery on the hand to correct carpal tunnel syndrome or other disease or injury related defects
Surgery on the eyelids to correct vision problems.
Anyone considering cosmetic of reconstructive surgery, should contact their medical insurer to determine if the surgery will be covered.
Cosmetic surgery has traditionally been popular with people seeking to improve the balance of their facial features and create a more attractive appearance. As the American population ages, cosmetic procedures like brow lifts and full face lifts have become more and more common. Many celebrities have had anti-aging procedures and this had made these procedures more acceptable to the general population. In some cases, as with actors and actresses, anti-aging procedures may be work related. In some careers, a youthful appearance is required for success. If the surgery is related to a job, it may be deductible under federal income tax laws if it is not covered by medical insurance.
If your surgery is not approved by your medical insurer, you may be able to finance the surgery with a loan. Most cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons can assist you in locating a lender that specializes in financing cosmetic surgery.
The interest rates on cosmetic surgery loans may be higher than those for other loans. Unsecured loans, that is loans that have no collateral backing them, have higher interest rates than secured loans. A secured loan would be an auto loan or a home equity loan where the lender can claim property if you default on the loan. If you are able to provide collateral for the loan, and the lender offers secured as well as unsecured loans, it will be less expensive to take out a secured loan using your collateral. You credit rating will effect your interest rate and may effect your ability to get a loan.
The terms of loans for cosmetic surgery vary with the lender. The amount you may borrow and the length of the loan, as well as the terms of repayment (monthly installments) will be determined by the lender. If you own a home, you may wish to finance your surgery with a home equity loan, as the terms may be more favorable.
There is always a risk when a patient undergoes surgery. If your surgery results in infection or other post surgical complications, coverage for these conditions may or may not be extended by your medical insurer. Complications from surgery are expensive and can leave a patient with a significant financial burden.
Patients who will be financing their surgery should consider all their options before signing a loan. Shop around for favorable interest rates and considered taking out a secured loan with a lender that you know.