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Archive for the ‘Plastic Surgery Financing’ Category

UK’s NHS Covers Cosmetic Surgery Costs for Hundreds of Patients

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on June 24, 2009

j0390105Most cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures are not covered by health insurance in the United States, and fall under the ‘elective procedures’ category where the patient must pay for their surgery out of pocket, or pursue patient financing options.

In Great Britain, things are a little different.

The U.K’s National Health Service (NHS) is a government-owned health program that provides healthcare for UK citizens. This program covers the costs of almost all surgical procedures, and also pays for routine exams, check-ups and health-related emergencies. The NHS now pays for cosmetic surgery for select patients, reportedly spending £5.7 million so far for liposuction, breast reduction and rhinoplasty procedures.

According to Cosmetic Surgery Bible, the NHS has covered the costs of cosmetic surgery for over 2,000 patients. Doctors performing the surgeries explain that these procedures are only paid for when cosmetic surgery is needed for medical reasons. There are still rules – for example, a patient would not qualify for the paid surgery if they were suffering from low self-esteem, or if they had general complaints about their appearance – but those who are suffering from severe cases of body dysmorphic disorder, a situation where the person is experiencing extreme psychological distress and impaired social functioning because of their ‘defect’, cosmetic surgery may be covered by the NHS.

The NHS will continue to pay for certain procedures, and reviews each situation on a case by case basis before granting the funds for treatment. Patients who are denied full payment of their proposed treatment still have the option of paying for the surgery on their own, or applying for a personal loan or financing in order to cover the costs of the procedure.

The United States does not operate a program like the National Health Service of the UK, so all prospective patients must find ways to cover the costs. In some rare cases, health insurance plans will pay for bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

Posted in Cosmetic Procedures, Cosmetic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery Trends, Plastic Surgery Financing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

PriceDoc.com Helps Cosmetic Surgery Patients Cut Costs

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on March 25, 2009

pricedocIf you’ve been thinking about plastic or cosmetic surgery, researching costs and reviewing payment plan options is usually a top priority.

The cost of a procedure can vary significantly depending on the location of the doctor’s office, years that they have been in business and the doctor’s overall track record.  Doctors set their own fees, so there is no ‘bottom line’ price for most procedures.

PriceDoc.com launched recently to offer help for patients looking for the best deal on the market.  RealSelf.com has called it the “Priceline for elective medical services” because it uses a bidding model to determine the price the customer will pay.

PriceDoc.com allows visitors to select from dental, medical, vision, cosmetic, med spa, chiropractic and Allied Health procedures and treatments, select their zipcode, and find out where they can get the lowest price in their area.  IT’s a free online service that matches up prospective patients with qualified healthcare providers.

PriceDoc.com’s business model raises the question of ethics and fair pricing in the realm of cosmetic and plastic surgery.  The company hopes to help people reduce the costs of medical, dental and elective surgery procedures by disclosing pricing from several doctors in the patient’s area.  The service is currently only listing doctors and pricing for Washington state, and it will take time for its sales team to branch out into other states and gather relevant data.

Searching for the best price is an important part of the research process, and sites such as LocateADoc.com list prices for patients from all around the country.  A quick search on this site allows patients to review national averages and the price range of a specific doctor.  Though patients cannot bid on the best price here, they do have the advantage of finding out the doctor’s range, reviewing his or her profile in detail and learning more about the practice.

Posted in Beauty News, Plastic Surgery Financing, Plastic Surgery News | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Beautysure Insurance Covers Costs of Corrective Cosmetic Procedures

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on March 7, 2009

As more people feel a pinch on their wallets during the economic downturn, having a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure has become a low priority for many. Since most elective procedures are not covered by health insurance, individuals typically have to pay for the entire surgery out of pocket. If the procedure does not go well or as planned, the patient is often wholly responsible for paying for health and medical costs for recovery, and for any additional surgery that may be necessary to correct the original procedure.

Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest insurance market, has recently unveiled its Beautysure program that covers the costs of corrective surgery for patients who have suffered from complications after going under the knife. The program has been under development for over nine years, and is an addition to an individual’s health insurance policy. It is currently available in Europe for a price of £4,000 for a year, and patients can purchase extended coverage for a small annual fee.

In the United States, individuals still have very few options for covering the costs of surgery and any medical costs associated with recovery and corrective procedures. There are currently no U.S.-based insurance companies that offer a similar program as Beautysure, but some doctors may offer discounted surgery or other options for returning patients.

To attract more patients during the rough economic climate, many U.S.-based surgeons are offering payment plans and layaway programs to help patients pay for their treatment. Patient financing is another option; financing options designed specifically for elective surgery help patients make monthly payments for large balances, and at better interest rates than standard credit cards or personal loans.

Still, some insurance providers are willing to cover the costs of surgery that will improve the patient’s health, and many work with discount health service providers so that patients can pay less than market price for procedures such as LASIK and cosmetic dental procedures.

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More Patients Turn to Credit Cards to Support Cosmetic Surgery Habit

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 18, 2008

As consumers feel the pinch from the recent economic downturn, plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures are no longer the high priority purchases they once were.

Market analysts point out that many patients are turning to lower-priced elective surgery such as BOTOX injections to get rid of wrinkles instead of paying for a pricey face lift, and trying liposuction alternatives such as VelaShape to get rid of unwanted body fat to maintain their youthful look – and worry less about finances during the tough economic times.

Aesthetic Medicine News, a publication of The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) shares the latest insights in the cosmetic surgery market:

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery said its members are reporting an increase in noninvasive procedures like Botox injections and laser resurfacing, which are cheaper than traditional surgery.

“They’re still willing to do the smaller lunchtime procedures … in the $300 to $500 range,” said Dr. Leonard Kim, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills. “But more patients have asked if they can spread payments out.”

Patients can pay for their procedures with cash, credit card or obtain patient financing through companies such as CareCredit. CareCredit is the healthcare division of GE Money, and works with hundreds of plastic surgery centers, medical spas and cosmetic rejuvenation centers to offer interest-free financing for prospective patients.

Patient financing plans vary by location and facility, but in some cases, patients can cash in with as much as twelve months of interest-free financing.  Standard payment plans offer 3 to 6 months of interest-free purchases using the CareCredit card. Personal credit cards are another option for those who want to get their ‘lunchtime lipo’ fix and reduce the anxiety about immediate payments.

‘Just charge it’ may be the mantra for many cosmetic surgery patients in the oncoming months as the impact of the economic downturn continues to take its toll on consumer spending.

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Plastic for Plastic – More Teens Using Credit Cards for Plastic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on September 12, 2008

As the age bracket for plastic surgery continues to get lower and lower, more teens are jumping into the latest cosmetic and plastic surgery trends – and turning to credit cards to pay for their procedure.

Teenagers and college students are part of a rising target market for plastic surgery, especially since many battle feelings of low self-esteem and are unhappy with their appearance. Teen surgery represents 5 percent of all cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery statistics for 2007, and some plastic surgeons believe that many benefit from the procedure because they can finally feel like they ‘fit in.’

The Leader-Post recently published the story, “Teens Seek Plastic Surgery, Breast Jobs, to Fit In” and an interview with Dr. Frederick Lukash, a New York plastic surgeon who specializes in adolescent plastic surgery revealed the following:

“Sometimes, one hour for an operation and a few days to recover are better than a lifetime of psychoanalysis.”

The Leader-Post further explains that “Lukash, who combines surgery with psychiatry and art therapy, says a nip and tuck may be the kindest cut for teens who unlike adults, are mostly looking to fit in rather than stand out.” (Source: Leader-Post)

Since teenagers are too young to apply for cosmetic surgery financing or obtain a personal loan, credit cards are the next most obvious choice. Instead of worrying about funding a college education, paying rent and managing other financial responsibilities, are teenagers and college students setting themselves up for financial disaster?

Financial advisors seem to think so; many point out that even ‘no interest’ credit cards can incur fees when the introductory period is over, and the APR can shoot up within a few months. Popular cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tucks can cost upward of $5,000. Paying for the procedure with a personal credit card could mean paying a hefty price in interest charges – and carrying a large balance for years to come.

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