If you were to ask certain celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz, they’d likely say their nose jobs were medically necessary. The truth is a bit more complicated. Rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as a “nose job,” can be performed to correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects of the nose (such as a deviated septum), but it also—and often—includes aesthetic tweaks to enhance facial harmony and the proportions of the nose. Insurance covers the portion of the surgery that can be shown to be medically necessary. That’s good news when you consider that the average surgeon charges $5,046 for a rhinoplasty. What’s not so good news is that Dr. Johnson says that typically, “once we’ve finished the structural work, we mark the time on the operative record,” and after that, it’s on the patient’s tab. There may be savings by combining the structural with the aesthetic, as compared with doing two separate surgeries, however. For example, by combining the surgeries, the patient may be able to do only one set of pre-operative evaluations (such as blood work). Surgery or no surgery, these 13 health insurance tricks can save you thousands.
No one wants to earn the nickname “Dumbo.” But the sad truth is that your ears continue grow throughout your lifetime. Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, can improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ear. It can also correct a defect in the ear structure that is present at birth but became apparent only later or an ear misshapen by accident or injury. According to the ASPS, correction of even minor deformities can have profound beneﬁts for appearance and self-esteem. Both adults and children can benefit from otoplasty, but if you make it to adulthood without it, then any changes you might want to make “will probably be on your dime,” Dr. Johnson says. Otoplasty in adults is covered by insurance, however, when it interferes with hearing. When it isn’t covered, the average cost is $3,154. This type of surgery isn’t as popular as the most in-demand cosmetic treatments around the country.
Aging, sun exposure, and genetics can all contribute to wrinkles, puffiness, and sagging of the skin around the eyes, which can cause a woman to look tired or older than she is. The surgical remedy is blepharoplasty, commonly known as an eyelid lift. Blepharoplasty can be done on the upper lids, the lower lids, or both. Incisions are made in the skin crease of the upper lids and/or right below the lower eyelashes, and excess fat and skin are removed, giving the eyes a smoother and firmer appearance. But does insurance cover plastic surgery for the eyelids, which can cost an average of $3,022? Plastic surgeon Deborah J. Johnson, MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), says it actually will in two situations. The first is when extra skin weighs down the eyelid, obstructing the patient’s vision. The second is when the muscles of the upper lid become stretched out over time, leaving the patient with a sleep-eyed look that also impairs vision. Patients seeking coverage may be required to present documentation from an eye doctor. You don’t need to go under the knife since this is how dermatologists and plastic surgeons look younger without an eyelid lift.