Are Body Lifts Covered By Insurance?

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS

Article by
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Are Body Lifts Covered By Insurance?

Many of my patients inquire about funding options for their body lift and ask if medical insurance will cover the procedure. Insurance coverage for plastic reconstructive surgery after massive weight loss depends on several factors. Insurance approvals will depend on your specific insurance policy.  Some policies restrict or exclude reconstructive plastic surgery after weight loss surgery.  Usually there is no way around these policies unless you change your insurance or policy.

Most insurance companies require that certain criteria be met for approval of coverage. 

For insurance approval of a 360 body lift, many insurance companies require documentation of complications, such as rashes or low back pain resulting from the excess skin. Many times they require documentation of these problems from your treating physician. Receipts of cream or ointment are helpful. Also, you may want to take pictures of your rashes when they occur. In addition, insurance companies usually require clinical pictures of your abdomen, hips and buttocks to show the sagging skin. Sometimes excess abdominal skin and fat can cause lower back pain. If there is documentation by a Neurosurgeon or Orthopedic Spine Surgeon that removing excess weight from the abdomen, hips, and buttocks may help lessen lower back pain, the body lift may get approved.

There are times where insurance companies approve part of the body lift. They may approve only the abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. If this is the case, then you and your plastic surgeon need to discuss your priorities. Often, I will perform the abdominoplasty under insurance and the back part of the body (posterior body lift) as a fee for service (cash). In most circumstances, I feel that it is unwise to perform the abdominoplasty one week only to return in one to two weeks to have the back half of the body lift performed. Performing both procedures together lessens the total time under anesthesia and results in a shorter recovery time and produces a better outcome.

I have performed hundreds of body lifts. Most of the body lifts were partly or completely covered by insurance. My office staff will partner with you to get approval from your insurance company for the body lift and help you on your journey to the body you've always wanted.

Dr. Timothy Katzen