I'm 17, and my nose was broken when I got hit in the face several times during childhood. It resulted in deviation of septum, fractured nose, and breathing problems. I have Americhoice by United Healthcare Insurance without out of network benefits. Rhinoplasty wouldn't be covered, but what about the Septoplasty? Does anyone know a doctor who could perform both Rhinoplasty and have the Septoplasty covered? In line with this, would it be a good idea to have two surgeons perform Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty (covered) separately, or just one ENT surgeon? Some mentioned it would be affordable.
Insurance Coverage for Septoplasty
Doctor Answers (14)
Insurance for Septorhinoplasty
Many patients want both a functional correction of their nose as well as a cosmetic correction. The functional portions of the case, such as septoplasty, are typically covered by insurance. Each insurance plan is unique, so insurance plan benefits can be determined before the procedure to see what your anticipated coverage would be.
A rhinoplasty is not covered by insurance and the cost is dependent on the surgeon's fee.
Septoplasty covered by Insurance at the time of cosmetic rhinoplasty
Performing medically necessary septoplasty along with cosmetic rhinoplasty is quite common in my practice. I have not had difficulties working with the insurances, and all the pre-authorization is arranged for you by my office.
Prices for rhinoplasty with or without septoplasty will definitely vary with geographic location and with the level of training of your surgeon. There are serious advantages both in terms of cost and post-operative healing to combining procedures into a singe surgery. If you are having trouble breathing or recurrent sinusitis related to a deviated septum, I would STRONGLY recommend that you see a board certified ENT prior to undergoing surgery. You are correct that insurance will cover the cost of septoplasty (you may require turbinate reduction as well- this will have to be determined on examination) and the anesthesia time associated with the septoplasty and turbinate reduction. The cost of the tip rhinoplasty and cosmetic operating room and anesthesia fees are the fees that you will need to pay out-of-pocket, and these fees can vary greatly depending upon the subspecialty training of the surgeon you choose and the facility in which they operate.
In terms of healing, it is easier to have a single surgery to recover from than multiple surgeries.
Technically, if you are thinking about having a rhinoplasty, you should definitely wait to do your septum until you do both procedures at the same time. Properly performed rhinoplasty often requires multiple cartilage grafts to reinforce the new structure for your nose. The easiest place to obtain these cartilage grafts is from your own septal cartilage. If you were to go ahead with a septoplasty, and then decide to do your nose in a few years, your surgeon would lose the ability to use your own septal cartilage for these grafts and would have to seek out other sources for cartilage, such as your ear cartilage. It is definitely best to do both septoplasty and rhinoplasty at the same time.
While cost can vary, in my practice (upper east side of Manhattan), the cost is approximately $4000 surgeon's fee for a primary rhinoplasty, and $2,000 to the operating room and anesthesia, for a total of around $6000 out of pocket. Please bear in mind that this is just an estimate based on the information you provided.
I will end by saying that while cost is a consideration for almost everyone, I counsel my patients that the most important thing in choosing a surgeon, assuming that you are choosing among equally qualified and capable surgeons, is choosing a surgeon who's aesthetic and opinion you trust. Aesthetic surgery is a little bit science and a little bit art. Inevitably, your surgeon will need to make decisions for you while you are asleep that will impact your final result, and you need be comfortable that you and your surgeon are on the same page in terms of the goals of surgery and what you consider to be a beautiful result. I find that pre-operative imaging really helps make sure that me and my patient are indeed on the same page.
Insurance Coverage for Septoplasty
As you suggest, Americhoice will most likely cover the septoplasty but not the rhinoplasty if it is deemed to be for cosmetic purposes. The same surgeon can perform a covered procedure and noncovered procedure at the same time without risking coverage. Consult your plans to ensure that you receive proper documentation from both the surgeon and any supporting physicians.
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Americhoice coverage for septoplasty
Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty and billing Insurance
No Out of Network Benefits
You need to contact your insurance carrier. They will give you the names of "in network" surgeons that will cover your surgery. If your nose was broken while you were under this same insurance, the cosmetic portion might be covered as it was caused by trauma, unless it has to be corrected within a certain time frame. If you have different insurance from when the injury happened, you need to find out if you have a "pre-existing" clause. Again, contact your insurance carrier as they will be able to give you referrals to help you find a surgeon, and tell you what your specific policy does and does not cover.
Nasal surgery and insurance coverage
Health insurance should cover both Septoplasty and rhinoplasty in your case, as the deformity was caused by trauma. Having said that, unfortunately many insurance companies try to get out of paying legitimate claims, and having a surgeon that would also be a good advocate on your behalf with the insurance company would help.
Typically a skilled surgeon should be able to properly execute both rhinoplasty and Septoplasty at the same time. Make sure you interview 2-3 surgeons, find out about their experience with your type of deformity and expected outcome both functionally and aesthetically.
One surgeon - both covered
While every insurance policy is different, most will cover septoplasty without much of a fuss. Some will require advance notification and precertification. Some insurance will also cover FUNCTIONAL rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty simply refers to reshaping of th nose. In some cases, the reshaping must be done to improve the ability to breath through the nose. In other cases, it is purely cosmetic. For functional rhinoplasty surgery, some insurance will provide reimbursement. Again, it is best to get advance notification through a predetermination of benefits. In either case, an ENT or facial plastic surgeon can most certainly perform both procedures in one setting.
Most medical insurance companies cover septoplasty, NOT rhinoplasty
Insurance will only pay for the septoplasty
A good rhinoplasty surgeon, whether they are an ENT or Plastic Surgeon, will be more than capable enough to do both a septoplasty and a cosmetic rhinoplasty.
However, insurance will only pay for the septoplasty portion of the operation.