I sustained a trauma to my nose in 2005. My nose was pushed to the side of my face. The doctor cracked it back into place, but it is still misaligned and has a dent on the side. I had insurance then and still have insurance, but with a different carrier. I was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea in 2009 and sleep with a cpap machine on high pressure. I was wondering if insurance is likely to cover septoplasty and/or rhinoplasty? My current insurance is crap and excludes sleep apnea treatment.
Will Insurance Cover my Septoplasty And/or Rhinoplasty? I've Developed Sleep Apnea.
Doctor Answers 7
The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons offer consultation and treatment options.In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. With cephalometic (skull x-ray) analysis, the doctors can ascertain the level of obstruction. Sometimes a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.
Can insurance cover my septoplasty and rhinoplasty?
Septoplasty and functional rhinoplasty should be covered by your insurance if you had an accident.
The trauma that you had to your nose in 2005 appears to have changed the shape of your nose. If the accident also caused the change in your breathing, then certainly your insurance should participate in payment for the reconstructive surgery.
There is a difference between that and cosmetic surgery, which is improving what Nature gave you. Reconstructive surgery is trying to restore your nose to reasonable form and function after an accident.
The fact you were diagnosed in 2009 with sleep apnea suggests that you have significant nasal blockage. If you are using a CPAP, that is further proof that you have indeed airway obstruction, which is a functional and not a cosmetic issue. Therefore, health insurance benefits should apply.
My advice: before you have the surgery, consult with the insurance agent who sold you the policy. Or if your insurance is covered by your employer, speak with someone in Human Resources, and have them help you explain your condition to the insurance company. Thus, before the surgery you are comfortable about what will, and will not, be paid for.
Your plastic surgeon should be willing to submit to the insurance carrier a letter of explanation about why you need to have the surgery to correct the accident damage. The surgeon will also indicate what procedures are in planning and supply them with the five-digit CPT code number, allowing them to understand the exact nature of the operation.
The bottom line: you must have all the ducks in a row before surgery. That’s the time to have any discussions with the insurance company, but it is always good to have someone else on your side such as your employer or the agent who sold you the policy.
So remember, if all of these problems with:
- Sleep apnea
are a result of the accident, it would seem to me that the policy should provide benefits to you.
Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon
Author, SECRETS OF A BEVERLY HILLS COSMETIC SURGEON
Author, THE ESSENTIAL COSMETIC SURGERY COMPANION
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.