Do plastic surgeons accept insurance, and will insurance cover my surgery after weight loss surgery?

I had weight loss surgery and now I have so much lose skin that it causes bad rashes. Would this be covered by insurance? Do plastic surgeons take insurance?

Doctor Answers 9

Massive Weight Loss Surgery Insurance Coverage

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Although many plastic surgeons accept insurance, it's rare for massive weight loss procedures to be covered by insurance. The majority of insurance carriers view these procedures as cosmetic in nature and for this reason are reluctant to provide coverage. Rarely, when patients have functional problems related to hanging skin insurance companies may provide coverage. Examples might include back pain, rashes and infections.

If you're considering massive weight loss surgery, it's important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to guide you through the process.

Will insurance cover my tummy tuck or other procedure after weight loss?

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Many times your insurance will cover these procedures. It really depends on your carrier. We almost always send it in to the insurance, even if the patient is out of our area for pre-approval. If you have functional problems like rashes it helps. If it does not cover, then we have a few different financing options for our patients. I do Skype and facetime consultations also.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Treatment of excess skin

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Treatment of excess skin following weight loss is rarely, if ever, covered by insurance because the insurance companies deem these procedure(s) as not medically indicated and as cosmetic surgery.  

Do plastic surgeons accept insurance, and will insurance cover my surgery after weight loss surgery?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Surgical procedures for aesthetic purposes, to improve appearance, are not covered by insurance. Typically, these as well as complications resulting from such procedures are the responsibility of the patient. Procedures that are meant to correct functional issues and those which cause health-related issues should be covered by your insurance as a medical necessity, with proper examination and documentation. Some insurance plans have exclusion criteria for certain procedures. Also, it is an obligation of the surgeon not to attempt to authorize purely cosmetic procedures through insurance.  Body contouring procedures following massive weight loss are not commonly covered by insurance.  However, discuss your complaints - some plastic surgeons do accept insurance and you should clarify prior. 

Discuss your issues and complaints with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss these as well as to examine and assist you in deciding which procedure(s) will be the best for you. A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages will take place along with the risks and benefits. Insurance companies will vary on coverage and is always reasonable to discuss your issues with your surgeon and primary care. It would behoove you to get as much information as possible and even call your insurance yourself. Certainly, pay in advance prior to your surgical procedure and options such as financing are available if you qualify. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Body lift surgery

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Plastic surgery after significant weight loss is generally a cosmetic surgery.  However, if you are having issues with rashes or pain it could be covered with insurance.  In Ontario, plastic surgeons can submit a request to OHIP to see if they will pay for the surgery.  It may offset several thousand dollars for you.  Not everyone will be approved but your surgeon can try.  I have advocated for my patients successfully many times.  Otherwise body lift surgery costs would be covered by the patient entirely.
Dr Rodger Shortt
Oakville Plastic Surgeon

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Will insurance cover my surgery after massive weight loss?

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Many plastic surgeons do take insurance.  Check with your insurance policy to see if they cover surgery to address rashes after massive weight loss.  The surgery that is sometimes covered by insurance only addresses the excess tissue causing the rashes.  This is called panniculectomy and is NOT a cosmetic procedure.  This is not the same surgery as an abdominoplasty, body lift, thigh lift and/or buttock lift.  These procedures are cosmetic and, thus, are not covered by insurance.  Schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to get a better idea what surgery would be best for you.

Trey Aquadro, M.D.


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It's. It that we don't accept insurance, most insurance companies don't cover this type of surgery as it is cosmetic in nature and not coved by your insurance, check with your policy.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Insurance and plastic surgery

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Some plastic surgeons accept some insurance, and some insurance covers skin surgery needed after weight loss. But not all surgeons accept insurance, and not all insurance policies cover this.

It's something you and your plastic surgeon need to discuss and you need to ask your insurance company. It's your insurance and you have to do some leg work to find out what you have.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

Insurance Coverage

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Thank you for your question. In my experience, a body lift is never covered by insurance. If deemed medically necessary, some insurance companies will cover a panniculectomy on a case by case basis, but at no time an abdominoplasty or lower body lift. This is great question to ask your insurance company regarding your plan’s coverage. You can visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website to find surgeons in your area. Good luck.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

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.