Sailing in Santa Barbara with grandkids
This turned out to be a major week with grandkids. We began the week with grandkids Leo an Isla in Santa Barbara. We had not seen them for a few months and in this brief period, it is amazing how they had grown, particularly little Isla who was now beginning to speak and ran everywhere instead of crawling! Enjoying the grandkids and watching them grow reinforces how precious life is and how quickly time passes. And of course, we equally enjoy time with their parents and seeing them succeed with their parenting duties and careers. During the week, we received word that Dr. Ekstrom’s son Michael and his wife, Chrissy, had delivered little Zoe Lucille in Boston. And we enjoyed spending some time with all three over the weekend. God, life is good!
Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – Will Insurance Cover This? by Dr. Juris Bunkis
We are frequently asked if insurance can be used to pay for a variety of plastic surgery procedures. In general, the answer is “very rarely” – these exceptions will include upper eyelid surgery to treat visual impairment, nasal surgery to correct an obvious post traumatic deformity with airway obstruction, breast reductions requiring resection of more than 500 grams of tissue per side, and certain hernia repairs. No matter how severe your lower eyelid bags might be, insurance will not pay for their removal. No matter how droopy your breasts might be, insurance will not pay for a breast lift without excision of a kilogram of tissue.
Whether you did so with a diet and exercise program or following bariatric surgery, no matter how much weight you have lost and how much lose skin you have hanging and interfering with your everyday activities, insurance will not pay to remove your skin excess. With eyelid surgery, for example, ooccasionally, in cases demonstrating severe “hooding” due to excess upper eyelid skin, which causes visual impairment, a small portion of the fee may be covered by your insurance carrier. In some instances, it may be possible to verify the amount covered by your insurance carrier in advance; the office staff can assist you in making this determination, but cannot guarantee a level of payment. The office staff will provide you with the necessary information to submit to your insurance carrier. Your insurance company may cover a part of the fee if the operation is designed to correct a deformity caused visual field obstruction.
In such situations, we will provide you with the diagnosis and procedure codes which you can submit to your insurance carrier. Payment of all fees, however, is the patient’s responsibility; all fees are due prior to surgery and the proceeds of the insurance check will go directly to you – recovery of any insurance benefits is between you and your insurance company. Insurance companies never pay for the entire fee and never pay for eyelid, nasal or breast operations which are designed to improve your appearance. Dr. Compoginis and Dr. Bunkis are not Medicare providers and reimbursement from Medicare cannot be expected.
While everyone would like cosmetic and age related changes requiring surgical intervention to be part of their insurance coverage (and it is in some countries), and despite paying in premiums for a long time, our insurance coverage is not yet there and cosmetic improvement is still considered an out-of- pocket expense.
75 year old male, before and after a quad blepharoplasty. Insurance may pay a small portion of the upper eyelid procedure, but not for correction of the
severe lower eyelid bags (actual patient of Dr. Bunkis).
If you want to see if you can have any part of your body improved, contact us for a consultation:
For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com
Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit www.salisburyps.com
You can write to
Dr. Compoginis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Bunkis at email@example.com
or Dr. Ekstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org