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Even though we often associate beauty with youth, a recent Gallup survey indicates that we may have it backwards. According to Gallup, 66% of Americans aged 65 and older agreed that they always feel good about their physical appearance. But when it came to younger adults, only 61% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 could say the same thing (1).
Today, when people are not satisfied with their physical appearance or the signs of aging, they often have the technology and resources available to make a change. Over the past decade, the number of cosmetic surgeries performed on women increased by over 538%. Among men, that number increased by 325%. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, men and women spent a combined $13.5 billion on plastic surgery in 2015 (2). Where is this money coming from?
Insurance is intended to cover the health care expenses of essential medical procedures, but health insurance policies can vary in terms of what they choose to cover. Nonetheless, most insurance providers adhere to a set of guidelines and definitions when deciding which procedures are considered necessary and which are considered elective. Typically, cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery are elective, but there are exceptions.
The same thing goes for Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance. While it may not seem like a large audience, the Gallup poll shows that there are those seniors who do not feel good about their appearance. There are also those seniors who need reconstructive surgery as a result of an accident or deformity. This makes it important to know what kind of procedures Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance will cover.
Health insurance companies and Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are more likely to cover reconstructive procedures than cosmetic ones. In other words, they will determine if the surgery is essential to bodily function or quality of life.
The American Medical Association’s (AMA) definition of reconstructive surgery is “surgery performed on abnormal structures caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors, or disease.”
The AMA defines cosmetic surgery as “the reshaping of normal structures on the body to improve the self-esteem or appearance of a patient.”
Most insurance providers do not cover the health care expenses associated with cosmetic surgery because, by its very nature, this type of procedure is optional and is not necessary for normal bodily function.
Examples of cosmetic procedures that are not routinely covered include liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgeries, or facelifts.
Some procedures that are typically performed for cosmetic purposes may be covered if the individual’s health is affected by a particular issue. Examples include:
”Nose job” – Some people get plastic surgery to change the shape of their nose simply because they don’t like the way it looks. Others alter their nose because the natural shape makes it hard to breathe. In this case, the surgery becomes necessary rather than cosmetic and may be covered by insurance.
Breast surgery – If a woman’s breasts are causing her pain or discomfort because of their size, her insurance company may consider covering the health care expenses of a reduction surgery.
Abdominal surgery – Though liposuction and tummy tucks are not usually covered by insurance, they may be considered if the issue is causing certain health problems like sores, rashes, or back pain.
Before any kind of surgery, you should always check with your health insurance company to make sure your health care expenses will be covered. Contact your insurance provider directly and get the details of your coverage in writing so that there are no surprises when your bill arrives.
Short term health insurance plans continue to grow in popularity, especially among millennials. But if you haven't heard much about short term insurance, you're in good company. You may believe that you have limited options when it comes to your coverage, but probably have more choices than you think.
For many of us, short term health insurance policies are a great option to get the coverage we need during a transitional time period. Here are just a few of the advantages that short term health insurance policies can provide.
They're less expensive
The truth is that short term policies can cost half the amount of traditional health insurance plans. According to the eHealth price index, the average premium for short term health coverage in 2014 was around $110. But the average premium for traditional medical plans during 2015's open enrollment period was around $286. For many people, this can make a huge difference -- especially if you don't find that you take advantage of some of the types of coverage that traditional insurance provides.
They're better for gaps
If you're between jobs, missed the open enrollment period, going through a divorce, or are waiting for Medicare to kick in, a short term health insurance policy might be exactly what you need. A total of 10,000 Americans enroll in Medicare for the first time every day, but many retirees find themselves without coverage because they haven't yet hit that magical 65 age marker. If you're waiting for the insurance from your new job to take effect or need to wait a few months until you can enroll in a long term policy, your health care expenses can be reduced with a short term policy.
You can apply any time
Unlike Obamacare or job-based insurance plans, you can enroll in a short term plan at any time of the year. What's more, your policy will take effect immediately, so you won't be stuck in a waiting game. Obamacare has a host of regulations about when you can enroll. If you missed the enrollment period, you aren't allowed to enroll unless you have a major life event like a marriage or a move. Fortunately, you can apply for immediate short term coverage to take effect until the next enrollment period rolls around.
If you want to know more about your options for health insurance policies, please contact us today. We'll help you decide on the plan that's best for you and your family.
Similar to other types of insurance, such as life insurance or health insurance, there are many different Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. While it is often talked about as a single entity, Medicare Supplement Insurance actually consists of ten different plans. The differences can be insignificant for some, but there are also some larger differences that should be considered when deciding what policy is best for you.
Here are some discrepancies between different policies:
For seniors looking to cover themselves while traveling, Medicare Supplement Insurance is a great choice, but not all policies include the foreign travel exchanges. This is a major reason for many seniors deciding to get supplement insurance, so don’t overlook the fine details and assume all plans offer the travel exchange.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Care
Certain conditions must be met for SNF care to be covered, but if it is, some Medicare Supplement Insurance policies can help cover prolonged stays with coinsurance. If SNF care is a major factor in getting supplemental coverage, be sure to look at each policy carefully to make sure it is included in the policy you choose.
When it comes to deductibles, the different Medicare Supplement plans vary in what they cover. Some plans cover Part A deductibles, but don’t cover Part B deductibles or excess charges, while others only cover a portion of some and not others. As far as discrepancies go, this is the area where there are the most differences, which makes it very important to understand what you are looking for in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan before you buy one.
Getting a supplemental insurance plan can be a great source of additional coverage for seniors. Combined with Original Medicare, it provides a wide-reaching net to make sure there are no surprise charges for your health care. Being covered for something you don’t need or not being covered for something you do need is a real concern though.
Choosing the correct Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is a big decision and one you shouldn’t make without some research. To find out which plan could benefit you, give us a call at Bankers Fidelity. Our team of experts can help you choose the right plan for you to make sure you are covered when you need it.
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Understanding Medicare Supplement
Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. The Medicare Supplement products issued by the Company are insurance policies. Policy form series B 21092 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company®, Atlanta, GA; policy form series B 21492 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Assurance CompanyTM, Atlanta, GA. Limitations and exclusions apply; actual policy provisions control. Rates subject to change on a class basis. Individually underwritten; application to determine eligibility required.
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