The world we live in today places an almost unfair amount of importance on our physical appearance. People spend hours and hours of their time standing in front of the mirror every day, trying to look their best. Sometimes the problems we have to go beyond just bags under our eyes or a little pimple that would go away on its own.
There are instances where a visit to the dermatologist becomes necessary, like acne or any other skin condition. In that case, you might wonder if your health insurance will cover it or not. There are many health insurance companies out there that provide at least some cover for common skin-related issues.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips that will help you save money when you visit a dermatologist.
Contact The Dermatology Office Before Your Visit
There are a few things that you should actively try and find out before your visit to the dermatologist. The first and most important question to ask is “does my insurance plan cover visits to the dermatologist?” Chances are, your insurance plan only covers part of it or just the medically necessary treatments.
Another important thing to find out is whether you’ll have to pay a deductible or not. A deductible is an amount you have to pay for your medical treatments before insurance kicks in, and you have a set amount of it to pay for a certain span of time. Your insurance provider will be able to let you know what deductible you’ll have to pay, and you’ll have to keep in mind that your deductible resets itself after a certain amount of time has passed.
If your health insurance plan does cover your dermatologist visit, you’ll still have to pay part of the expenses as co-pay. This expense will usually be around 20% of the total cost of the treatment, but it can still work itself into a sizable amount.
What Treatments Are Covered by Insurance
Most Americans have health insurance that only covers medically necessary procedures. Your opinion of what constitutes a medically necessary procedure and your health insurance company’s opinion on the subject may vary.
Treatments like nose straightening and lip injections aren’t considered as medically necessary, but if you have any skin conditions like psoriasis, skin cancer, or hives, any treatment you’ll get from a dermatologist will be counted as medically necessary. In that case, it will most likely be covered by your insurance.
Insurance Might Cover Prescriptions
Your insurance company will still cover a wide variety of prescription drugs that your dermatologist might give you, and it might be a good idea to bring a list of medications your insurance covers to your first dermatologist visit so they can determine what treatment would be best for you.
In cases where your insurance doesn’t cover certain drugs you need, you can discuss alternatives with your dermatologist or see if you can afford the treatment out of pocket.
Visit Your Dermatologist Once a Year
Our skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it is often overlooked. People don’t think about dermatologist visits as something that is necessary, but that’s not true.
Many people over the age of 65 have been known to develop skin cancer, and even then not many adults today think to protect their skin from the sun while stepping out. Like with many forms of cancer, early diagnosis is key to having a chance against it.
Experts recommend visiting the dermatologist at least once a year for a thorough skin inspection to make sure you aren’t developing any skin diseases.
You Might Need a Referral
Some types of health insurance require a certain amount of paperwork to be filed before they can pay for your dermatologist visits. Managed health insurance options like the Point of Service Plan or the Health Maintenance Organization plan have this requirement, which means that they’ll only pay for your dermatologist visits if you get a referral for your dermatologist from your primary care provider.
It’s suggested that you only go to a dermatologist that is part of your health insurance network. If you choose a doctor that isn’t part of this network, you’ll most likely have to pay for your treatment yourself. In that case, call the doctor’s office and ask about the cost involved and if there’s anything you can do to save money anyway.
Dermatologists aren’t just a luxury accessible to only those who can afford to spend money on cosmetic treatments. For people suffering from skin conditions like acne, they are a medical necessity. While it is the common impression that a visit to the dermatologist will be expensive, and while it might be seen as irrelevant or unnecessary by many common folks, it’s not always the case.
There are general rules to try and figure out what dermatology procedure is covered by insurance and what isn’t, but the rules for each kind of insurance vary. This means that if you do some research and ask some questions, you might be able to get your insurance to cover more than you thought they could.