Laser hair removal is one of the best ways to permanently reduce the growth of unwanted body hair. After just a few short sessions, hair removal patients will notice a significant reduction in the amount of hair on their legs, arms, back and face. However, this quick and efficient treatment does not come cheap, and most insurance companies will not cover it due to the fact that it is a voluntary, cosmetic procedure. But what if you require laser hair removal for health reasons, or suffer from a condition that causes course, uncomfortable hair growth? Will insurance cover laser hair removal for these special medical circumstances?
When it comes to laser hair removal, insurance companies claim that it is a cosmetic procedure, because a person can do without the treatment, and it is not a life-saving procedure. And since most cosmetic treatments are done for aesthetic purposes, insurance will not provide any coverage. But for serious medical problems, insurance companies may change their policies, but it all depends on their assessment of the condition and the necessary treatment methods.
For issues like Folliculitis—where hair follicles become infected, often from Staphylococcus or other bacteria—there is some debate whether or not insurance should cover laser hair removal treatments, mostly because this is not always the best recommended course of treatment. Depending on the type of Folliculitis a patient is suffering from, there are a variety of oral and topical prescriptions, antibiotics or various self-care remedies that can help heal the infection. However, there are some degrees of the condition that are extremely painful, causing inflammation and pus-filled blisters. In extreme cases, the infection can even cause permanent hair loss and scarring. If a dermatologist can make a strong argument for laser hair removal as the proper treatment, and an insurance company finds that the condition qualifies for coverage, then hair removal could be covered by insurance.
The same goes for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormonal disorder that occurs in women causing acne, obesity and excess hair growth. More serious symptoms include difficulty conceiving, diabetes and stroke. For those who are actively managing their PCOS, excessive hair growth is one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with. Physicians may prescribe birth control to maintain proper androgen levels, or suggest temporary hair removal methods. However, most of the time, laser hair removal is the best way to get rid of excessive facial and body hair in PCOS patients. In this case, a doctors recommendation for the treatment as it relates to a medical condition will probably be the determining factor in whether or not insurance will cover laser hair removal.
More often than not, even in medical cases, insurance will not cover laser hair removal completely. But just because insurance won’t cover the full cost of the treatment, does not mean it won’t provide some form of assistance. There are some insurance policies that will offer partial coverage for a cosmetic treatment like laser hair removal. Some might offer price reduction cards, also called medical benefit cards, that still require the patient to pay a high percentage, but it can give them a significant discount.
The best way to know if your laser hair removal will be covered by insurance is to check with your provider. It’s important for the insurance carrier to go over the policy, but you need to read through it carefully to see what they classify as “cosmetic” or “aesthetic” treatments. Also, if they do offer insurance coverage for laser hair removal, make sure you know what exactly they pay for, because some policies will pay for the session, but not the extra fees or post-operative care—if any is necessary.
Since laser hair removal is considered an unnecessary cosmetic treatment, done mainly to improve physical appearance, insurance companies are not likely to cover it. However, there are certain medical conditions and circumstances that require laser hair removal treatment, and insurance could possibly cover all or some of the cost. If your provider assesses your case and deems laser hair removal as a cosmetic procedure, don’t panic. Many hair removal specialists offer patient financing options to help pay for the treatment. This is information you can get from a certified hair removal professional when you set up a personal consultation. Contact us today to locate a specialist in your area and schedule your private consultation today.