Cosmetic Surgery and Medicare
Very few of the cosmetic surgery procedures have Medicare item numbers and without these, the private health funds cannot offer any coverage of hospital or anaesthetic fees.
There are some operations which may have a Medicare item number, provided the Surgeon deems the procedure is medical. These include some Rhinoplasties, Blepharoplasty, Abdominoplasty, Breast Reductions, thigh and arm lifts.
Although the Medicare rebate on these items is a fraction of the Surgeons fee, the benefit to the privately insured patient can be substantial if the fund covers the hospital costs and part of the anaesthetic fee.
It should be emphasized, that although the above mentioned operations may carry a Medicare item, not all cases would be justified in applying this. Should the procedure be deemed cosmetic, rather than medical, there will not be an item number.
When planning any cosmetic surgery, it is important to know all of the details and costs before proceeding. During your first consultation, possible Medicare coverage will be discussed enabling the patient to check with their insurer, to confirm the amounts the fund will cover.