Does insurance ever cover laser hair removal?
In your experience with laser hair removal, have you ever had clients whose insurance covered the treatment? I have pretty comprehensive coverage plus a legitimate reason for having the procedure done: I have a unibrow, as it's so attractively called, which has profoundly affected me in a negative way since my teen years. It wouldn't be a cosmetic procedure for vanity. It would change my life and I know my psychologist could supply a statement attesting to the amount of depression and anxiety I've suffered due to the ridicule sent my way because I happen to have unfortunate eyebrows. Do you think it's worth pursuing or do you know for a fact that I'm dreaming if I think my reasons might make a difference to an insurance company's policy?
- Laser hair removal is rarely covered by insurance. Most insurance companies argue that the procedure is aesthetic in nature, as hair removal is not medically necessary.
- Insurance will cover hair removal under some circumstances, such as in cases of gender reassignment surgery. If patients suffer from a medical problem that causes coarse or uncomfortable hair growth, or if hair growth results in bacterial infections, laser hair removal may be considered medically necessary.
- Your doctor might be able to plead your case to your health insurance company, particularly in instances where hair growth is caused by medically necessary medications.
- In cases where your insurance provider refuses to cover laser hair removal, you may want to look into the financing options that are available. Many cosmetic professionals provide various financing options to help manage the cost of procedures.
The consensus is based on 2 doctor replies to this question. For more details, scroll down to read them.
Laser hair removal is one of the most effective methods available to permanently reduce unwanted body hair. It’s a quick, efficient treatment that’s available for most skin and hair tone combinations. However, it’s rarely covered by insurance companies as most patients undergoing laser hair removal do so as an elective cosmetic procedure. Many insurance companies argue it’s strictly an aesthetic procedure because hair removal is rarely, if ever, considered to be medically necessary.
There are some cases, however, where laser hair removal may be covered because of a medical condition. If patients suffer a medical condition that causes coarse or uncomfortable hair growth, or if hair growth results in bacterial infections -- folliculitis for example, where the hair follicles become infected, resulting in painful inflammation and blisters -- then laser hair removal may be the most suitable way of addressing the issue should oral or topical prescriptions have proven to be ineffective.
In this case, a doctor or dermatologist may determine laser hair removal to be the most appropriate treatment, and depending on the extent of a patient’s coverage, their insurance company may pay for the treatment.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely your health insurance will cover the cost of laser hair removal to remove your unibrow. While it is evident from a psychological perspective that laser hair removal could treat your issue and enhance your self-esteem and personal well-being, it’s still not likely to be considered a matter of medical necessity by your insurer.
However, it may be worth asking your doctor or dermatologist to advocate on your behalf and write a letter framing your condition in a way that might encourage your insurance provider to at least provide some form of assistance or partial coverage. Some insurance companies offer price reduction cards, also known as medical benefit cards, that require patients to cover most of the cost but with a significant discount.
In the event that your application for coverage is refused, you should still consider funding laser hair removal out of your own pocket. Many patients with excessive hair have found laser hair removal to be a swift, highly effective and relatively painless method of eradicating their unwanted hair and regaining their self-confidence.
Typically, six to 10 laser treatments are necessary for most people to achieve permanent hair reduction, with treatments spaced approximately 10 weeks apart for optimal results. Hair loss in the treated area is generally noticeable within a week following treatment, and once all the sessions have been completed, an annual maintenance treatment is all that’s required, just to address any stray hairs that might have grown in.
Unsightly facial hair can be a source of embarrassment and discomfort for individuals suffering hair growth in undesirable places. In the case of your monobrow, there’s no question laser hair removal represents the most successful long term hair removal technique. However, most insurance companies would classify this as an aesthetic or cosmetic issue, not a problem requiring medical attention.
In general, medical insurance will not cover the cost of laser hair removal unless it’s to treat a medical condition. Folliculitis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are two examples where laser hair removal could legitimately be considered necessary for the health and well-being of the individual in question.
However, the best way to ascertain whether your insurance carrier will cover the cost of your treatment is to carefully go over your policy and determine how cosmetic -- or aesthetic -- treatments are classified. If you check with your provider they will be able to explain what’s covered and what is not. As you have comprehensive coverage, it’s always possible your health insurance might be prepared to subsidize the cost of your treatment.
Further, if your doctor can provide a letter arguing that laser hair removal is the best method to address your unibrow and crucial for your psychological well-being, it could influence your provider's decision of whether to provide coverage or not. If your application rejected and deemed a cosmetic procedure, it’s definitely worth considering financing the procedure yourself.
Technological advances in laser treatment are providing excellent results for individuals with a variety of skin and hair types. The most appealing feature of laser hair removal is that it’s permanent and provides beautiful results, plus you can enjoy soft, smooth skin forever once your course of treatments has been completed.
Since the area between your eyebrows is so small, it’s unlikely the cost would be excessive. In addition, most laser hair removal specialists offer financing plans to make paying for the treatment a little more manageable. If you set up an appointment with a certified laser hair removal professional you’ll be able to explore your options in more detail. Seeking a board-certified, experienced laser technician will help guarantee you emerge with the best possible outcome.