Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects drooping eyelids. It may be done for aesthetic, functional, or reconstructive purposes. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that insurance companies will only cover surgery for reconstructive or functional issues, such as ptosis (due to muscle weakness or nerve damage), blepharochalasis (eyelid swelling), dermatochalasis (excess skin), herniated orbital fat (excess fat), floppy eyelid syndrome, and visual field obstruction.
- Things You Must Have Insurance reimbursement codes Record of your visual impairment Insurance coverage for blepharoplasty costs Schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
- These physicians can assess your candidacy for blepharoplasty and recommend you to a qualified surgeon.
- Document the surgical need.
Your physician must certify that blepharoplasty is medically essential by verifying one of the following: • Blepharochalasis • Inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the white portion of the eye) • Dermatochalasis • Edema (swelling) • Ptosis of the eyelids and/or eyebrows • Hypertrophy of the orbicularis oculi (muscles that work the eyelids) • Keratitis (cornea inflammation) • Lagophthalmos (poor eyelid closure) • Malar festoons (bags) • Orbital fat protrusion • Visual field abnormalities See a surgeon.
He must take images to document the problem that requires rectification. Patients would be required to sign a release form when an insurance company requests to examine the photographs. Get all pre-operative diagnostic tests that your doctors recommend. • Bleeding and clotting investigations • Cardiac examination • CBC / SMA-7 (a blood metabolic panel) • Schirmer’s test (dry eye test) Sign a release form everytime you visit the doctor or undergo any testing.
Then, your medical records can be sent to other physicians and your insurance company. Ensure that, when invoicing your insurance company, your doctor utilizes the right diagnostic codes to distinguish between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. In addition to utilizing these codes, your surgeon must provide supporting evidence for the diagnosis.
Is eyelid surgery covered?
Does Insurance Cover Blepharoplasty and Other Eyelid Operations? – Dr. Vidor One of the most often queries I receive from patients is, “Does insurance cover?” or “Will my insurance pay a blepharoplasty?” This is an excellent query. The majority of insurance companies have strict requirements for funding eyelid surgery.
This article will focus on the insurance coverage requirements for blepharoplasty and/or. There may be small changes across insurance providers, however the majority of insurance firms base their criteria on Medicare regulations. In general, insurance companies will pay for blepharoplasty or ptosis correction if the eyelids produce a “visually substantial” restriction of the upper visual field that “affects everyday activities.” In other words, blepharoplasty or ptosis correction is considered medically required and may be reimbursed by insurance if your upper eyelids obstruct your vision to the point that it adversely affects your daily life.
How do insurance companies assess if blepharoplasty or upper eyelid surgery is “visually important” and hence covered? They require the following three pieces of information: 1) Medical notes. These notes must explicitly capture the lid position, a reduced vision field, and the patient’s complaint that the upper lids are interfering with particular activities (driving, reading, etc).
Standard oculoplastic measuring procedures should be used to determine if the lid or superfluous skin is less than 2 millimeters from the pupil (also called an MDR1 less than 2mm).2) Ophthalmic external photography. Essentially, they are photographs with a high resolution of the eyelids and eyeballs.
To meet the criterion, the eyelids or additional eyelid skin must be plainly seen to fall within less than 2 millimeters of the pupil’s center. Photos of the front and sides are requested.3) Visual Fields. A visual field examination is a noninvasive method for assessing peripheral vision.
- This test is often administered in an ophthalmologist’s clinic.
- Both with the eyelids in their normal position and with them held up, the visual field is evaluated (usually with tape).
- The difference between the taped and untapped visual area affects whether or not upper eyelid surgery is covered by insurance.
Depending on the insurance provider, the vision field must improve by a given percentage or a certain number of degrees. Occasionally, insurance companies will accept additional reasons to fund upper eyelid surgery. In addition to thyroid eye illness, children born with ptosis (congenital ptosis) and persistent dermatitis caused by skin rubbing on the eyelashes are some of these indicators.
Once an oculoplastic surgeon has gathered all pertinent information, they will analyze it to decide if upper eyelid surgery is medically essential. If yes, send all notes and tests to the insurance company. The insurer will then either “pre-authorize” the claim or refuse it. A pre-authorization indicates that the insurance company agrees that blepharoplasty or ptosis correction is medically essential and will fund the procedure.
Pre-authorizations are extremely reassuring, but they are not a guarantee of coverage. On occasion, insurance companies will do a second assessment of a case after surgery has been conducted. Rarely, the insurance company may decline the first pre-authorization and deem the procedure aesthetic.
If this occurs, an appeal can be filed; however, if the claim is refused a second time, payment is often the patient’s obligation. Medicare operates somewhat differently. Medicare does not authorize anything in advance (any procedure- not just eyelid surgery). Medicare does, however, have well stated criteria that the vast majority of oculoplastic surgeons are intimately familiar with.
On the basis of the examination and tests, it is possible to decide if Medicare normally covers eyelid surgery. The majority of oculoplastic surgeons are right in their coverage assessment; nevertheless, as Medicare does not pre-authorize surgery, the patient must typically complete and sign a form known as a “ABN.” Typically, the ABN specifies that despite the surgeon’s belief that Medicare would reimburse the blepharoplasty or ptosis correction, the patient is liable for payment if the claim is refused.
- Again, the majority of oculoplastic surgeons will be able to determine if Medicare or an insurance provider would pay blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery.
- Hopefully, the method and criteria for insurance reimbursement of blepharoplasty or ptosis correction have been clarified.
- Please contact us at (949) 999-8717 if you have any questions, or if you have any other inquiries.
Does Insurance Cover Blepharoplasty and Other Eyelid Operations? – Dr. Vidor
What is functional eyelid surgery?
The purpose of blepharoplasty is to remove or rearrange extra skin and fat from the eyelids. It is both a cosmetic and a functional surgical operation.
In the event that it is necessary, a canthopexy (i.e., the fixation of the lower lid ligamentous components with sutures) can be performed to provide additional support for the lid on the orbital skeleton. Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery • 05 Jun 2018
What are the two blepharoplasty types?
What Are Cosmetic Eyelid Surgeries? – The most frequent cosmetic eyelid surgery is blepharoplasty. This treatment is applicable to both the upper and lower eyelids. Lower blepharoplasty can reduce the under-eye bags that contribute to a continuously exhausted appearance.
- The operation can remove excess skin, sagging tissue, and fat from the region below the eyes.
- While lack of sleep or allergies may be blamed for swollen eyes, the actual cause may be lower eyelid fat prolapse.
- These fragile structures are encased in a delicate mass of tissue that is protected by muscle and fat.
This fat might sag, making you appear fatigued and older than you actually are. Lower blepharoplasty can sculpt or eliminate fat around the eyes while tightening the skin. This results in a look that is brighter, more rested, and more young. Upper blepharoplasty can remove excess skin and fat from the area above the eye.