One of the biggest concerns for any patient considering cosmetic enhancement is cost. Because these procedures are not medically necessary, they are not covered by insurance. Plastic surgery patients at my Staten Island practice tell me they want to be sure they are getting their money’s worth. Here are some financial tips:
- Do your research and get multiple quotes. When you first begin the process of selecting a doctor, you should familiarize yourself with industry price standards for your procedure. Get quotes from more than one doctor and look around online. When you compare quotes, be sure to take all the factors into consideration. Some doctors may quote only the cost of the procedure, while others may include other costs such as surgical facilities or the anesthesiologist’s fee. Also research any differences in cost based on geographic area. If a practice is located where the cost of doing business is higher, these costs can be passed on to the patient.
- Ask your doctor about negotiating or customizing your procedure based on cost. Cosmetic surgeons are not bound by insurance rules. This means they set their own prices, and some may be willing to bend in certain cases. Don’t be afraid to ask about negotiating. Even if that’s not an option, a good plastic surgeon ultimately wants you to do what’s best for your body and your financial situation and won’t push you into a procedure you can’t afford. Consequently, he or she can help by customizing a surgical plan that fits your budget. This can include combining less expensive procedures for a similar result or spacing a series of procedures out over time.
- Inquire about financing options. Ask whether your doctor has any financing plans available or uses a service such as CareCredit®, which is like a healthcare credit card. There could even be other options. Some doctors may be willing to offer a lower price if you pay more up front.
- Beware of bargain procedures. You may be tempted to choose your doctor based on the lowest available price, but in the long run, saving money could cost you even more if you need another procedure to revise the first or if your safety is compromised. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” can be especially true when it comes to cosmetic surgery.
When you choose to have cosmetic surgery, you’re making the decision to invest in yourself. Take the time to research the costs and talk openly and honestly with your surgeon. Chances are you’ll be able to find the right solution for your appearance and your budget.