Medicare And Private Health Insurance
Procedures which attract Medicare item numbers may also attract private health insurance rebates with most insurance companies in Australia. Patients should check with their insurance company whether procedures which carry a Medicare item number are automatically covered or not as some insurance companies do not routinely cover procedures even if Medicare item numbers apply.
Significant breast asymmetry is quite common and if the estimated volume difference between the breasts is greater than 10% of the volume of the smaller breast, then a Medicare item number applies. Under these circumstances augmentation of the smaller breast is partly covered by Medicare and private health insurance rebates. This would significant reduce the cost of both unilateral and bilateral breast augmentation in these circumstances.
Tuberous Breast Deformity
The tuberous breast deformity or constricted breasts refer to the condition whereby some or all of the breast on one or both sides has an abnormally reduced dimension relative to the volume of breast tissue present. The severity of the condition varies from mild constriction of the lower pole to circumferential constriction with herniation of breast tissue into an enlarged nipple areolar complex. The condition may be symmetric, but is usually asymmetric and may be bilateral or unilateral. In circumstances where constriction of the breast is present, breast augmentation with or without associated breast lift is partly covered by Medicare and may also be covered by private health insurance rebates. Once again this would significantly reduce the cost of surgery in Australia and may be in fact make it cheaper than surgery overseas. If Medicare and private health insurance rebates apply, then the costs of implants, as well as the cost of hospital accommodation and theatre fees are all fully rebatable. The only ‘out of pocket’ costs that will apply will therefore be those applicable to the surgery itself and the anaesthetic associated with that surgery.
Patients should talk to their GP’s and obtain a GP referral if they feel that have significant breast asymmetry or a constricted breast. Treatment by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in an accredited hospital in Australia can therefore be performed safely and at relatively low cost compared to the same surgery where rebates do not apply.
For more information contact Dr Mark Hanikeri; or 08 9380 0311.