Summary: Plastic surgery can be incredibly fun to think about: you can think about the ways that your body is transforming, the ways you’ll be able to fit into new clothes, the great ways you’ll feel and so on. But paying for plastic surgery isn’t quite as fun to think about. A lot of people wonder if their insurance will cover their procedure—thought the answer may disappoint them. Still, there are other ways to find savings on your plastic surgery.

will insurance cover my plastic surgery?

The First Question: Will Insurance Cover My Plastic Surgery?

Paying for plastic surgery can be a challenge. First and foremost, most plastic surgery procedures can be expenses, sometimes with price tags running into the tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, most often, those prices are worth it. That’s why most plastic surgeons actively discourage plastic surgery tourism—anything you might save on the cost of your procedure will likely be added to things like after care and reconstructive surgery (okay, maybe “likely” is a strong word—but it’s also a real risk with plastic surgery tourism). At any rate, plastic surgery is usually worth the price you pay for it, but there are some ways you can try to control the costs.

Many patients ask, will insurance cover my plastic surgery? The first step is figuring out ahead of time what, if anything, your health insurance may cover. There are some procedures, such as a breast reduction or a lower body lift, which may be covered by your insurance, depending on your provider. Still, insurance covering aesthetic plastic surgery is relatively rare. It might be slightly (but only slightly) more common for insurance to cover certain aspects of your procedure (anesthesia, for example, or recovery time). But you should still be prepared for to incur a significant cost. And be ready for insurance to deny coverage—that said, it never hurts to know if insurance will cover your plastic surgery.

Talk to Your Plastic Surgeon and Join the Club

The second thing you can do is talk to your plastic surgeon. There are, after all, many ways that surgeons can help you navigate the process of paying for surgery (or, perhaps more likely, someone in the surgeon’s office). After all, they have so much experience dealing with this particular dilemma for patients that they know precisely how some costs can be safely cut or the best way to finance your plastic surgery procedure. Talking to your plastic surgeon is a great way to get clarity on the issue—after all, clear communication is vital between a patient and his or her plastic surgeon in order to foster trust and a good relationship.

Many times, plastic surgeons will run communities of which patients may join as members. These are sometimes elite programs for patients who return again and again, but often there is a discount associated with joining or being a member of this community. This discount will not always be enormous, but for some it may make the difference between being able to afford the surgery and not being able to afford the surgery. That makes it a significant way to make plastic surgery more affordable.

There are other ways you can help bring down the cost of your surgery. For example, many plastic surgeons that are just starting out are in need of reviews. Now, let’s make one thing absolutely clear: it is not ethical for surgeons to offer you money or services in exchange for good reviews. However, by offering to be a “demo” for your surgeon—something he or she can show off on their websites—you may be able to mitigate a significant portion of you overall cost. This, of course, has to be balanced with the experience and credentials of the surgeon in question—in the end it will be up to you.

Take Advantage of the Pricing Options Available

Most plastic surgery offices, whether you’re looking for a Seattle tummy tuck or a Minneapolis rhinoplasty, will offer some kind of financing options. Of course, you as the patient will need to determine whether those financing terms are acceptable and affordable. It’s not always the most fun part of the process, but it’s certainly a necessary step in achieving your transformation. And, in the end, most patients will admit that the results are worth it.

Of course, different procedures come with different costs. And we do live in an era where, if you can’t afford the surgery you’re looking for, you may have other options. For example, instead of a facelift surgery, you may consider a Botox treatment. You will have to weigh the costs versus the longevity of the results, but the point is that you have options. And taking advantage of all of the options available to you can help you get your plastic surgery procedure—or at least your desired results.

So while it’s a good idea to ask, will insurance cover my plastic surgery, it’s also a good idea to pursue all avenues available to you in order to make sure you can get the plastic surgery procedure you want. It just takes a little creative—and economical—thinking.