Beauticians are responsible for service errors and unsatisfactory results. They also risk the loss, theft or malfunction of expensive equipment. A carefully considered insurance plan is especially important for beauty professionals.
A good insurance policy must first cover the essentials. Property insurance protects the building, and the salon contents. Covered property can include furnishing, fixtures, inventory, computers, and records. Items can be replaced or repaired.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Comparing Health Insurance for Cosmetic Surgery
- 2. Before Your Cosmetic Procedure
- 3. What to Look For When Looking For Salon Insurance Cover
Comparing Health Insurance for Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery is often sought to improve the appearance of a physical trait, such as a resculpting a misshaped nose, lifting droopy eyelids that come with age, or to increase breast size. When cosmetic procedures — both the surgical and non-surgical kind — are done strictly to improve one’s appearance, Australia’s Medicare coverage does not cover them and your health insurance plan probably does not cover them either.
Reconstructive surgery coverage can be purchased through private health insurance providers, although it is important to compare health plans carefully to determine what restrictions and waiting periods may apply from one provider to the next.
Unlike cosmetic surgery, which is usually done to improve one’s appearance, reconstructive surgery is performed when damage caused by a congenital abnormality, disease, or injury requires one or more surgical treatments to correct. Under certain circumstances, reconstructive surgery becomes a necessary procedure (whereas cosmetic surgery is considered an elective procedure). Some of the most common reproductive surgeries include:
• Correction of a cleft lip or palate
• Breast reduction
• Breast reconstruction
• Facial bone fracture repair
• Skin grafting
• Scar or laceration repair
• Repair after tumor or growth removal
Sometimes a procedure that is typically considered cosmetic, or elective, becomes reconstructive and therefore medically necessary. Drooping eyelids, for instance, can interfere with vision and an eyelid “lift” may be necessary to correct the problem. A rhinoplasty (nose job) is no longer considered a cosmetic procedure when it is necessary to correct a deviated septum or correct another medical problem. Your health insurance policy may or may not cover reconstructive eyelid or nose surgery, which is why it is important to examine your policy carefully before scheduling any procedures to be sure it is covered.
With the exception of surgeries performed for cosmetic purposes, Medicare will cover the out-of-hospital costs for physician and specialist consultation fees, most treatments and procedures that must be performed by a physician, and certain items specifically identified under the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme.
Patients needing reconstructive surgery that falls into the medically necessary categories, who receive a referral from a general practitioner (GP) or specialist, may be eligible for a Medicare rebate on the consultation fee. Your health insurance provider may also offer a rebate in addition to Medicare, depending on the terms of your private insurance plan.
You should be aware of any potential out-of pocket-expenses not covered by your health insurance policy before scheduling any procedures. When comparing health plans, check each provider’s terms for out of pocket expenses in addition to waiting periods and procedures covered.
Depending on your financial situation, you may want to opt for more comprehensive coverage up front and avoid being surprised by unexpected out of pocket expenses if the need for a reconstructive procedure arises.
Of course, some providers or health plans exclude or restrict reconstructive surgery benefits, and your health insurance policy may not cover any type of reconstructive procedure. This is why it is so important to compare private health plans to determine which will cover your surgery if you have a disfigurement due to an accident, illness, or medical condition. Even policies that cover reconstructive surgery won’t necessarily cover all procedures available. Check with your provider to clarify which procedures are covered and which are not.
While some health plans provide full cover on most hospital admissions (with the exception of a co pay or any excess you agreed to when you purchased your policy,) other plans exclude or restrict benefits related to any one of the1600 surgical procedures defined in Medicare’s plastic and reconstructive surgery category. The level of payment provided by your health insurer will depend on the level of coverage you pay for, with lower premiums usually translating to lowered benefit payments. These are the details that should be considered when comparing health policies before you purchase in order to secure the level of coverage that suits your needs.
Keep in mind, reconstructive surgical procedures can become clinically necessary at any life stage. There is no way of knowing what services we may need or when the need might arise. If your health insurance plan includes reconstructive surgery with restrictions, or excludes it altogether and the need for a procedure arises, you will be faced with the choice of upgrading your plan and abiding by the 12 month waiting period required to have the procedure done, or paying out of pocket for the entire cost.
Examine your health insurance plan once a year to be sure any restrictions or exclusions contained within it are still suitable for your health care needs, and the needs of your family. If you decide you would like more comprehensive coverage for reconstructive surgery, compare medical plans to find the best cover for your needs.
Author Liz Ernst writes on health insurance matters in Australia and the U.S.
Private health insurance is a cost Australians should at least consider factoring into their budget. Different funds have products that better suit different groups of people.
Before Your Cosmetic Procedure
Finally taking the next step after all your internet research, you schedule an appointment with a Plastic Surgeon and nervously await the day of your appointment to arrive. In part one of this article, five tips of advice were reviewed and offered to help you get the most out of your consultation and your cosmetic procedure experience. Here are five more smart “do’s and don’ts” that you should consider.
Don’t insist that multiple, complex procedures be done all at once like they do on those “extreme makeover” type of shows. In the real world (i.e. not the TV world) people have jobs, children, social obligations, and multiple responsibilities that must be considered beyond their cosmetic procedure needs. After your procedure, it is highly unlikely that you will be placed in a five-star hotel for the next two months with your every meal and need catered to, and no responsibilities other than appearing on camera. You should be more focused on recoveries that will be simple, straightforward and limited. It is certainly much more realistic (as well as less risky) to limit the amount of surgery you are having. There is nothing wrong with having a reasonably quick, uncomplicated recovery that allows you to get back into the swing of your normal life in a streamlined way.
Do ask your doctor about recovery times and restrictions as they pertain to your particular procedure and home circumstances. If you do not have the ability to organize your affairs – business, personal, or social obligations – so that you can follow your restrictions and precautions properly, you will be compromising the success of your results. It’s that old “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” thing. Knowing from the outset that you won’t be able to really have that full week off, or that you are already envisioning how you might have to short cut the process here and there, or you have decided which of the after-care instructions probably won’t have to apply to you, is a recipe for problems and disappointment. You’d be much better off rescheduling that procedure than going forward under such circumstances.
Don’t assume that you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure that you think you need. Ask if you are! A patient with fatty deposits but poor skin elasticity may not be a good candidate for liposuction. A patient with empty appearing, droopy breasts might be thinking “breast implants” but she might really need a breast lift. Some patients may be disappointed to find out that because of their overall health history it might be unwise and unsafe for them to proceed. Others may happily discover that they are a great candidate for a much less invasive procedure than what they originally thought they needed. Imagine learning that a lesser procedure could get you everything you are looking for but with less down time,less risk and even less cost!
Do be sure to ask what your price quotation includes and does not include. Does the fee quoted include any/all of the surgi-center or anesthesia fees or is it just the surgeon’s fee? What about liposuction garments, bras, or other supplies that might be needed? If an overnight stay is anticipated you should know what those costs involve. Some procedures (e.g. a breast reduction or simple mole removal) will necessitate a pathology specimen analysis – a bill will surely follow that may not be covered by your insurance – what will that run? Do you understand the doctor’s financial policies on any additional needed procedures, unplanned procedures, or “touch-ups”? In some states (such as New Jersey) there is also a so-called “cosmetic procedure tax” – was this included in your quote? Finally, don’t assume that all of your after-care is included (although it should be!).
Don’t be afraid to “ask around”. Salon staff people see and hear about everybody’s work sooner or later. Your local family physician or GP is also likely to have some information about reputation, background, and training of the plastic surgeons in your community. Gynecologists will have firsthand knowledge as to the quality of the results of breast augmentations. Perhaps you know someone who had a procedure or two done? Ask them directly about their experiences and who else they saw in consultation when they were deciding. Social networking sites are a great modern resource for this kind of information, too. The “rating” sites are so-so; the sites will often attract more of those who have something negative to say. Realistically, there is simply no such thing as an experienced surgeon who has been around long enough who is also perfect and has not a single patient who was unhappy in some way. You can even ask your chosen plastic surgeon if he has any existing patients who have already had the procedure that you’re considering and who would be willing to talk with you – many will be glad to share. One day, you might even be able to return that favor to someone else!
What to Look For When Looking For Salon Insurance Cover
A good insurance policy must first cover the essentials. Property insurance protects the building, and the salon contents. Covered property can include furnishing, fixtures, inventory, computers, and records. Items can be replaced or repaired. Coverage can be tailored to include the owner’s itemized inventory of cosmetic equipment, and may include protection against theft. Personal effects may also be reimbursable. Equipment that malfunctions, or damage to the salon’s structure, can interrupt business. The holder may be reimbursed for resulting loss of income. This kind of cover protects the business owner from disasters such as fire or flood.
Protection against legal action must also be included in a salon insurance policy. Public liability cover is essential. If a customer sues the owner for negligence, liability insurance covers the expense. Treatment cover pays for correcting errors of service, such as mistakes during risky hair dye, tint, or bleach procedures. Some eligibility qualifications may apply for treatment cover insurance.
Employers’ liability takes care of legal fees and compensation if the owner causes an employee injury or illness on the job. Coverage for uninsured part-time or temporary workers pays for their treatment errors. Finally, legal expenses can be covered if the holder is accused of discrimination or unfair handling of a workplace dispute.
Many service errors are not the responsibility of the treatment provider. Cosmetic products are sometimes faulty. And other products are known to cause allergies in sensitive individuals. Beauty professionals take a calculated, minimal risk of an undesired result. Salon owners concerned about receiving defective products, or the potential for adverse reactions, might consider product liability insurance.
Having considered the most important types of cover in a salon insurance plan, the owner should be certain that all the salon services he offers are covered under the plan he purchases. Because salon owners have complex insurance needs, it can be a challenge to identify the best plan. Ideally, each type of critical insurance can be consolidated into one ideal package.