Does Health Insurance Cover Dermatology?

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Dermatology covers a wide ground of treatments, but the short answer is, yes, a typical health insurance plan would cover the main dermatology treatments.

The long answer to if health insurance does cover dermatology would differentiate based on the insurance plan.

As a rule of thumb, most health insurance plans cover dermatology treatments that are considered to critically need a doctor’s visit. These treatments are mostly referred to as medical dermatology treatments. Some of the common examples of this would be allergies, acne, skin cancer, and more.

If you want to understand which treatments are covered under a health insurance plan, it is important for you to first understand the spectrum of dermatology and the two main branches: medical and cosmetic dermatology.

What Is Dermatology?

Dermatology refers to the branch of medical sciences that cover skin problems and their respective treatments. Basically, any type of issues relating to the skin such as rashes, acne, sunburn is covered in dermatology.

A doctor who is specialized in dermatology treatments is known as a dermatologist. A patient with symptoms would go to a dermatologist to get diagnosed with a skin disease. This will be followed by the dermatologist treating their skin issue with medications, procedures, surgeries, etc.

Medical vs. Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments

The wide spectrum of dermatology can be divided into two branches: Medical and Cosmetic Treatments.

Medical dermatology refers to treating patients with skin conditions and diseases. These are mostly needed by the patient to perform in order to help their skin look and feel ‘normal’. Medical dermatology treatments are catered for patients diagnosed with a skin condition and are solely done to help the patient stop suffering from the conditon.

The most common medical dermatology diseases are: 

1. Acne (Acne vulgaris)

2. Atopic dermatitis (Eczema)

3. Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

4. Hives (Urticaria)

5. Sunburn

On the other hand, the most common cosmetic dermatology refers to procedures of skin treatment that enhance the look or feel of a person’s skin. These aren’t a ‘need’ per se for the patient but more of a want. 

Cosmetic dermatology treatments do not require a diagnosis. These are treatments a person voluntarily agrees upon in an attempt to look more beautiful or younger.

The most common cosmetic dermatology treatments are:

  1. Botox
  2. Dermal fillers 
  3. Chemical peels
  4. Laser hair removal 
  5. Skin Tightening

Which Dermatological Treatments Are Covered In Health Insurance?

Now that you understand the main underline of dermatology treatments, it will be easier to understand which dermatology issues are typically covered in a health insurance plan.

Generally, a health insurance plan would cover most of the medical dermatologist treatments. A health insurance plan would hardly ever be in scope for cosmetic treatments.

This is because cosmetic treatments don’t critically need a dermatologist’s attention and, if not catered for, wouldn’t affect the normal daily life of a person.

Cosmetic Dermatological Treatments

Cosmetic treatments are solely desirable features of the skin a person wants to achieve. A dermatologist can help them achieve that with younger-looking skin or appealing body parts, but the result of that wouldn’t affect the health of the patient. It can just help a person feel better with good self-esteem, but physically, there won’t be much change that makes the person feel in better health. 

This is why cosmetic treatments aren’t typically covered under health insurance.

Medical Dermatological Treatments

On the contrary, medical dermatology treatments are covered in health insurance plans because they critically require a dermatologist’s appointment, not because of a patient’s desire, but because a skin disease calls for the treatment. 

A patient with a medical dermatology condition wouldn’t perform optimally physically without dermatology treatments. Consequently, a medical dermatology treatment would help a person feel better physically in terms of their health.

This is why most dermatological treatments are covered under a health insurance plan.

Note: Each health insurance plan is different. The conditions mentioned here are extracted from the general rule of health insurance plans. For better knowledge, consult your health insurance provider to know which treatments are covered under your health insurance plan.

Most Common Dermatology Treatments Covered Under Health Insurance

  • Skin Cancer Treatment
  • Acne
  • Skin Cancer Removal
  • Skin Viral Diseases
  • Rashes
  • Skin Fungal Infections
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin Allergies
  • Poison Ivy Rash
  • Port Wine Stains
  • Keloid Scars

Most Common Dermatology Treatments NOT Covered Under Health Insurance

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Non-accidental Plastic surgery
  • Botox
  • Tattoo Removal
  • Fillers
  • Chemical Peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Facials

How Pricey Are Dermatology Treatments Without Health Insurance

As each health insurance plan differs in policies of which treatments are covered and which are not, there may be times when you need a dermatology treatment and it isn’t covered under your health insurance plan. 

In some cases, you may not have a health insurance plan, to begin with, but may be interested in dermatology treatment, or maybe you suffer from a skin disease that needs a dermatologist’s appointment.

In such cases, you’ll have to pay for the treatment yourself. Below are mentioned the general prices of the most common dermatology treatments.

Medical Dermatology Treatments Cost

Skin Cancer Treatment Cost

The most common treatment for skin cancer is chemotherapy. The prices are variable on the drugs and procedures used, but generally, chemotherapy for skin cancer costs around $1000 to $12000 a month.

On average, the whole treatment cost of skin cancer would range from around $2000 for stage I to $60000 for Stage IV.

Acne Treatment Cost

Acne is commonly treated with prescriptions of antibiotics and medical creams.

Generally, the cost of treating acne would fall around $50 to $200 a month.

Skin Cancer Removal Cost

Skin cancer removal is done surgically and the cost of the surgical treatment depends on the size and growth of the cancer tissue. MOHS surgery is a common skin cancer removal treatment with an average cost of $1000 to $2000.

Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments Cost

Cosmetic Surgery Cost

The cost of cosmetic surgery depends on the cosmetic treatment you’re going for. Generally, a cosmetic treatment would cost around $2000 to $10000. 

The most common cosmetic surgeries and their respective costs are:

  • Breast Augmentation – $3,947
  • Breast Lift – $4,693
  • Breast Reduction – $5,475
  • Buttock Implants – $5,004
  • Buttock Lift (BBL) – $4,960
  • Calf Augmentation – $3,677
  • Cheek Implant – $2,986
  • Facelift (rhytidectomy) – $7,467
  • Forehead Lift – $3,490
  • Liposuction – $3,548
  • Neck Lift (platysmaplasty) – $5,110
  • Rhinoplasty (nose job) – $5,409

Botox Treatment Cost

The price of Botox fillers is measured in units. For Botox treatments, the area to be focused upon requires a specific amount of units of Botox. A single unit of Botox costs around $10 a unit.

The most common Botox treatment areas with their specific Botox units usage are:

  • Eyebrow lift: 2-5 units – $30
  • Chin: 2-6 units: $40
  • Corners of the mouth: 3-6 units – $50
  • Lines around the nose: 5-10 units – $70
  • Crow’s feet (outer canthal lines): 5-15 units – $100
  • Forehead lines / horizontal lines: 10-30 units – $200
  • Frown lines: 10-25 units – $200
  • Glabellar lines (between the eyes): 10-25 units – $200
  • Jaw area (masseter): 15-50 units per side – $350
  • Neck (platysmal) bands: 25-50 units – $400