Electrolysis method for removing unwanted hair permanently has become a popular choice for individuals seeking a long-term solution to unwanted hair growth. However, the cost of electrolysis sessions can add up quickly, leading many people to ask a common question:”Does insurance cover electrolysis”.
Electrolysis insurance coverage depends on various aspects, making the answer complicated. This article can help you discover if your insurance covers electrolysis or not.
Is electrolysis covered by insurance?
Due to the perception that excessive hair growth is just an aesthetic issue, health insurance policies rarely cover the cost of electrolysis treatments. However, insurance companies pay for hair removal ahead of gender determination surgery on a case-by-case basis.
A 2021 law requires Washington insurance companies to provide gender-affirming therapy starting in January 2022.
Gender confirming treatments include hair removal around the surgical site and in some cases on the face. This means that insurance must have to cover the full cost of electrolysis hair removal.
When does insurance cover electrolysis?
Yes, electrolysis can be covered by insurance in the following circumstances.
- Pre-op genital electrolysis is covered by medical insurance. However, insurance companies vary in coverage and reimbursement.
- Electrolysis for hirsutism, hormone imbalances, and other medical disorders is covered by insurance.
Insurance may not cover aesthetic hair removal electrolysis. Electrolysis is a safe process but if it is incorrectly performed then it might cause infection or scarring. To reduce hazards, patients should choose a qualified electrolysis practice.
How to get electrolysis covered by insurance
Call your insurance company’s customer service department to get electrolysis coverage confirmation before surgery. You’ll need the WPATH letters and a doctor’s “letter of medical necessity” to get insurance to cover you surgery
Your surgeon will be familiar with the contents and format of such a letter. After getting this information, your insurance company sends you a letter of permission for the needed work. Insurance companies are stubborn about not paying for anything trans-related, so you may have to fight with your insurance company about this.
Even if you’re pre-approved, the insurance provider may not pay if you don’t submit your payments on time. It’s worth fighting your insurance company for equitable reimbursement.
Does walmart insurance cover hrt and electrolysis hair removal?
Unfortunately, standard Walmart insurance plans do not cover hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or electrolysis for transgender care. However, here are a few key points about Walmart insurance and transgender health services:
- Walmart offers insurance through multiple carriers, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, etc. The specific coverage depends on the plan, so transgender customers would need to check their specific policy details.
- None of Walmart’s standard plans appear to cover transgender-related services like HRT or electrolysis. They are often considered “cosmetic” or non-essential by insurers.
- Walmart has recently expanded some health benefits for transgender employees, including some coverage for gender-affirming surgeries. However, this expanded coverage may not apply to regular customers on Walmart insurance plans.
- Customers could consider upgrading to a Walmart plan that covers more comprehensive transgender services, if available. Or, they may need to seek coverage from an alternate insurer that specifies transgender care benefits.
- Resources like the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index can help identify major insurers with transgender-inclusive policies.
How much does electrolysis cost?
Electrolysis costs $30 to $10,000, averaging $500. Some people pay $480 for a treatment series. Patients should check with their insurance provider to see if cosmetic electrolysis is covered.
|Laser Hair Removal
|Advanced Laser Services and/or IPL
What are the prerequisites for electrolysis?
State regulations on electrolysis procedures vary greatly. Currently, this practice is mandated by law in 32 states. In some states, the minimum training duration is 400 hours, while in others it is 1,000!. Training courses are sometimes lawful in states that do not require formal education.The board of health or cosmetology regulates electrolysis in different states. First, contact your local health department or cosmetology board.
Does Medicare covers Electrolysis:
Medicare will pay for approved surgery to change a person’s gender if they have gender confusion. The Department of Health and Human Services defines gender dysphoria as “intense and long-lasting discomfort with one’s birth sex.”
Medicare’s benefit for transgender-related care covers electrolysis to get rid of hair. Transgender individuals who need electrolysis for their transition may get Medicare coverage. Regional Medicare managers and Medicare Advantage plans from commercial insurance companies with Medicare contracts decide whether insurance will cover electrolysis and transgender care.
Does Medicaid cover electrolysis?
Medicaid coverage for electrolysis varies depending on the state and the reason for the treatment. In general, Medicaid does not typically cover the cost of electrolysis because it is considered a cosmetic procedure. However, there are exceptions. For example, Medicaid may help cover the cost of electrolysis as part of treatment for gender dysphoria . Some states, such as Oregon, cover electrolysis and laser hair removal in preparation for chest or genital surgery for gender dysphoria/transsexualism.
It’s vital to understand that Medicaid may need specific qualifications before approving electrolysis. In Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority authorizes therapy.
How does electrolysis for hair removal work?
Electrolysis is done purely for aesthetic reasons. It’s highly unlikely that insurance will help with this.
A professional performs electrolysis by inserting a thin needle into the hair follicle. The hair is then killed at its follicle with an electric charge to prevent further growth.
The discomfort from the operation could range from mild to severe depending on where it is being administered. It also usually takes a few sessions to see results.
Potential targets for treatment could include:
- upper lip
Technicians frequently treat smaller regions since they need to specifically target each hair.
does tricare cover electrolysis
TRICARE covers medically necessary electrolysis. It covers proven medical services. TRICARE now allows laser hair removal or electrolysis to fix or improve a bodily function without Health Net Federal Services clearance. It does not cover cosmetic laser hair removal or electrolysis or other treatments that do not improve physical function.
Does blue cross blue shield cover electrolysis
Insurance plans and conditions determine electrolysis coverage. Before gender affirmation surgery, skin graft donor locations must be electrolyzed to remove hair. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan covers home dialysis and oxygen equipment, but electrolysis is uncertain.
The Clinical UM Guideline for Sex Reassignment Surgery used by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in California specifies that hair removal to address tissue donor locations for phalloplasty or vaginoplasty is medically necessary. BCBS of Massachusetts needs prior authorization for electrolysis for hair removal on skin utilized for genital gender affirmation surgery.
Blue Cross Blue Shield has covered electrolysis for some policyholders. Its coverage varies by plan and policy. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ HMO Scope of Benefits Section covers electrolysis for hirsutism but not breast augmentation. Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield covers electrolysis, laser, and waxing for hair removal and voice therapy and surgery if medically indicated.
What to Expect During Electrolysis:
Technicians perform the surgery in clinics. During therapy, he may apply local anesthetic.
This is a regular process by a technician which start by inserting a needle into a hair follicle. An electrical current destroys the follicle. After the expert destroys it, tweezers are capable of eliminating the follicle.
The length and number of sessions depend on various factors, including:
- how big the treatment area is
- how much pain a person can take
- how much hair they have.
- how many places you can get care
There is usually no specific preparation required. After the treatment is through, patients can get back to their regular routine, provided they follow the doctor’s orders.
Benefits of Electrolysis
- According to the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Association, electrolysis is a permanent method of hair eradication.
- People with PCOS may benefit from the surgery because it can reduce the visibility of unsightly hair. Positive self-perception may reduce the risk of depression in polycystic ovarian syndrome patients.
- A 2019 study involving transgender women found that removing unwanted hair alleviates and prevents feelings of depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues.
- Another study linked low self-perception to depression but not PCOS.
- According to a 2021 studyReliable Source, negative body perceptions have a reciprocal relationship with emotional distress. They point out that negative body thoughts can exacerbate depressive symptoms.
Drawbacks of Electrolysis:
The following are potential drawbacks of Electrolysis:
- It’s possible that some hair won’t be eliminated.
- Perhaps it won’t last forever.
- It could hurt or feel awkward.
- Very long sessions
- how many sessions will be needed to see results and how much they’ll cost
- Can be painful
- May cause scarring or skin irritation
- Not suitable for all hair or skin types
How to Remove Hair: Electrolysis or Laser?
Unwanted hair growth from PCOS is another reason why laser hair removal may be helpful.
Laser hair removal differs primarily in that it uses intense light to penetrate the skin and destroy the hair follicles. The treatment is also more successful for patients who want to treat vast sections of their bodies because technicians can use it on larger areas of the body.
Laser is faster than electrolysis and can treat large areas of skin at once.It is more comfortable and scarless than electrolysis. It works best on darker hair and may not work for light or fine hair.
People with light complexion and dark hair may benefit the most from laser therapy.
Depending on the cases results, both method may:
- hurt a little to a lot
- need a number more sessions to see any progress
- not covered by an insurance policy
- Compare and contrast electrolysis with laser treatment for hair removal.