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final phase of reconstruction - insurance troubles

Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi everyone,
I am trying to get the tatooing done to finally be done with my reconstruction. My Plastic surgeon has admitted he does not do a great job with this procedure. He has a permanent makeup artist on staff that will do it for me. The only catch is the insurance coverage. I am trying to get an answer (for 3 weeks now) from my insurance company to find out what is reasonable and customary for the tatooing under the terms of my insurance contract. They refuse to tell me!!!!! they say I have to wait until after the procedure is done to see what they will cover. Has anyone had the tatoos done by someone other than their surgeon? What were you charged? The permanent make up artist is charging $817.00 for the tatoos (I need both sides done) Is there someone in the Denver/Boulder area you can recommend to go to for this procedure? At this point I am so disgusted with the insurance company, I figure I should at least shop around since I will probably never be re-imbursed for the procedure. Why are insurance companies so evil?!?!?!?
Thanks for letting me vent....

Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

EGAD! The tattoing I got could have been done by a monkey! But I am sure if you are getting it done after reconstruction I must be missing something. I would think your rad onc doctor would do this for nothing, since it is included in radiation therapy. Give this a try. God bless you, hugs & kisses, Shirlann

Posts: 166
Joined: Aug 2001

I am so sorry to hear about your insurance troubles. Let me share some stories with you also. First of all the night before my macestomy the hospital called and told me that my insurance company have their hospital on their list of providers. I would be going out of network. Like this is what I want to hear the night before. The surgeon is one of the best in our state and he is in our network but the hospital he practices at is not !!! I was shocked that they called me the night before the worse surgery in my life. But we went ahead and the insurance company only paid 60 percent cause I was out of network. But i looked at it as who cares. I want the best surgeon and I want the cancer out as fast as they can get it. Then two weeks ago, a week prior to my expander surgery same thing, hospital called and said I was going out of network again, well it was a big stink cause the plastic surgeon (who also has a highly recommendation) is in the network and only practices and this hospital that is out of network. Unbeilable what I had to go through. I actually got my husbands work , the human resource department involved cause the doctors office called me frustrated cause they could get no where with getting approval for me to go there, like where was I to go,,the nearest basement ????? After a week of phone calls his work finally got approval for me to go to the hospital to have my surgery.Talk about frustration !!!!! They are so evil, I really don't think they have feelings..Its all about $$$$$$$$$$$. I am sorry to hear you are going through the same mess. They are the first with their hands out waiting for their premiums !!!!!!Best of Luck to you.

Posts: 53
Joined: Jan 2001

I thought All insurance companies had to cover ALL the costs of breast recontruction neccessary for breast cancer patients.....federal law not local.
Best Wishes,

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Insurance companies have to cover mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries related to BC but they don't have to pay 100%. I went to MDs who I knew were excellant surgeons and not on my plan nor were the hospitals in my network. The insurance covers 60% of what they deam resonable and customary(which we all know isn't what the full charge is). After you reach a certain amout out of pocket, they pay 100% of what they deem reasonable! This is for each procedure. I've had 8 different procedures so you can imagine our bills. Thank god the Plastic Surgeon has been willing to work with us re: insurance payments. Good luck! Cathy

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