The precise definitions of words matter. Financing cosmetic or plastic surgery with bad credit history requires two unique strategies.

Cosmetic surgery improves appearance. People must fund the entire expense themselves when addressing aesthetics only.

Reconstructive plastic surgery fixes defects caused by an underlying medical issue. Therefore, healthcare companies and the IRS may pick up a large portion of the cost. Patients fund a smaller total out-of-pocket.

  • Personal loans, credit cards, and payment plans to fund aesthetic procedures
  • Guaranteed approval healthcare-based financing for plastic surgery
  • No credit check medical loans with 0% interest for reconstructive operations
  • Finding providers that accept insurance as full compensation with no balance billing

Cosmetic Surgery Financing Options for Bad Credit

The options for financing cosmetic surgery require patients with a bad credit history to borrow larger sums. Cosmetic procedures involve the aesthetic enhancement of the body or re-shaping normal tissue to improve appearance.

Start a loan request here. Select “Medical” as the reason why you want the cash. Tap into a large online network of sub-prime lenders that specialize in working with borrowers with bad credit history. Volume increases your odds of an approval.

The funding alternatives are unsecured personal loans, credit cards, and in-house payment plans. People seeking cosmetic dentistry have additional choices.

Personal Loans

Long-term personal loans for cosmetic surgery offer multiple advantages. Lower monthly payments are the biggest benefit by far. Repay the lender in monthly installments. The higher the number of installments, the lower each payment will be. Enjoy other advantages as well.

  • Freedom to use any surgeon
  • No extra pass-through finance charges from the practice
  • Bank loans are much harder to obtain
  • Student loans are for tuition, room, board, and textbooks

Healthcare plans will not cover aesthetic enhancements, nor will the IRS allow deductions. Individuals must fund the full cost out-of-pocket to reshape normal tissue with these and other similar procedures.

Breast augmentationFacelifts
Hair transplantsMommy makeovers
Nose jobs (Rhinoplasty)Tummy tucks (Abdominoplasty)

Medical Credit Cards

Medical credit cards for cosmetic surgery are a dicey financing option for people with bad credit history. It may be difficult to qualify, interest charges are often very high, and practices often pass through interchange fees to patients.

  • Unsecured credit cards have the highest spending limits. Unsecured means the borrower does not pledge collateral in the event of default. However, this makes it more difficult for people with poor FICO scores to qualify for sufficient limits.
  • Credit card interest charges accumulate quickly when you revolve a balance (pay less than the full balance each month). People with low FICO scores frequently revolve and pay the highest rates.
  • Credit card companies charge practices an interchange fee when processing the transaction. The fees range from 2% to 5%. Some surgeons pass these charges through in the form of higher treatment costs. Others choose not to accept specialty medical credit cards with higher interchange fees.

Monthly Payment Plans

Finding cosmetic surgeons that offer affordable in-house monthly payment plans is especially difficult for people with bad credit history. Most practitioners are not banking experts. They attended medical school to learn how to help people improve their appearance.

Therefore, expect any cosmetic surgery monthly payment plan to do one of three things.

  1. Approve only applicants with pristine borrowing credentials
    1. Reject low FICO scores
    2. Require Significant income
    3. Demand solid employment
  2. Charge a higher price to offset administration costs
    1. Applicant screening
    2. Monthly billing
    3. Collections
  3. Refer to a 3rd party company specializing in patient financing

Cosmetic Dentistry

The options for financing cosmetic dentistry are more numerous for borrowers with bad credit. Many aesthetically oriented dental procedures are actually medically necessary. In addition, treatments addressing appearance are not emergencies – they can wait. This creates an advantage.

Private and public medical insurance programs often pay for cosmetic dental work arising from non-biting accidents, certain diseases, and treatments deemed integral to other services – even though it may improve aesthetics. They may cover portions of these expenses.

  • Orthognathic jaw surgery to correct skeletal deformities, facial discrepancies, cleft palate
  • Oral cancer restoration
  • Straighten crooked teeth after non-biting accident

Dental plans will often cover specified cosmetic procedures after a waiting period. They offer guaranteed approval with no cosigner. Purchasing a plan could make it more affordable to improve appearance with these treatments.

  • Bonding
  • Labial veneers
  • Occlusion adjustments
  • Enamel microabrasion
  • Odontoplasty
  • Internal and external bleaching

Plastic Surgery Financing Options Bad Credit

The options for financing plastic surgery are more affordable for patients with bad credit history. Plastic surgery reconstructs facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and diseases such as cancer. It is medically necessary.

Therefore, health care plans pay for a portion of the expenses and the IRS offers two alternatives to reduce tax obligations on left-over expenses. This may include deductibles, coinsurance, and added outlays when your provider does not agree to take the insurance reimbursement as compensation in full.

These example services typically qualify for coverage.

Bariatric weight lossBreast reconstruction or reduction
Cleft lip and palate repairGender reassignment varies by state law
GynecomastiaHand surgery to restore function
Scar revisionsSkin grafts and flaps

Healthcare Plans

Public and private healthcare plans are the most important plastic surgery financing program to explore. Patients with bad, poor, good, and excellent credit history all benefit when a third party pays a portion of the expense.

Health insurance offers guaranteed approval for reimbursement of most qualifying expenses. However, the network participation status of your provider determines that figure. Explore these topics in order to estimate the correct sum to borrow.

Guaranteed Approval

Healthcare plans offer guaranteed approval plastic surgery financing with no cosigner. This money-saving alternative has three levels of assurances.

  1. Health insurance must cover the medically necessary reconstructive surgery. Medically necessary means services needed to prevent, diagnose, or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease, or its symptoms.
  2. A written pre-authorization by the healthcare company confirms that the proposed treatment is medically necessary. In other words, they pledge to pay the claim and specify exact figures.
    1. Submitted request
    2. Approved expenditure
    3. Allowed amount
    4. Network savings
    5. Deductible
    6. Coverage percentage
    7. Member owes
    8. Plan reimbursement
  3. The plans cannot deny an application for coverage because of a preexisting medical condition. The company must approve all new applicants regardless of medical history and cover the preexisting condition immediately.

Provider Acceptance

Many patients search for plastic surgeons that accept or take their insurance plan (private, Medicare, Medicaid) in their local area. This is another case where words matter. Many people are asking the wrong question.

It is much better to ask which providers participate in the plan network. In-network doctors agree to a discounted price in exchange for customer volume. Out-of-network doctors forgo the customer volume so they can charge higher prices.

Network Charges

However, both groups are always happy to take reimbursement from a healthcare company. The key factor is the additional amount they require members to pay out-of-pocket.

  • In-network plastic surgeons accept the plan “allowed amount” as full compensation for each service. The allowed amount is a pre-negotiated wholesale rate between the provider and carrier. The person is then responsible for any leftover expenses under this figure.
    • Deductible
    • Coinsurance
    • Copayments
  • Out-of-network plastic surgeons accept the plan “Usual Customary and Reasonable (UCR) fee” as partial compensation for each service. The UCR fee is a retail rate arrived at through industry averages. The person is then responsible for leftover expenses under and over this figure.
    • Under: out-of-network deductible, coinsurance, copayments
    • Over: Balance billing to recover the network discount
      • Submitted request
      • Allowed amount

Private Plans

Finding a plastic surgeon that takes the allowed amount as compensation in full (In Network) from a private insurance plan is straightforward. Log onto your carrier website and look for the provider directory. Input your local zip code and search by specialty “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.”

However, these online directories are notoriously out of date. Do not rely on this information. Calling the provider is also unreliable, as hundreds of different plans might apply. They will explain it is your responsibility to understand the coverage – not theirs.

Instead, request that the provider obtain a pre-authorization from your carrier. Read the resulting Estimate of Benefits form carefully and pay close attention to several key figures.

  • Network Savings
    • ZERO of out-of-network providers
    • Very large figure for participating doctors
  • Deductible Size
    • Smaller number in-network
    • Larger figure out-of-network

Medicare

Finding a plastic surgeon that takes the Medicare allowed amount as compensation in full (In Network) follows a similar process. However, the process has several wrinkles because many seniors have a combination of public and private coverage.

Medicare is a federal government program that covers seniors over the age of 65 and younger adults with long-term disabilities. People have several possible combinations of coverage.

  • Part A covers hospital stays and inpatient surgery
  • Part B covers doctor services and outpatient surgery
  • Part D includes Advantage plans that feature lower out-of-pocket costs but tighter networks
  • Part D covers prescription drugs
  • Supplemental Medigap policies pay the deductible, copayment, and coinsurance for Parts A & B

The Physician Compare online portal can help you find local plastic surgeons that may take Medicare assignment. You can find these statements on related pages on the government site.

“All physicians and other clinicians listed on Physician Compare treat people with Medicare, but not all Medicare professionals accept Medicare assignment.”

“Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier agrees (or is required by law) to accept the Medicare-approved figure as full compensation for covered services.”

  • Participating
    • Submit claims before billing for leftover expenses
    • Charge only the deductible and coinsurance
  • Non-Participating
    • Can bill entire charge upfront
    • Receive 95% of the allowed amount
    • Limiting charge rules allows them to balance bill up to 15% of the allowed amount
    • Deductible and coinsurance still apply

Medicaid

Finding a local plastic surgeon that accepts the Medicaid allowed amount as compensation in full (In Network) works in a similar fashion. However, the process may take extra steps because of the smaller networks and hundreds of possible starting points.

Medicaid is a Federal program that provides low-cost health care to low-income families.

  • Low reimbursement rates (allowed amounts) results in narrow networks. Therefore, it is more difficult to find doctors that accept Medicaid as compensation in full.
  • Each of the 50 states administers Medicaid for its residents. Therefore, there are at least 50 different starting points.
  • Multiple private companies administer Medicaid compliant plans in each state. Therefore, each person must identify the private company managing their public plan.

State-based find a doctor online portals can help narrow down the list of plastic surgeons that take Medicaid as compensation in full in your local area. Some states provide a central source. We link out to those we could find. Some sources detail specialties that narrow the search perfectly. More require crosschecking.

Remember to request a pre-authorization to estimate and verify your out-of-pocket costs.

CaliforniaFloridaGeorgia
IllinoisNew YorkNorth Carolina
PennsylvaniaOhioTexas

Tricare

Finding a plastic surgeon that takes TRICARE involves different parameters. TRICARE is a health program for uniformed military service members (Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, and Coast Guard), National Guard, and their families.

TRICARE does not pay benefits to unauthorized providers. Authorized providers can accept TRICARE military beneficiaries. However, expect to find three different levels of service and one big question mark.

Begin with the doctor finder portal. As always, ask for a pre-authorization to remove all uncertainty.

In NetworkParticipating – OutNon-Participating – Out
Full reimbursementYesYesNo
File claimsYesMaybeMaybe
Balance billingNoNoYes
Case-by-caseNoYesNo

Tax Deductible

The IRS offers a very affordable plastic surgery financing option that works best for the most expensive operations. Many medically necessary reconstructive procedures qualify as tax-deductible medical expenses.

Households that itemize deductions can include three sets of related expenses they can write off on Schedule A. Each tax write off may help reduce obligations.

  1. Fees to doctors, surgeons, and other medical practitioners
  2. Charges for inpatient hospital and surgical center care
  3. Transportation costs primarily for and essential to care

The savings begin once the qualifying expenses exceed 10% of adjusted gross income. Citizens undergoing very expensive operations or using an out-of-network provider often reach this threshold.

Medical Loans

The IRS also offers an affordable plastic surgery medical loan for smaller totals – $5,300 and less. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows participating employees to pay for medically necessary reconstructive surgery expenses through this vehicle.

This is how an FSA works like a plastic surgery medical loan with no credit check and zero percent interest.

  • Medical loan – employers must reimburse qualifying expenses immediately. Schedule the procedure at the beginning of the plan year. You then have up to 12 months to repay the loan through payroll deduction.
  • No credit check – employers must allow all employees to participate. They cannot pull a copy of your consumer report or view your FICO score. People with bad credit have a free pass.
  • Zero Percent Interest – employers cannot charge interest. In addition, pre-tax payroll contributions drive the interest rate below 0%. Participants reduce their income subject to three forms of taxation.
    • Federal income
    • State income
    • FICA payroll

The FSA annual contribution limit is $2,650 per employee in 2018. A husband and wife working for separate employers could utilize up to $5,300 each year. The tax savings begin immediately with no need to exceed the 10% Adjusted Gross Income threshold.

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