Surgeries that are performed to restore anatomy and symmetry, like breast reconstruction in Long Island after a full or partial mastectomy, are considered reconstructive surgery, not cosmetic surgery. Recognizing that breast reconstruction is "necessary" surgery for the women who choose it, a Federal law called the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires health insurance plans to cover breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy.
Since the ultimate goal of reconstruction is to restore symmetry between the two breasts, the law requires coverage to include surgeries on the other breast, which are necessary to produce a symmetrical appearance. Additionally, coverage must be available for prostheses and treatment of physical complications at all stages of the mastectomy, which may include subsequent surgeries.
Studies show that many women are not opting for breast reconstruction, even though they are entitled to it. This may be because they are not aware of their options, or that their private insurance or Medicaid will cover the costs of reconstruction. In 2010, New York State enacted a law that requires physicians to discuss a woman's reconstruction options with her prior to mastectomy. Hopefully, this law will help women to understand their options and their rights when it comes to breast reconstruction.
Unfortunately, there are 'gray areas' in the amount of coverage provided by individual insurance companies. Dr. Romanelli's knowledgeable staff can help you begin the process of determining your insurance company's policies on breast reconstruction coverage before you proceed with your surgery. The staff at our Long Island plastic surgery practice has extensive experience in obtaining the maximum benefit to cover breast reconstruction for Long Island women, and will work to make this process less complicated for you.
For our patients without insurance, or whose insurance provides only partial coverage, private payment options are available. Click here to find out more about financing your breast reconstruction near New York City.
Every mastectomy patient has the opportunity to have her breast shape and symmetry restored by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. Click here to request a free surgical consultation with one of our plastic surgeons specializing in breast surgery on Long Island, or you can call our office at (631) 424-3600 to set up your appointment.