INSURANCE for Laser Hair Removal

I suffered from severe Psuedofolliculitis Barbae on my mid and lower neck region. Every time I shaved, I suffered from severe bleeding, irritation, pain, and redness. Niether the over-the-counter products worked, nor did the different regimines of lathering with soap and using warm water, etc.
With nothing to lose, I lobbied my insurance company to pay for laser hair removal and to my surprise, I was successful. I convinced the company that determines medical coverage for my insurance coverage (a seperate company than my insurance company) that my condition was medical, not cosmetic.
I’ve had 5 sessions of laser hair removal (with the sixth and final session scheduled for Aug.) equalling approximately $2500, all paid for by my insurance.

That’s quite amazing that your insurance paid for you treatments!

I had the exact same problem and I was not able to convince my health insurance provider that it was “medically necessary”. I too had extememly severe ingrown hairs, irritation, bumps, and bleeding when I tried to shave. It was difficult for me to shave more than once a week without really ruining my skin!

Just out of curiousity, what insurance provider was it, and what part of the world are you located?

My insurance company is Unitedhealth Care. But I had to go through a place called Health Internation. Health International is a group of doctors and nurses that my father’s company contracts out to determine its medical coverage; Unitedhealth Care only carries out the coverage. Once Health International determines medical necessity, Unitedhealth Care is required by law to cover the procedure.
So, I was able to convince Health International that I needed insurance coverage and then Health International instructed Unitedhealth Care to pay for the treatments.

I went all out to convince Health International. I got a letter from my doctor, wrote my own letter really detailing what was going on, got a letter from my employer (who owns her own law practice) to explain that as a prospective lawyer, I had to be able to shave regularly to be professional, and even got a letter from my congressman, which helped indicate how serious I was in getting the laser covered. The congressman’s letter also made my situation more than just a personal thing. I think it raised Health International’s level of accountability.
I also included pictures of 2 seperate instances of really bad reactions to illustrate in color the severity of my condition.
Then I waited and they finally came back with a “yes.”

One more thing… I live in the USA, in New York state.

Interesting story. I’m curious, though, how did you convince a congressman to go to bat for you, and what did he write in his letter?

[ August 17, 2003, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: Dan 2 ]

I have posted here, and other places, exactly how to get reimbursement for electrolysis. It isd really very simple. The policy states they cover “diagnosable and treatable disorders”. These conditions are NOT cosmetic any more than a chickemp-pox scab is cosmetic. In law there is a principle called “INDUSTRY PRECEDENT” which means WHEN ONE COMPANY PAYS…THEY ALL HAVE TO PAY. THEY STALL YOU BY DELAYING AND DE3NYING THE CLAIM, HOWEVER, THERE ARE LAWS TO PROTECT YOU. THE ONLY COSMETIC AREAS ARE EYEBROWS, BIKINI LINES, AND UNDERARM AREAS.

ALL HAIR GROWTH IN OTHER PLACES IS CAUSED BY TOO MUCH MALE HORMONE FROM SOME SOURCE. A number of them are early indications of CANCER and electrologists do not know enough about this to inform their patients or do not want to BOTHER to help. I think this is unethical because we are supposed to give the patient the benefit of all we know about reimbursement. The largest claim I was paid was from an HMO and it was $4280.00. The patient paid me each treatment and the bill was paid in one lump sum made out to me. I signed the check over to the patient so that it would not be recorded as a second payment for tax purposes.