Insurance question

Hi all-

Hope it’s alright to post here. I’m new to the forums but not new to the hair struggle.

Currently, I’m a college student suffering from hirsutism and trichotillomania. I have quite a bit of scarring as a result and haven’t gone outside with bare legs in years.

In 2019, my dermatologist and therapist worked together to recommend that insurance cover laser hair removal for me. Unfortunately, the process was never finalized because I was in an accident and had to focus on my recovery.

I will soon be aging out of my parents insurance (1.5 years until then) so desperately want to get my treatment covered before then. Has anyone had any success with insurance? I have BCBS if that helps. Even if it didn’t work for you, I’d greatly appreciate any suggestions.

I’m hoping that insurance will consider this medically necessary because I have two hair-related conditions, a history of debilitating anxiety, and have been in treatment for my mental health for years without success. I’ve also had to get help from my dermatologist a few times when my hair removal efforts removed a lot of my skin as well.

If anyone has any thoughts, I’d be extremely grateful!!

If there are stated provisions in the insurance contract your parents hold, then maybe you can get that assistance? I hope someone with a similar situation can help you, however, you need to be a good candidate for laser hair reduction - dark, dense coarse hair on pale skin, in order to get a certain percentage of hairs gone.

The lower legs respond better than most parts of the upper thighs. You will still need electrolysis, permanent hair removal, to treat hairs not “seen” by laser. Electrolysis can “see” any hair structure, on any color of skin for any color of hair.
If your parents particular insurance policy will not pay for laser, you can get some prices to estimate what it might cost and get a job and save for the procedure. If you can’t work, maybe you can try other creative ways to pay for your hair removal. Good Luck.

Thank you for replying:) I know hair removal isn’t typically covered by insurance but hopefully I’ll be able to make a strong case for it. I have light olive skin and dark, thick hair. Was told I’m a good candidate but I know laser won’t work everywhere. I’ve looked into large volume electrolysis but the cost is incredibly daunting so definitely would be more difficult to get approved.

Hi Jade!
I’m going to give you some stern warnings. It’s not that I want to discourage you, in fact far from it . There are some pitfalls however to what you are trying to do and I think you should be aware of them.Some of them will depend on where you are and the stipulations in your parents insurance but others will not change no matter that circumstances.
I recommend, you do NOT try to do laser on any part of your body that is visible in the hopes of causing hair growth to diminish, or that if you do, to do several patch tests in a small area before you start lasering an entire area. You see about 1/3 of my very busy clientele, are very similar to yourself. They are primarily arabic, pakistani or indian descent with Olive complexions. Several have tried laser , and unfortunately, it has made their issues much much worse. Those with olive complexion can and often are, susceptable to what is called paradoxal hypertrichosis. In laymans terms, this is referred to as paradoxal hair growth, it’s paradoxal because although the intent is to destroy hair, often these individuals experience significantly increased hair growth after only a couple of sessions of laser, enough in one case to force the young not well off university student affected by this to stop schooling for several semesters because she couldtn be seen with the “wolf beard” that had appeared in the mirrror on her face day to day, and all over her entire torso. I did massive mounts of discounted work for this person, and although significantly improved and mostly resolved, she did eventually have to stop due to financial concerns. She was about 90% compete by that point, but it cost her many thousands of dollars in the process at an average of around $6000-$7000 per year in the 2 years she was treated by me. Those with olive complexion need to be aware of this possibility and procede with laser , if at all, with extreme caution. It’s not worth the difference in cost to go with laser over electrolysis if this makes the issue so much worse for you. I find people of these ethnic origins are extremely conscious of the visual effect such dark hair has on their appearance, and if you think it is causing you anxiety now consider how much more anxiety it will cause if it makes the problem 10 or 15 times WORSE. It’s very much something you should be concerned about. These ethnic clients make up at leat 30-40% of my clientele at times.

The next pitfall, regards your insurance. Dee is “spot on” in saying you need to know exactly what is covered if anything. Even laser is still going to take a minimum of 18 months to finish so you may not even be covered for that length of time. But you also have to remember that even if it is covered ( and it doesnt sound like it is) the insurance company will do everything in their power to deny your claim. This is what Insurance companies do, the first deny all claims. They arent in the business of covering expensive procedures because you , or even your doctor, feels it is necessary. They are in the business of collecting insurance premiums, then holding on to as much of those premiums forever, as humanly possible.
Here in Ottawa I deal with a great number of Government employees since Ottawa is our national capital here in Canada. The government pays for employees group health though sun -life Insurance and I have had many of them attempt to claim electrolysis treatments through them. The first thing that 100% of them experience, is their claim is refused. They will ask for doctors certifications to discourage some, but then beyond that, they cover just 80% of the First $20 for each appointment only. They then will deny and request “provincial registration numbers” of the electrologist, except, as a uncontrolled activity there is no provincial authority, and such numbers dont exist. They go to even further means to deny the claim. I’ve had only one or two clients out of many dozens upon dozens, successfully navigate this process and successfully get paid out by Sun-Life. And then, they make it so difficult to do so, that the vast majority of claimants give up on the process. Please bear in mind that this is with government contractual obligations for coverage, if you are not EXPLICITY covered where you are located, I would estimate you have zero possibility of actually getting paid for your claims for treatment.

So while I dont want to discourage you, I am going to say that with your skin tone and the risk that entails, electrolysis is a better fit. It may mean that you need to spread your treatment out over a longer period to finacially afford it. But honestly, if it is not clear in black and white that electrolysis or laser is covered for you, it WILL NOT be.

Seana

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