Financial Considerations | UPMC Life After Weight Loss Program

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Video How to get insurance to pay for panniculectomy

Plastic surgery has become much more accepted in our society. For some people — especially those who have excess skin from major weight loss — it’s the logical next step in their self-improvement journey.

Not only can excess skin cause a cosmetic problem, but it also can lead to health problems like rashes and sores. Body contouring can remove fat or loose skin left over after major weight loss, improving your appearance and health.

Talk to a UPMC Life After Weight Loss surgeon to see if body contouring is the right approach for you. To schedule a consultation, call 412-641-3960 or 1-877-639-9688 (1-877-NEWYOU8).

Body Contouring Costs

The cost of body contouring procedures varies, but in most cases includes:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Facility costs
  • Prescriptions
  • Testing
  • Anesthesia

Does Health Insurance Cover Body Contouring Surgery After Weight Loss?

Health insurance normally doesn’t cover body contouring, but there are exceptions.

The insurance company often needs proof that the surgery is medically necessary to prevent or relieve problems.

Body contouring techniques your health plan may cover include:

  • Panniculectomy for people who have a large apron of skin and have a constant rash despite using prescription creams.
  • Breast reduction for those with large, heavy breasts that cause symptoms of upper back pain, bra strap grooving, and a severe rash.

We pursue any possible coverage with your insurer and will help you explore all other financing options.

Body Contouring Surgery Financing Options

Some ways to help you pay for plastic surgery after weight loss if insurance doesn’t cover it include:

  • Health care flexible spending account (HCFSA)
  • Plastic surgery bank loans
  • Credit cards
  • Secured medical loans
  • Your own savings

Some people might use two or more of these payment methods. These also remain an option even if insurance pays for part of the procedure.


Your work may offer an HCFSA. It allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for health care costs not covered by insurance.

To open an HCFSA, tell your employer at the start of your plan year how much you want to put in. You can save up to a federal maximum. Payroll will deduct equal amounts of money from each paycheck.

Some employers might match contributions, but it’s not required.

You won’t pay taxes on the money that goes into the account. Most HCFSAs are “use-it-or-lose-it,” but some allow a small carryover into the next plan year.

To use your HCFSA, you must provide proof of the medical expense and that your insurance didn’t cover it.

Bank loans

You can secure a loan from a lender that specializes in plastic surgery.

Just like loans for a new car or big-screen TV, certain banks will set up a payment plan for your surgical procedure. Our staff can provide details about these plans.

You might also think about taking out a home equity loan.

Credit cards to pay for body contouring

Many people use credit cards to pay for their post-weight loss body contouring surgery.

Using a rewards card means the cost of surgery can help you earn points or frequent flier miles or get cash back.

You may want to look for a credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer. A card with 0% APR lets you finance your treatment without paying any interest.

Medical loans

A medical loan is a personal loan that you can use for health care bills and costs. You can get one from banks, credit unions, or by searching online.

There are two types of medical loans:

  • Secured loans require property (collateral), such as your home mortgage.
  • Unsecured loans don’t require property. Instead, lenders focus on your credit history or income.

The interest fees on medical loans can vary, and lenders will look at factors such as:

  • Personal information like current job, income, and debt.
  • Credit score and credit history.
  • Property, such as a car or real estate.
  • Documentation.

“New Body” personal savings fund

Many people start a “new body” savings fund at the time of their weight loss or body contouring surgery.

In 12 to 18 months, this fund can grow quite a bit, especially if people donate on holidays and other special occasions.

Despite how you pay for your surgery, you also should check with an accountant to see if the expenses are tax-deductible.

Revision “Touch-Up” Surgery

It’s fairly common to have “touch-ups” after body contouring surgery.

Make sure you understand your surgeon’s policy on revision surgery.

Surgeons may be able to offer touch-ups without charging for their time. But they may not have any control over fees for anesthesia charges or using an operating room.

Contact the UPMC Life After Weight Loss Program

To schedule a consultation, call 412-641-3960 or 1-877-639-9688 (1-877-NEWYOU8).

Address: The Life After Weight Loss Program at the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center 3380 Boulevard of the Allies, Suite 158 Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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