Does Tricare Cover Plastic Surgery?

woman contemplating optionsHampton Roads is a hub for a large part of the military population, with bases for every branch right here in the area. As a cosmetic surgery center, we work with many active military personnel and their spouses—and we are often amazed at how many rumors run rampant regarding military plastic surgery.

To clear things up, we wanted to answer some of the most common questions we hear!

Will Tricare Cover My Breast Augmentation?

In short, no—Tricare will not cover cosmetic plastic surgery. This rumor is the most persistent, perhaps because there is some grey area in the insurance company’s stipulations. If it is deemed “medically necessary” for you to have a plastic surgery procedure, Tricare will often offer coverage.

You may be asking yourself, “What does that even mean?” If a condition, such as overly large breasts or sagging skin after weight loss, is causing pain, injury, or additional complications like infection, Tricare may cover procedures such as breast reduction, tummy tuck, or lower body lifting. However, even in these instances it can be difficult to make a case for coverage of elective surgery.

Self-esteem or mental health-related reasons for pursuing a cosmetic procedure usually do not fall under “medically necessary,” so you should not expect coverage for breast implants or liposuction.

Do Military Spouses Get One Free Plastic Surgery?

While there are many benefits available to spouses or dependents of active military personnel, free plastic surgery is not one of them. We’re not sure where this myth originated, but complimentary cosmetic procedures have never been a benefit.

Can I Get a Free or Discounted Procedure From a New Military Surgeon?

This question is always tricky, as there may be some truth in the rumor. To keep up with licensing and certification requirements, military surgeons must complete a certain number of procedures. In some cases, this may mean a surgeon will waive hospital and surgeon’s fees on some plastic surgery procedures, with the patient only responsible for materials.

However, these surgeons often only offer treatment in certain cases, such as correcting a deformity or performing reconstructive surgery. Additionally, the wait lists are usually quite long, and you will likely not be eligible to receive the procedure you’re pursuing.

Other Payment Options for Plastic Surgery

Even though most of these rumors are false, there are still options for military and their spouses to pay for cosmetic surgery procedures.

Here at PSCHR, we offer an ongoing military discount that entitles active and retired US military personnel and their spouses to a 10% discount on surgeon’s fees. Additionally, we work with a reputable plastic surgery financing company to help you secure a monthly plan that will be manageable and within your budget.

If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call! We’d be happy to help you understand your options and can work closely with you to gain pre-approval for financing your surgery.