Dr. Mosser’s Guide: How to get your MTF/N or FTM/N top surgery covered by insurance
Some of the most stressful questions arise when trying to figure out transgender surgery insurance. You’re not alone if you’re looking at your Google search history and see:
- Insurance companies that cover gender reassignment surgery
- FTM top surgery insurance
- Does insurance cover gender reassignment surgery?
- Insurance that covers FTM top surgery
- What’s the cost of top surgery?
- Is gender reassignment surgery covered by insurance?
- How to get top surgery covered by insurance
- FTM top surgery grants
- Breast augmentation insurance
- Transgender surgery insurance coverage
- Best insurance for transgender coverage
We’re here to provide some guidelines to help answer some of these questions. Your first step is to reach out to us for a consultation. We have an Insurance Concierge who works directly with your insurance provider to see what transgender medical insurance benefits you have.
Our insurance concierge will take you through every step of the insurance approval process until approval is achieved, or until the point where it is clear that you do not have coverage. We provide the Insurance Concierge as a free service to give you the best chance of success, one of our main goals is to get your transgender surgery covered by insurance.
To help us verify the benefits, we will need the following information from you:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Procedure(s) you are looking to have covered
- A scanned copy of your insurance card (front and back)
- Your best contact number (where we can also leave a message)
Once we have your information we will contact the insurance company and get in touch with you as soon as we hear from them. When we contact you, we’ll present one of the following scenarios:
Scenario A: Your insurance carrier does not cover the cost of FTM/N or MTF /N top surgery, things you can do:
- Pay out-of-pocket for the procedure
- Lack of transgender medical insurance is unfortunately relatively common. Rest assured you are not alone in this process, reach out to your community for support and guidance
- Finance your FTM/N & MTF/N top surgery procedure with CareCredit
- It works just like a credit card but is exclusive to healthcare services. You can use it on any healthcare service, including top surgery surgeons and other gender reassignment surgery in San Francisco and beyond. Will it cover your top surgery costs? This is dependent on the amount you’ve been approved for, visit CareCredit’s website to find out more
- Finance your top surgery with a loan
- If you’re unable to get your transgender surgery covered by insurance or your FTM/N top surgeon or MTF/N top surgeon of choice doesn’t accept insurance or you’re uncomfortable with or unable to sign up for CareCredit, a loan may be right for you
- There are several lenders who offer loans specifically for plastic surgery procedures
And don’t worry, we’ll help you explore these two options.
California law prohibits insurance companies from denying transgender medical insurance benefits. However, there are two exceptions:
- If the policy is a large group that is ‘Self-Funded’, meaning the employer assumes the direct risk for payment of claims or benefits (not the insurance company). These policies are not required by law to have health insurance benefits that covers transgender surgery.
- If the employer’s corporate office is in a state other than California, the health benefit policy falls under the laws of the state where the corporate office is located.
Scenario B: Your health insurance covers FTM/N Top Surgery
This scenario can be further broken down into two possibilities:
Possibility #1: Your insurance is with Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield or Brown & Toland. Our practice has agreements with these providers so your approval process should be smooth and straightforward.
What we will need from you for authorization approval:
- A letter from a mental health provider stating that you meet WPATH guidelines for surgery
- Notes from your consultation with Dr. Mosser which we will have ready 1-2 days after your consultation
- Referral to Dr. Mosser from your Primary Care Doctor or PCP (if you have either an HMO or are getting your insurance through a school)
There may be additional requirements based on individual circumstances.
Once we receive the necessary documents, we’ll start the request for authorization right away! It takes a week or two to receive a response from the providers with whom we have an agreement.
Possibility #2: You have health insurance that covers transgender surgery but Dr. Mosser does not have an agreement with these providers
There are a couple of ways to have your MTF/N or FTM/N surgery covered even if Dr. Mosser doesn’t have an established agreement with your company. These include:
- Our office can obtain a single-case LOA (Letter of Agreement) with your provider. This is usually a one-time contract between Dr. Mosser and your insurance for this procedure, just for you.
Our team has experience securing transgender insurance approvals for Dr. Mosser to work with the following insurance providers:
- Aetna (Student Services only)
- Anthem (National and California)
- Brown & Toland HMO
- Health Net
- Blue Shield
- Aetna National
- Hills Physicians (HMO)
- Excellus (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New York)
- United Health Care
In short, if anyone can get an LOA, we can.
- In the rare cases when an LOA cannot be obtained, you will then pay up front and then we continue to try to get reimbursement for you after surgery. In this case, you would receive reimbursement from our insurance plan later (minus a 6 % administration fee).
Your insurance would treat this case as ‘out-of-network’. It is still beneficial to go through the authorization process because this can greatly reduce your hospital expenses and usually your insurance will pay for a portion of the surgery. For instance, it’s possible for you to have 9010 arrangement in terms of in-network coverage pay while 70-30 for out of network.
What are some insurance companies that cover FTM/N top surgery & MTF/N breast augmentation?
It’s important to clear up that there’s not ‘one’ transgender surgery insurance that is ‘the best’. However, throughout the years of working with different insurance companies that cover transgender surgeries, some companies we have seen a higher trend of approvals v.s denials. Top surgery insurance approval is based on a variety of factors that could potentially disqualify a patient for approval, no matter how good your insurance is. Remember that you’ll want to find top surgery doctors who accept your insurance.
Companies that are larger that Dr. Mosser accepts and has seen a decent top surgery insurance approval rates are:
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United Health Insurance
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical
If you have the above health insurance and are looking for FTM/N top surgeons outside of Dr. Mosser try googling the below to see what top surgeons are in your network. Or, contact your insurance provider:
- Anthem BC top surgeon
- Anthem blue cross top surgeon
- Aetna top surgeon
- Blue shield top surgeon
- Cigna top surgeon
- United top surgeon
What if I have insurance that covers FTM/N & MTF/N top surgery but they don’t have doctors in their network to perform transgender surgery?
When you’re enrolled in health insurance that covers transgender surgery it can be really exciting. After looking at your policy you might even find that your policy has the best insurance for transgender coverage. But when it comes down to it, it could be that they don’t have FTM/N top surgery doctors and MTF/N top surgeons in your network.
Not to fear, your insurance provider is required by law to refer you to a surgeon who can perform the procedure.
Obtaining approval may look like an overwhelming process. However, with our experienced staff to help, you’ll be able to maximize your transgender surgery insurance benefits without the hassle and stress.
And, just to boil this down to bite-size, here is a summary of most of this information as a flowchart, also downloadable as a PDF here: