How to Get a Tummy Tuck Covered by Insurance

A tummy tuck is the most effective way to remove fat and extra skin from your abdomen – whether you’ve recently lost a lot of weight, had a baby, or just want a flatter stomach. However, insurance companies view tummy tucks as elective surgeries that are not medically necessary, and therefore almost never cover them.  

Typically most people opt to finance this surgery over 12-24 months with no interest or up to 60 months with interest, starting at around $300/month. NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery partners with several medical financing providers that finance tummy tuck surgery for patients in Nashville and Memphis, TN

Tummy tuck before and after picture of NuBody Concepts patient
NuBody Concepts Nashville tummy tuck patient before and after surgery. View more results in Tummy Tuck Before and After Gallery 

What is a deferred interest payment plan and how do you get your tummy tuck approved for one? A deferred interest payment plan allows you to spread out payments for your medical procedure over the course of 12 months, in some cases even up to 24 months. Interest charges only apply if you exceed the 0% interest promotional period. 

To get your tummy tuck pre-approved before your consultation with a plastic surgeon, simply request a “soft” credit check from a free service like Credit Sesame or CreditKarma. You’ll need to provide some information and create an account but this just takes a few minutes and will not hurt your score. If your credit score is at or above 600, you will typically qualify for a payment plan for your tummy tuck. Each provider varies slightly in its credit score cutoff. If you struggle to be approved, you can reapply using a co-applicant with a higher credit score and add yourself as an authorized user on the account.

Can a tummy tuck be medically necessary?

Even though most insurance companies treat tummy tucks as purely cosmetic procedures, there are indeed medical benefits of a tummy tuck.  

  • Reduction of stress urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a condition that mostly affects women after childbirth via vaginal delivery, but it can also occur in men. It is most often treated non-surgically but studies have shown that tummy tuck surgery can help improve SUI by relieving pressure on the urethra and thereby reducing incontinence. 
  • Reduction of post-partum back pain. As your uterus expands during pregnancy, it alters your posture and can weaken your abdominal muscles. Together with the weight gain, which is normal, this puts added pressure and strain on your back. In many women, the pregnancy-induced back pain does not resolve after childbirth. Tummy tuck surgery can alleviate such pain by strengthening the abdominal muscle (more on this below).
  • Correction of a ventral or umbilical hernia. A hernia is a condition where an organ in the stomach bulges through an opening in the muscle or tissue. Ventral hernias are caused by weakened muscles near the anterior abdominal wall, and umbilical hernias occur near the belly button. Both are repaired in a surgery that is very similar to a tummy tuck. Even with surgery, they can redevelop. Combining the hernia repair with a tummy tuck to repair the muscle and strengthen the abdominal wall is a safe and cost-effective way to prevent future hernias.

Will insurance cover a tummy tuck due to back pain?

Extensive studies have shown that tummy tucks provide considerable relief to women affected by both back pain and incontinence after childbirth. The back pain can be triggered by a condition called diastasis recti – a separation of the abdominal muscle during and after pregnancy. A full tummy tuck repairs and thereby strengthens this muscle, which often improves the patient’s posture and thus relieves back pain.

Unfortunately, despite these proven health benefits of tummy tucks, most health insurance companies still treat them as purely cosmetic procedures. If you want to improve your post-partum quality of life, consider investing in a tummy tuck with a no-interest payment plan.

How do you get approved for a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is the removal of hanging skin and fat from the abdomen to create a better contour. It is different from a tummy tuck in that it does not repair any underlying muscles. 

While tummy tucks are considered elective procedures, panniculectomies can be covered by insurance in very specific cases that meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The skin of the lower abdomen (called pannus) hangs at or below the level of the pubis
  • There is evidence of a rash in or under the excessive skin folds that has not gone away despite topical anti-fungal treatment (typically at least 3 months)
  • Documented stable weight (typically at least 6 months). For patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, most insurance plans require at least 18 or sometimes 24 months of documented stable weight

To apply for approval for your panniculectomy with your insurance, you will have to document your case using pictures and possibly supporting letters from a physician.

We hope that we have helped you learn more about the medical benefits of tummy tucks and how to finance them. If you have any other questions, please contact us – we’re always happy to help! If you are ready to move forward with your tummy tuck, simply schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeon by clicking below.   

Each patient is unique. What your treatment will look like is determined by you and the plastic surgeon who you will meet with in a personal consultation.

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