In Australia, Breast Augmentation Covered by Medicare
The Australian healthcare system is different from that in the US, with a single-payer system (called Medicare) designed to provide affordable or even free medical care to every resident. And this includes breast augmentation, in some cases. There are relatively few claims for Medicare-reimbursed breast augmentation, but the numbers are growing. There were 361 claims between July 2009 and September 2010, which represents an increase of 50% over the past five years.
The clinical indications for the surgeries actually included breast reconstruction, but also included claims for breast augmentation due to asymmetry. The number of claims is far too small, according to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, which wants Medicare to cover breast augmentation undertaken on the basis of “hypomastia”–small breasts. According to the society’s president, “There are a certain number of women with significant hypomastia who would benefit from breast augmentation from both a psychological and physical perspective.”
Although it is true that breast augmentation does have a number of documented benefits, the subjective nature of the benefits and the elective nature of the procedure makes it seem highly unlikely that the procedure will ever be covered by the system. But it is not entirely unprecedented. Breast augmentation for hypomastia was actually covered by Australia’s system during the 1970s and 80s, but was removed from the roles of covered procedures.
Even though it is not covered by insurance, many women find the benefits of the procedure more than justify the expense. To learn more about breast augmentation and its benefits, please contact Dr. Vasdev Rai at the Cosmetic Surgical Center in Dallas.