Does Medicare Cover Lipoma Removal?
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Does Medicare Cover Lipoma Removal?

Close up top view of a woman showing a round-shaped Lipoma fatty tumor on an open palm stock photo

By Daniel Petkevich

Dec 8, 2022

See if you might be covered

Lipoma removal might be covered by Medicare if your physician determines the lipoma poses a risk to your health. Generally, Medicare will cover your medically necessary health expenses, but not health expenses that are only cosmetic. Lipoma removal can cost $2,000 on average, with costs going up to $7,000 according to some estimates. So are you covered? Let's find out.

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What is a lipoma?

A lipoma is a non-cancerous growth composed of fatty tissue. It usually appears as a soft, round lump on the skin and is sometimes called a “fatty tumor.” Lipomas can be found anywhere on the body but are most common on the back, neck, arms or shoulders. They are usually painless and move easily under the skin when touched. Although lipomas are generally harmless, some people opt to have them removed for cosmetic reasons or if they become too large and uncomfortable.

In most cases, lipoma removal is considered an elective procedure and, therefore, not covered by Medicare. However, if your doctor determines that the lipoma poses a risk to your health, Medicare may cover some or all of the costs associated with its removal. Similar procedures that are typically cosmetic but might have medically necessary uses, such as botox, will have similar coverage rules. You should always consult with a doctor to discuss whether lipoma removal is necessary and what procedures are available. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action and answer any questions you may have regarding coverage.

What are the symptoms of a lipoma?

The most common symptom of a lipoma is the presence of a soft, round lump on the skin. It usually appears as a solitary lump and is typically painless and mobile. Other symptoms may include swelling or redness around the growth and sometimes discomfort when pressing on it.

If you experience these symptoms and suspect you may have a lipoma, you should talk to your doctor. They can examine you and perform tests to confirm the presence of a lipoma and provide an appropriate treatment plan.

How is a lipoma diagnosed?

Your doctor will examine the lump to assess its size and characteristics. They may also perform tests such as imaging scans or a biopsy to rule out other possible causes. The results of these tests can help your doctor confirm a diagnosis of lipoma and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

What are the treatment options for a lipoma?

The most common treatment for a lipoma is surgical removal. This involves making an incision and physically removing the growth from the body. Other treatments include steroid injections, cryotherapy and other minimally invasive techniques. However, your doctor will determine the best option based on your individual needs and preferences.

Is lipoma removal covered by Medicare?

Medicare may cover the costs associated with lipoma removal if your doctor determines that the lipoma poses a risk to your health. Generally, cosmetic procedures are not covered by Medicare. Talk to your doctor before deciding on any treatment plan and discuss whether your lipoma removal is medically necessary or elective. They can help you understand what options are available and if Medicare will cover the costs associated with lipoma removal.

If you get Medicare approval for lipoma removal, it will likely be covered by Medicare Part B as an outpatient procedure. You may be responsible for up to 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. If you want to lower your out-of-pocket costs, the best way is with a Medicare Supplement Plan G.

How to choose a physician for lipoma removal?

It is important to choose a physician with experience in lipoma removal. Talk to your doctor about their qualifications and experience in this type of procedure. You may also want to ask for references from other patients who have had the procedure done. Additionally, ask if the physician has any special training or certifications that make them qualified to perform the procedure. Finally, make sure to research the physician’s qualifications and read any reviews you can find online. This will help ensure that you are choosing a qualified physician who is experienced in lipoma removal.

Takeaway

Lipomas are generally harmless and can be removed for cosmetic reasons or if they become too large. In most cases, lipoma removal is considered an elective procedure and may not be covered by Medicare. However, if your doctor determines that the lipoma risks your health, Medicare may cover some costs associated with the procedure. Be sure to talk with your doctor before pursuing treatment. This content is for informational purposes only. Talk with an expert at Fair Square Medicare if you have any questions about your Medicare coverage.

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