Dermatology is not just for cosmetic reasons. Dermatology may also help in treating medical conditions, mainly in the skin, hair, and nails. So a common question many people have is, “Does Medicare cover Dermatology?” In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of dermatology services, as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Dermatology?
The short answer is yes. Medicare may cover the costs of dermatology care and services. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met in order for Medicare to pay for your derm treatment. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for routine dermatology services (ie. a full body skin exam). However, Medicare may cover dermatology care if it is medically necessary, such as:
- For evaluation
- Diagnosing a specific medical condition
- Treating a specific medical condition
- When cosmetic surgery will improve or repair a malformed body part or injury
If approved, Medicare Part B may cover the cost of dermatology care. Two examples of dermatology services that Medicare may cover are breast prostheses after a mastectomy, and a skin exam after a biopsy indicates skin cancer.
Medicare will not cover procedures that are purely for cosmetic reasons.
Here are some dermatology services Medicare may cover:
- Skin tag removal (only if medically necessary)
- Rosacea treatment (if it’s FDA approved)
- Allergy tests that treat a specific allergen
- Mole removal
- Psoriasis treatment
If a dermatologists prescribes medications, Medicare Part D may cover the cost. As with other treatment options, however, the meds must be medically necessary. For example, Medicare will not cover the cost of hair growth medication or others used for cosmetic reasons.
However, it will cover meds that treat ocnditions such as acne, eczema, Rosacea or Psoriasis.
Some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide additional coverage for dermatology services. These plans must cover everything Original Medicare covers. But they can provide extra coverage for things Original Medicare does not. Exactly what a plan covers and what the out of pocket costs are varies widely.
You’ll want to reach out to your plan provider to find the specifics for your plan. Or, search for an Advantage plan that has the best coverage options for your needs.
How Much Does Dermatology Cost?
Dermatologist visits typically cost between $170 and $200. However, the price may vary on the location. Though most of the time the cost does not drop under $100, cheaper clinics cost around $70 to $80.
What Is A Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the skin, nails, and hair.
Did you know that they can treat over 3,000 conditions?! That’s pretty impressive!
To be a dermatologist, one must undergo 12 or more years of school and extensive training. They first undergo four years of college to earn a bachelor’s degree, then another four years at a medical school to become a medical doctor. After that, they undergo one year of internship, and the next three years will be spent on residency.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.
Additional Info on Medicare Coverage
This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”
Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover transportation?