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does Medicare cover laser hair removal

Does Medicare Cover Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is mainly a cosmetic procedure. And, in general, Medicare does not cover cosmetic procedures.  

However, there are procedures that, while are usually cosmetic in nature, may be medically necessary sometimes. And, in those cases, Medicare will often cover them. 

So that makes many of us wonder if maybe Medicare could pay for a laser hair removal.  

That leads us to a common question many people have which is, “Does Medicare cover Laser Hair Removal?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of laser hair removal and other helpful info. 

Does Medicare Cover Laser Hair Removal? 

The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of laser hair removal. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your laser hair removal.  

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for laser hair removal. So that means you will have to pay 100 percent for your laser hair removal. Laser hair removal typically does not treat or diagnose a medical condition, nor does it repair or improve a body function. All that means that Medicare will not cover it. But there is an exception. 

Medicare may provide coverage for gender reassignment surgery if it is to help a person with gender dysphoria transition to their desired gender. And one of the procedures included in a gender reassignment surgery, specifically in a transition from biologically male to female, is laser hair removal.  

Other than that, we are not aware of other situations Medicare will pay for it. 

Just like with Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) may also provide coverage for laser hair removal if the above exception for gender reassignment surgery applies to you.  

Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers, but usually also offer some additional benefits. However, laser hair removal is not a common extra benefit many, if any, Advantage plans offer.  

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost? 

Laser hair removal usually costs somewhere from $75 to $500 per session. Most commonly you’ll find the costs ranging between $75 to $200 per session.  

One of the factors that may affect the cost of laser hair removal is which body part will undergo the procedure. Laser hair removal for underarms can cost from $75 to $150. Having it done in the bikini area may cost between $75 to $200. Laser hair removal on the back costs from $250 to $500.  

Another factor that may affect the overall cost is who will provide the service. It can either be a doctor, nurse, or an assistant.  

What Is The Difference Between Laser Hair Removal And Electrolysis? 

They are both known for their effective way of removing hair by targeting the hair follicles under the skin. To slow down hair growth, laser hair removal uses high-heat lasers. Meanwhile, electrolysis inserts an epilator device into the skin which uses shortwave radio frequencies in hair follicles to stop new hair from growing. It damages the hair, causing it to fall out. 

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 visual field testing?

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