Rack adjustment

There are several — at least two, anyway — good reasons why a woman might want a breast reduction, but there are traps waiting along the way to the operating room:

Without insurance approval, getting a reduction in New York City can cost you upwards of $10,000.

My J. Crew Factory Store lifestyle couldn’t accommodate such expenses. Even if I did have ten grand lying around, I’d rather spend it on something more exciting than boob deflation, like a very nice kayak or a few of those Volcano candles from Anthropologie.

Insurance approval was a must for me to move forward.

Easier said than done, though:

Even with all my medical documentation, the insurance company itself had to inspect my honkers. And so, I found myself standing topless in an exam room while a surgeon I’d just met snapped pictures of my chest.

He directed me in what was surely the world’s most awkward photo shoot: “Turn a little to the left … Pull your shoulders back … Move your hair out of the way.” It. was. not. cool.

And even then:

After flinging myself back into the hospital gown with all the poise of an ostrich on fire, I asked the surgeon what he thought my chances were for getting insurance approval. Turns out, after all that, he thought my chances weren’t great. When I pressed, he admitted the approval process was extremely opaque, so he was hesitant to give me any sort of assurance.

Of course it’s opaque. They resist the very idea of patients knowing what they’re doing.





9 comments

  1. McG »

    6 January 2017 · 8:11 am

    “Wait — she wants us to pay for her to make those smaller? Well dammit, she’s gonna have to give us something to remember them by!”

  2. jsallison »

    6 January 2017 · 10:50 am

    Sounds like time to shop for doc-in-a-box. Find someone willing to work for cash on the barrelhead, or a time payment arrangement of some sort, and bypass the insurance thugs.

  3. ETat »

    6 January 2017 · 12:00 pm

    …or turn to other state’s doctor to escape NY prices

  4. CGHill »

    6 January 2017 · 12:32 pm

    Or possibly both. We have a cash-only clinic here that charges well below the usual rates. They ask $9500, but this includes everything: no add-ons or facility charges or doctors’ fees.

  5. fillyjonk »

    6 January 2017 · 1:14 pm

    Cash-only, or patient-pays, does seem to lead to lower prices. My eye doctor does a particular diagnostic test (retinal scanning) that’s important for people like me, but which our vision care insurance doesn’t cover. He approached me very hesitantly the first time I went there, explaining it wasn’t paid by insurance. I asked him the cost.

    “$30” he said.

    $30 for a test that might identify a couple serious problems at a point where something could be done to slow down their progression? Seems like more than a fair deal to me.

  6. ETat »

    6 January 2017 · 1:51 pm

    FJ! missed you.
    Glad you’re back.

  7. In The Mailbox: 01.06.17 : The Other McCain »

    6 January 2017 · 2:02 pm

    […] Dustbury: Rack Adjustment […]

  8. CGHill »

    6 January 2017 · 2:40 pm

    Same holds true with my eye doctor: the scan costs $30 extra, and insurance does not cover it.

  9. OrangeEnt »

    7 January 2017 · 9:07 pm

    “Even with all my medical documentation, the insurance company itself had to inspect my honkers. And so, I found myself standing topless in an exam room while a surgeon I’d just met snapped pictures of my chest.”

    And somehow they will end up on the internet….

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