In this day and age there is such a variety of options when it comes to medical treatment. Each year brings new forms of medical advancements around the world for treatment of all kinds of medical conditions.
While not a relatively new treatment option, Botox is purposeful not only for cosmetic reasons, but now also for palliative care.
What is Botox and How Does it Work?
Botox is derived from a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin that is composed from bacterium. The bacterium is found in our natural habitat, including soil, bodies of water, forests and the intestinal tracts of mammals and fish.
Botox comes in a small concentration of a dry powder-like substance. It’s combined with sterile Saline to form the injectable solution. When injected, it prevents the nerve cells from transmitting signals to the affected muscle(s), therefore paralyzing the area.
While Botox is technically considered poisonous, when used in small doses it can be beneficial for an assortment of conditions.
The most popular and predominate use for Botox over the years has been for cosmetic purposes. For the last 15 years, men and women globally, have been opting to use Botox and injectable fillers rather than having more invasive procedures like facelifts and other cosmetic surgeries.
When injected, it temporarily diminishes the appearance of fine lines and facial wrinkles leaving the skin smooth.
Because of the temporary paralysis of muscle with Botox use, there has been scientific studies over the years to prove effectiveness for multiple medical conditions. Furthermore, some medical issues that can be treated with Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) are:
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Muscle spasticity associated with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and mini-strokes
- Overactive bladder and bladder incontinence
- Chronic migraines
- Cervical dystonia/torticollis
- Hemifacial spasm
- Acne/burn victims with scarring
Does Medicare Cover Botox Treatments?
While the upside of using Botox leaves you looking younger and with an aesthetically pleasing outcome, the downside is the cost. Thus, there’s no insurance coverage for cosmetic procedures and Botox can end up quite costly.
Depending on how much is needed for corrective therapy, the expense of multiple units of Botox can leave you with excessive out of pocket (OOP) costs.
For Medicare beneficiaries there is some good news. If your treating physician deems Botox treatment as medically necessary, the procedure can be covered by your Medicare Part B benefits.
In most cases, insurance requires the patient to have tried and failed most all conservative care prior to approving the costly, alternative treatment.
Once approved, Medicare will cover the injections at 80%. In addition, a Medicare Part D Plan or Prescription Drug Plan can provide a small portion of coverage for this therapeutic treatment as it does require a prescription from your healthcare provider.
Unfortunately, with Botox already being costly, based on how many units are required for treatment will determine your 20% remaining OOP cost. And as Botox only provides temporary relief, the injections will need repeating every 4-6 months. This can add up quickly over time.
Medicare Supplement Plans are vital in scenarios like this. They pick up the remaining 20% coinsurance, deductibles and copayments not covered by Original Medicare. Having a Medicare Supplement Plan may help offset some of the cost associated with interventional procedures like Botox.
Fill out our online form or call us today. Our licensed insurance agents can help answer questions regarding the various Medicare Supplement Plans including cost and coverage.
Fun Facts on Botox
As outlined in an article on Medical News Today, there are a few interesting facts regarding this versatile pharmaceutical.
- Botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment, with more than 6 million Botox treatments administered each year.
- Botox is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment where it is largely inactive and non-toxic.
- Botulism, an illness caused by botulinum toxin, can cause respiratory failure and prove deadly.
- Just 1 gram of botulinum toxin could kill over 1 million people. Two kilograms could kill the entire human population of Earth.