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March 29, 2017 | money-management

Cosmetic Surgery Can Be More Affordable Than You Think

If you are considering cosmetic surgery and are wondering how you’re going to pay for it, there is a solution you might not have known was available to you. Rather than take a personal loan or use credit cards – which are accompanied by high interest rates – you should consider funding the portion of your procedure that is not covered by insurance (whether some or all of it) with the equity you’ve accumulated in your home.

That’s right – in spite of what you may have heard to the contrary, there is no law that requires you to use your Home Equity Loan for repairs or upgrades to that home. The money is yours to do with as you see fit.

Types of Procedures

There are many medical-related procedures that you can use your Home Equity Loan to cover; it’s not just limited to traditional plastic surgery.

Lap Band and Gastric Bypass Procedures: Some insurance companies will, at least partially, cover these weight-loss operations, but they often cost over $20,000 because of fees charged by surgeons, hospitals, anesthesiologists, and surgical assistants.

Liposuction: Each session of this fat-deposit removal procedure can run into thousands of dollars – and that’s before anesthesiologist and associated costs are factored in.

Dental Veneers: These can make your teeth look fantastic, but they cost thousands.

Dental Implants: The procedures to install these can be complicated, but there is no arguing with the results – they are far preferable to full dentures. As you can imagine, using dental implants for crowns, bridges and partial dentures can be a very costly procedure. Dental insurance being what it is, chances are you’re going to have to come up with some or all of the money yourself.

Elective Plastic Surgery: Unless your procedure was made necessary because of an accident, insurance is not going to get involved in covering your costs.

Hearing Ads: The best models can run into thousands of dollars.

LASIK Eye Surgery: Although LASIK can greatly improve your quality of life, it is not usually covered by insurance. At its higher end, LASIK can run several thousand dollars per eye.

Funding The Procedures

Your best hope is that some or all of what you want done will be covered by your insurance company. You’ll want to work closely with them in the hopes that they will pay some of the costs – especially if your doctor can make a compelling case that intervention is necessary. Whatever is left over (the entire amount in cases where the procedure is purely elective) is going to be on you.

Health Savings Accounts are one way to accumulate money for procedures your insurance won’t cover. You (or your employer, in some cases) make contributions to the account. There is a yearly cap on the amount of the contributions allowed, but the unused money rolls over from year to year and are invested over time.

Medical Flexible Spending Accounts are another way to pay for procedures and items not covered by insurance. Employees set aside some of each paycheck for this purpose and this money is not taxed. Unlike with Health Savings Accounts, however, the money does not roll over from year to year.

Some doctors are happy to set up payment plans, but you may find the interest rates on these to be fairly high. Other doctors won’t gouge on the interest, but will offer a discount if your bill is paid in a lump sum at the time of the procedure. This is the perfect use of the money you get from your Home Equity Loan as you’ll be saving on both ends: a lower fee for the procedure and a lower interest rate on the loan.

The Best Rates

Because you are using your home as collateral, you are unlikely to find a better interest rate than on a those found on Home Equity Loans. Furthermore, your loan might also be tax deductible1 (check with a tax professional to find out for certain). Being able to fund your dream procedure with equity you already have on hand at a very competitive rate that could also possibly be tax deductible – that sounds like a pretty good deal right there!

Ready to tap into your home's equity?

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