Are Mastectomy Bras Covered By Insurance?

The price of the prosthesis and mastectomy bras will be covered by most insurance carriers, and Medicare will reimburse them if they are medically necessary. Patients should obtain a prescription from their doctor detailing their diagnosis as well as the requirement for a right or left breast prosthesis as well as prosthetic bras.

How many mastectomy bras are covered by insurance?

Your provider will tell you all you need to know about your policy, including what it covers, how much it will pay, how many bras and breast forms you are eligible for each year, and whether you need pre-authorization.

While there is significant variation in coverage among insurance companies, most major medical insurance policies cover mastectomy devices if they meet certain criteria. A breast prosthesis (breast form) is covered by many insurance policies once a year. Most insurance carriers will pay two to four mastectomy bras each year if you present a physician’s prescription. It is your obligation to understand what your plan entails. Unfortunately, our fitters do not have access to or the ability to look up every single plan and what it contains.

Are surgical bras covered by insurance?

A. Taking assignment with insurance or Medicare implies that we are ready to accept the amount that they allow for a certain product, that we file the claim, and that we get paid directly by the insurance company or Medicare for the percentage that your policy specifies. Because Medicare pays us directly for 80 percent of the authorized amount, or $80, if they allow $100 for a covered product, they will pay us directly for 80 percent of the allowed amount, or $80. You will be responsible for 20% of the total, or $20. If your insurance coverage is 70/30, that means that they will pay us 70% of their permissible amount and you will be responsible for 30%, and so on.

A. Each insurance plan is different, and many do not cover wigs, but we do have several contracts that do, such as with Aetna. We will gladly check your benefits as a favor. When you arrive, make sure you have your insurance card and driver’s license with you. If you wish to double-check your own coverage, call your insurance provider and inquire if A9282, Cranial Prosthesis, is covered. Please note down the name of the person you spoke with, as well as the date and time of the conversation, and get a call reference number.

Q. If I have breast reconstruction, will my health insurance cover post-mastectomy products?

A. Yes, if you have breast reconstruction, your health insurance should cover bras, breast prosthesis, breast forms, and camisoles if they are medically necessary. Your insurance should pay a breast prosthesis overlay or partial prosthesis for a more symmetrical look if you find your breast reconstruction undesirable or has left you un-symmetrical. We will gladly check your benefits as a favor.

A. Silicone prostheses are allowed every two years, foam prostheses every six months, and 2-4 mastectomy bras every year under Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance plans. However, when medical necessity is demonstrated due to weight loss, weight growth, or products are lost, stolen, or irreversibly destroyed, these can be replaced as needed.

A. Currently, no compression garments for the lower extremities are covered by Medicare. Medicare will reimburse knee high compression hose as a “surgical dressing” if you have an open wound or sore that is being treated by a doctor. Even if you have Home Health, Medicare will not fund compression hose because the Home Health Agency is responsible for providing any necessary “surgical dressings.”

A. When medical need is established, many insurance policies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna Healthcare, and most Medicaid plans, will fund a custom prosthesis. Aetna’s plans, for the most part, follow Medicare’s guidelines and consider them aesthetic rather than medically required. Request a Mastectomy Fitter at your local Women’s Health Boutique. We’ll go through your insurance coverage to determine if a personalized prosthesis is covered.

A. No, Medicare deems a bespoke prosthesis to be purely ornamental and hence not medically required. In terms of non-coverage of a bespoke prosthesis, most Medicare benefit plans and some insurance plans are now following Medicare criteria.

A. Unless medical necessity needs it sooner, most insurance plans will cover a bespoke prosthesis every two years.

A. To make a claim for products covered by your insurance, we’ll need all of your insurance information, as well as a prescription from your doctor or Primary Care Physician, if your policy requires one.

Q. How do I know if my insurance company is in network with you and if the things I’m looking for are covered?

A. You should contact your insurance provider directly for the most accurate information. To see if your organization is included in our In-Network Insurance List, go to our In-Network Insurance List. We’ll work with you and your insurance company to confirm your benefits and determine whether the products you require are covered by your policy.

Q. I was told that my products require prior authorization; what does this mean?

A. Some health insurance policies may cover an item, but we must first seek authorization from them before filing a claim on your behalf. In that scenario, we’ll need a prescription from your doctor as well as your comprehensive medical records to get prior authorization for your items.

A. It depends on your insurance policy. If you have traditional Medicare, once you’ve met your deductible, your cost will be 20% of the Medicare permitted amount. You may not have any out-of-pocket costs if you have Medicare plus a supplement plan. For all other insurances, your out-of-pocket costs will be determined by your actual plan coverage, whether you’ve met your deductible and/or out-of-pocket limits, and product upgrades. Because all Medicaid plans pay 100%, your cost will be nothing. Furthermore, most breast pumps are covered in full, with no deductible or copay.

What’s the difference between a deductible, an out-of-pocket maximum, and a co-insurance/copay?

A. Most insurance plans require you to pay a deductible before they will start paying your claims. They will begin paying according to your policy after your deductible has been satisfied. Once your deductible has been paid, your coverage will cover 80% of allowable expenditures. The remaining 20%, or your Co-Insurance payment, will be your responsibility. Most insurance policies will also have an Out of Pocket Limit, which means that after you’ve reached that limit, your insurance will cover you completely.

A. You must inform us if you have multiple insurance policies. Claims are filed first with your primary insurance, then with any extra plans you may have. If we don’t have the right policies in place, any outstanding balances may fall on your shoulders.

A. It is debatable. Some supplement policies do not cover Medicare deductibles, so you will be responsible for that portion. Most supplement insurance will cover the remaining 20% once Medicare has paid, but you may still be responsible for out-of-pocket costs if your policy requires you to meet a deductible first, if Medicare does not pay, or if your supplement only covers part of the 20%.

A. At the time of service, we collect your Co-Insurance and, if applicable, your Deductible. If your EOB says that your “patient responsibility” is less than what you have paid on an assigned claim after it has processed, we will provide you a refund for the difference.

A. If your insurance company fails to pay and you are responsible for the balance, we will send you an invoice with numerous payment options: You can pay with a credit or debit card, a personal check, or a payment plan. You can set up a payment plan with our Billing Department or pay with your credit/debit card over the phone.

What does insurance cover after mastectomy?

Many women with breast cancer who choose to have their breasts rebuilt (reconstructed) after a mastectomy benefit under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA). A mastectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of all or part of the breast. Most group insurance plans that provide mastectomies must also cover breast reconstruction under this federal law. On October 21, 1998, it was signed into law. This statute is overseen by the US Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.

The Affordable Care Act provides extra safeguards (ACA). A group health plan cannot limit or refuse benefits due to a pre-existing condition for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014 (a plan year can be any 12-month term that the insurer chooses).


  • For plan years beginning on or after October 1, 1998, this rule applies to group health plans.
  • As long as the plan covers medical and surgical expenditures for mastectomy, it applies to group health plans, health insurance companies, and HMOs.

Under the WHCRA, mastectomy benefits must cover:

  • After a mastectomy, surgery and reconstruction of the second breast are performed to make the breasts appear symmetrical or balanced.
  • Any external breast prostheses (breast forms that fit into your bra) that may be required before or after the reconstruction.
  • Any physical issues, including lymphedema, at any stage of the mastectomy procedure (fluid build-up in the arm and chest on the side of the surgery)

Benefits for mastectomy surgery may have a yearly deductible and require you to pay some out-of-pocket expenses.

Does BCBS cover mastectomy bras?

This isn’t true. This is a policy of reimbursement. Policy: Members who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy are reimbursed for a post-mastectomy or lumpectomy breast prosthesis (unilateral or bilateral), mastectomy form, breast prosthesis garment, and mastectomy bra, subject to the member’s prosthetic device benefits.

What is one breast mastectomy called?

If you have breast cancer or are at a high risk of acquiring it, a mastectomy is performed to remove all of your breast tissue. A mastectomy to remove one breast (unilateral mastectomy) or both breasts (bilateral mastectomy) is an option (bilateral mastectomy).

Does Medicare cover cost of mastectomy bras?

Other products, such as mastectomy pillows, mastectomy blouses, and swimwear, are unlikely to be covered by Medicare.

Manufacturers offer a large range of post-mastectomy items in various sorts, styles, sizes, and colors.

External Breast Prosthesis

A breast prosthesis, often known as a breast form, is a prosthetic breast that is worn following a mastectomy. A prosthesis can be worn next to the skin, inside a mastectomy bra pocket, or affixed to the chest wall.

For the duration of the prosthesis, Medicare will cover one breast prosthesis per side.

Silicone breast prosthesis have a two-year useful life, while fabric, foam, or fiber-filled breast prostheses have a six-month useful life.

If your original external breast prosthesis is lost or damaged, you can obtain a new one sooner.

Only if a change in your medical condition necessitates the use of a new external breast prosthesis of a different type is covered.

Part B of Medicare pays for breast prosthesis. You will be responsible for 20% of the cost, with Medicare covering the remaining 80%.

Mastectomy Bras and Camisoles

Mastectomy bras are similar to conventional bras, except they have internal spandex stretch pockets to keep your breast prosthesis in place.

A removable breast form that fits into the camisole garment is included with soft form camisoles. Following a mastectomy or reconstruction breast surgery, a post-surgical camisole is frequently worn.

Mastectomy bras and camisoles are available online, at specialty stores, and in mastectomy boutiques.

Customer service employees at some retailers can call Medicare directly and file a claim on your behalf.

How often can I get a new breast prosthesis?

The new External Breast Prostheses, Bras, and Associated Consumables framework will begin on October 30, 2020, and will end on October 29, 2022. There is an opportunity to extend the contract for another 24 months.

Breast cancer survivors can choose from a variety of items, including entire, partial, soft form, and leisure breast prostheses, post-operative encapsulation, and compression style bras. Replacement adhesive backing, prosthesis covers, additional bra straps, shoulder pads, drainage bag holders, and prostheses cleaners are all available for this structure.

To provide patients with more product options, the product selection has been expanded to encompass more sizes and ranges. This new framework includes 3,415 goods, including 1,500 new products from both new and existing providers. The eDirect route provides access to all products.

Whole breast form prosthesis can be worn on the outside of the breast, within a pocketed bra, or directly on the skin’s surface. They are mostly made of silicone and can be made from a solid or foam silicone or an exterior polyurethane layer filled with silicone gel. When the entire breast has been surgically removed, it is used to simulate a whole/full breast. It comes in a variety of forms, sizes, colors, and weights to meet the individual’s needs.

Outside of the breast, partial breast form prosthesis, enhancers, overlays, and nipples can be employed. A polyurethane layer filled with silicone gel is used to make partial breast prosthesis. When only a part of tissue has been taken from a breast, they can be used inside a pocketed bra to provide symmetry. A range of asymmetric and symmetrical shapes, sizes, and weights are available to meet the individual’s specific needs.

A breast care nurse specialist or supplier fitters who run in-house patient clinics fit prostheses items.

Every two years, the NHS usually provides a new artificial breast prosthesis since the old one has become worn or broken. If a patient grows or loses weight, it may need to be replaced.

Wigs, headscarves, and bandanas are among the additional options accessible for chemotherapy patients on our Wigs and Accessories framework. For further information, see our Useful Links section.

The framework provides a National Pricing Matrix (NPM) from a variety of providers, allowing clients who can combine their purchasing to save money.

Is a bilateral mastectomy the same as a double mastectomy?

This type of intensive surgery is currently uncommon. The entire breast, axillary (underarm) lymph nodes, and pectoral (chest wall) muscles under the breast are removed by the surgeon. This operation was originally highly popular, but it has been discovered that less invasive procedures (such as the modified radical mastectomy) are just as successful and have fewer adverse effects. If the tumor has spread to the pectoral muscles, this operation may be necessary.

Skin-sparing mastectomy

The majority of the skin over the breast is left in situ during this treatment. The breast tissue, nipple, and areola are the only parts of the body that are removed. When compared to a simple mastectomy, the amount of breast tissue removed is the same. During the procedure, implants or tissue from other regions of the body can be used to reconstruct the breast.

Many women choose a skin-sparing mastectomy because it results in less scar tissue and a more natural-looking reconstructed breast. However, it may not be appropriate for larger tumors or ones that are near to the skin’s surface.

This form of mastectomy has the same risk of local cancer recurrence as other types of mastectomies.

Skin-sparing mastectomies should be performed by a team of breast surgeons with extensive experience in this technique, according to experts.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy

The breast tissue is removed and the breast skin is saved in a nipple-sparing mastectomy, which is comparable to a skin-sparing mastectomy. The nipple and areola, on the other hand, are left in place throughout this surgery. Breast reconstruction can be done after this. During the operation, the surgeon frequently takes breast tissue from beneath the nipple and areola to screen for cancer cells. The nipple and areola must be removed if malignancy is discovered in this tissue.

This type of mastectomy is more commonly used for women who have a tiny, early-stage malignancy that is located far enough away from the nipple and areola (more than 2cm), and there are no signs of cancer in the skin or nipple.

There are dangers associated with any procedure. The nipple may not have a strong blood supply after surgery, leading the tissue to shrink or distort. Because the nerves are also severed, the nipple may have little or no feeling left. If a woman’s breasts are larger, the nipple may appear out of position following reconstruction. As a result, many doctors believe that women with tiny to medium-sized breasts are the ideal candidates for this procedure. This treatment has less visible scars, but it also has a higher risk of leaving more breast tissue behind than other types of mastectomy. This may increase the risk of cancer development compared to a skin-sparing or standard mastectomy. However, advances in technique have helped to reduce this danger, and the risk of cancer returning in the same region is similar to that of other types of mastectomies. In some circumstances, most specialists believe that a nipple-sparing mastectomy is a suitable treatment for breast cancer.

Experts also recommended that, like a skin-sparing mastectomy, this type of mastectomy be performed by a team of breast surgeons who have a lot of experience with this technique.

Double mastectomy

A double (or bilateral) mastectomy occurs when both breasts are removed. For women with an extremely high risk of breast cancer, such as those who have a BRCA gene mutation, a double mastectomy may be performed as a risk-reducing (or preventative) operation. The majority of these mastectomies are straightforward, although some may be nipple-sparing. In some cases, a double mastectomy may be necessary as part of a woman’s breast cancer treatment regimen. After careful deliberation and discussion with the patient’s cancer care team, this is done.

Can you choose a double mastectomy?

  • Stage 0 — DCIS is a type of early-stage cancer (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ), Stage IA, Stage IB, Stage IC, Stage IX, Stage IX, Stage IX Stage IB, Stage IIA, Stage IIB, Mastectomy, and Planning/Considering Surgery are all early stages.

Some women who have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in one breast choose for a double mastectomy, in which the cancerous breast is removed together with the healthy breast. Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy refers to the removal of the other healthy breast.

Because of the understandable worry of a new, second breast cancer developing in that breast, the healthy breast is routinely removed. In the late 1990s, between 4% and 6% of women undergoing mastectomy chose to have the other healthy breast removed as well. Even though earlier studies have indicated that removing the other healthy breast does not increase survival, a study published in 2016 found that rates of preventative mastectomy more than tripled from 2002 to 2012.

According to a new study, nearly half of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer contemplated having a double mastectomy, and one in six (about 17%) of those who were at low risk of acquiring a second breast cancer underwent the procedure.

Between July 2013 and September 2014, the researchers examined 2,402 women who had been newly diagnosed with stage 0, stage I, or stage II breast cancer. The researchers were interested in learning more about:

  • In all, 43.9 percent of women considered contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, with 24.8 percent very or very strongly considering it.
  • Only 38.1 percent of the women were aware that contralateral preventive mastectomy does not increase survival for all breast cancer patients. Only women at high risk of a second breast cancer, such as those with a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer, such as a faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, or those with a strong family history of the disease, benefit from removing the other healthy breast.
  • Almost all of the ladies reported that peace of mind was a driving factor in their decision to have a contralateral preventive mastectomy.

Certain characteristics were connected to a higher risk of a woman having contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, according to the researchers, including:

  • 39.3 percent of these women reported their surgeon advised against contralateral prophylactic mastectomy; yet, about 2% of these women underwent contralateral prophylactic mastectomy anyway.
  • 19% of the 46.8% of these women who received no recommendation for or against contralateral prophylactic mastectomy chose to have contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

“It’s pretty stunning that one out of every six breast cancer patients chose bilateral mastectomy,” said Reshma Jagsi, M.D., professor and vice head of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan. “We knew it was becoming worse, but I don’t believe many of us realized how common it was.”

“It’s understandable that newly diagnosed breast cancer patients could find it challenging to assimilate this complex information at a time when emotions are running high. It may appear intuitive that more invasive surgery would be more effective in combating disease, but this is not the case with breast cancer. She went on to say, “It’s a big communication difficulty.” “We want to be mindful of our patients’ interests and values as clinicians.” We don’t want to annoy patients who are already dealing with a difficult situation. We want them to have faith in us. When a patient says she wants a double mastectomy, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between respecting her wishes and clearly communicating why the medical community doesn’t think it’s required.”

Fears about the future can influence how you make decisions when you’re first diagnosed with breast cancer. This is especially true for women who have a breast cancer gene mutation or have had a mother or sibling afflicted with the disease. You must make a number of judgments during an emotionally charged period in which it can be difficult to absorb and comprehend all of the new information.

Ask your doctor about all of your treatment and risk-reduction choices if you’ve been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. One of these choices is contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, which is a bold step. While it may be the best choice for you, allow yourself the time you need to think it through thoroughly. It’s a good idea to discuss how the details in your pathology report may affect your future risk with your doctor. You want to be sure that your decisions are based on your true risk of recurrence or the development of a new malignancy. Make sure you’re aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each option. You and your doctor can work together to make the best decisions for you and your condition.

Do you get to keep your nipples after a mastectomy?

When a mastectomy is used to treat breast cancer, the nipple is usually removed along with the rest of the breast. (Some women may be able to have a nipple-sparing mastectomy, which leaves the nipple intact.) This is covered in greater depth on our mastectomy page.)

If you’re having breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, you can choose whether you want the nipple and the dark area around it (areola) to be reconstructed using surgery, tattooing, or both.