Yes friends, I've just had a - not so extreme - makeover.
Because I was a bad boy for many years and didn't rotate my injecting sites all that well (read 'at all') after about 10 long years my lower abs resembled something akin to a swollen sponge.
This was very annoying, particularly after 3 years at the gym, where I was able to develop a 4 pack, but the spongy yucky stuff in the lower abs is very difficult to shift. This spongy - sometimes lumpy - condition is known as Lipodystrophy and one of the few treatments is liposuction. After consultation with Endo and then a plastic surgeon I was booked in.
Guess what? What Medicare didn't cover in hospital my PHI covered fully (yes, you read correctly). Here is a relevant extract re Medicare:
T8.70 Liposuction (Items 45584, 45585)
T8.70.1 Medicare benefits for liposuction are generally attracted under Item 45584, that is, for the treatment of post
traumatic pseudolipoma. Such trauma must be significant and result in large haematoma and localised swelling. Only on
very rare occasions would benefits be payable for bilateral liposuction.
T8.70.2 Where liposuction is indicated for the treatment of conditions such as pathological lipodystrophy of hips, buttocks,
thighs and lower legs (including knees), gynaecomastia and lymphoedema, Item 45585 applies. Claims for benefits under this
item should be accompanied by full clinical details, including full body pre-operative photographs. Where digital photographs
are supplied, they must also be accompanied by polaroid photographs. The claim and the additional information should be
lodged with Medicare, for referral to the Central Office of the Commission, in a sealed envelope marked ‘Medical-in
Confidence’. (See note 8.7 of the General Explanatory Notes.)
I had quite prominent swelling.
Anyways it's over a week since the procedure and the results are fantastic. I've got a flat tummy, I've got a flat tummy...
I have to wear a compression bandage around the tum-tum for a little while longer, but I feel great.
So just in case anyone else was out there thinking that this was not covered (this was what my Endo thought), I post my success story. Mind you I do have top hosp. cover, but not sure if this has much to do with it.
I did pay some out of pocket expenses for the plastic surgeon and the anaesthetist, but only a couple of hundred dollars.
"This calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence."