The human body produces a huge variety of different types of cells and cell structures, and while most cells are designed to work in harmony with one another, some cells may grow improperly or experience overgrowth. When radical cell growth takes place, the result can be a tumor. Some tumors are cancerous, meaning they have the potential to take over and destroy healthy tissue, while other growths are considered benign tumors that rarely cause medical problems.
Even though a benign tumor may not carry the same health risks of a cancerous tumor, many people find these growths to be unsightly when too close to the skin’s surface. Tumors can also cause discomfort and pain upon movement or when they press against nerves throughout the body. One of the most common types of benign tumors is called a lipoma, and these growths are essentially fat cells that have grown into a lump that lies between the skin and muscle tissue.
How Are Lipomas Treated?
Because a lipoma is considered a benign tumor in most cases, treatment may not be necessary in all cases; however, if a lipoma causes pain, difficulty moving or is unsightly, someone suffering from a lipoma may seek out treatment. While there are different treatment methods available, the most common is lipoma removal. This process is carried out using surgical tools to excise the tumor from the skin, permanently removing it from the body.
Does Medicare Cover Lipoma Removal?
Medicare coverage of lipoma removal can be difficult to obtain due to a number of factors. First, because lipomas generally do not cause any medical problems, they are not considered a danger to one’s health. Next, lipoma removal is usually sought out for cosmetic reasons, and Medicare benefits do not cover the cost of medical procedures that are solely for the purpose of improving a person’s appearance.
If a lipoma removal is covered by Medicare, it will likely be covered under Part B. This is the part of Medicare that handles costs for outpatient procedures. In order for a procedure to qualify for coverage, it must be ordered by a medical professional for the purposes of treating a disease or threat to health and well-being. In cases where a lipoma is removed for a medical reason and the patient also experiences an improvement in his or her appearance as a side effect, the procedure would still be covered as it was ordered primarily to improve health. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have additional coverage. Check with your plan for more details.
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug benefit of Medicare insurance, and it may cover the cost of medications that are prescribed in the process of healing and recovery after a lipoma removal. If the lipoma removal takes place while admitted to a hospital or while in a skilled nursing facility, Medicare benefits under Part A would apply.
Medicare and Lipoma Diagnostics
In addition, Medicare may cover some screening and diagnostic testing for lipomas, even in the event that the removal is not covered. These tests may include imaging and biopsy in order to check for cancerous cell growth. The diagnostic procedures will likely be covered by Medicare Part B.