Skin cancer and health care coverage...

cuda

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2007
1,808
1,324
Blue Cross seems to cover everything from minor "freezing" in office procedures to surgeries. I had a small basal cell situation on my back last spring that went from biopsy to surgery - after surgery the edges came back positive and had to do it again and came back positive at the edges again. I then went for MOHS to deal with it. All covered by insurance- or they just havent figured out how much to charge me. lol.

crazy part is the visably affected area of basal was ~ the size of a quarter. All said and done I ended up with a 5+" incision on my back.

imo(UNPROFESSIONAL) if MOHS is a option for you go that route. Longer drawn-out procedure but thorough AF.
 

Driftwood

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2014
1,320
916
France
This is a bit off-topic, but skin cancer is imminently treatable if you catch it early. I go for a full-body exam every year -- every inch of the rambling wreck, including scalp -- because my doc's practice has zero fatalities with patients who go at least once a year. I get stuff removed every year, but it keeps me alive.
Not really off-topic at all, and it's solid advice.

I don't think I've gone more than three months without seeing a dermatologist in years. Seems like every time we think we're done for a while, an aggressive squamous or basal will pop up that requires quick attention. During my last visit which was barely a month after the one before, my Dr. was just tripping on how fast a squamous on my ear had grown and said that my constant monitoring was the only reason I still have ears....
 

Driftwood

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2014
1,320
916
France
Thanks for the Blue Cross info.

MOHS is great and pretty rare here. I've got a good surgeon who does it in Bordeaux, which is one of the reasons I've always been hesitant to move elsewhere over here. Between that, a good PDT tech, and all the rest, we've been able to keep this in check.
 

Doggyfizzle

Member
Nov 23, 2020
57
79
Ventura
This is a bit off-topic, but skin cancer is imminently treatable if you catch it early. I go for a full-body exam every year -- every inch of the rambling wreck, including scalp -- because my doc's practice has zero fatalities with patients who go at least once a year. I get stuff removed every year, but it keeps me alive.

I go every 3-4 months. As someone who spent the ages of 6-22 in competitive/college swimming, and surfing since college, my skin doc is always finding stuff to burn or cut off. I actually just went through my first Mohs procedure last week on my head (single slice because it was caught early), and had sizeable chunks taken out of my forearm, back, and head already. Like @poidog said, my dermatologists practice has a near 100% survival rate of patients who go regularly. I'm already ugly, so scars in various places on my body don't bother me as long as it means bad stuff isn't growing in my skin.

OP, my medical insurance is PPO with a calendar year deductible, which I normally meet just from visits to the dermatologist. I'm not sure if its as common an insurance plan feature as pre-ACA, but my plan doesn't require pre-authorization or primary care physician approval for dermatology visits or surgeries. - I think this can SOMETIMES, but not always, be a feature of HMOs. In California where I live, there are options to get insurance on the state exchange from both PPO/HMO with varying premiums and levels of coverage if you don't get insurance through your job.
 

nedsurf

Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2005
3,105
1,223
Kaiser insurance, going tomorrow to have some sketchy spots treated, go once a year or when something pops up. They have added e-visits so I can send photos for evaluation without an unneeded office visit. Some issues with Kaiser processes but overall their professional staff has been very good.
 

Ricksurfin

Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2019
1,471
2,420
San Clemente, CA
I’m almost 67 and have never been to a dermatologist. Starting to think it’s so late now it doesn’t matter, as I have growths all over my body. I have to decide whether or not to pursue care. Besides orthopedic issues, I haven’t been to a doctor in a long long time.
 

PeakMaster

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,019
722
USA New Jersey CMC
Health insurance in the US as it relates to Medicare is simple...you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get. There's a reason those medicare Advantage plans are marketed so heavily....they suck.
 

paipodude

Member
Oct 27, 2019
72
51
Maryland, or By-the-Sea
Medicare comes in two basic flavors, "Traditional" and "Advantage."

Traditional medicare consists of two primary components, Plan A and Plan B, which are basically inpatient and outpatient, respectively. Plan D covers pharma. Plan A is "free" (that is what is decucted from your paycheck over the years). Plan B you pay for. Traditional medicare doesn't cover overseas health care (not sure about emergency care).

Plan C is Medicare Advantage, and is sold and managed by private sector companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Kaiser, etc. Coverage must meet the basic standards of traditional medicare but from there one can find menus of options, including an array of Rx options. Some medicare advantage plans do provide overseas coverage such as a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan that many people like. Most Medicare Advantage plans that I am familar with are HMOs, but there are a huge menu of options (and tons of fine print).

Medigap plans are supplemental plans to fill in the gaps of traditional medicare parts A and B, and can also provide Rx coverage.

This can't get much more confusing for aging folks! Might need to double dose those anti-alz over the counter meds for a week before diving in.
 

nedsurf

Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2005
3,105
1,223
Health insurance in the US as it relates to Medicare is simple...you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get. There's a reason those medicare Advantage plans are marketed so heavily....they suck.
Not sure what your beef is, level of care has been very good for us. Maybe it's because Medicare plans vary by each state, guess some are better than others.
 

paipodude

Member
Oct 27, 2019
72
51
Maryland, or By-the-Sea
Not sure what your beef is, level of care has been very good for us. Maybe it's because Medicare plans vary by each state, guess some are better than others.
In many areas there isn't much in the way of choice either due to small populations or monopoly behavior and if your doctors of choice are not in the HMO or the network, then you may or may not derive the financial advantage of Medicare Advantage. That is especially so for specialists, the possible need for pre-authorizations, etc. Cheap is not equal to quality.

Kaiser has a great reputation where it is available.
 




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