Q. My breast implants might be making me sick. Can someone help me afford medical care or help pay for implant removal?
A. We’re not doctors or lawyers and we don’t provide medical or legal advice, but we can tell you what we know based on speaking with many experts and with women who have had breast implants.
There are currently no class action suits for implants and individual suits are almost impossible. For more than 20 years, women have been asked to sign informed consent forms prior to implant surgery that are designed to protect the implant company and the physician. Unfortunately, that means that most women who have gotten implants since then can’t sue unless the doctor committed malpractice.
There have been several class action legal settlements to provide compensation to women whose implants ruptured or caused medical problems; however, the deadlines for these settlements have passed.
Until recently, it was almost impossible to get health insurance companies to pay for removal of breast implants. However, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), insurance companies can’t refuse to remove implants because the woman already had the implants when she got the insurance policy, for example. We don’t know of any insurance companies that will replace breast implants for augmentation, but some companies will pay to remove implants that are leaking or causing serious medical problems. For more information on insurance coverage, click here.
If you would like help trying to get your insurance company to cover your breast implant removal, please fill out this very short survey, and we will try to help you: https://www.surveymonkey.
Financial Assitance Programs?
The Common Benefit Trust has established a program to provide financial assistance for explantation surgery on behalf of women who meet certain eligibility requirements. This assistance is in the form of a direct payment of up to $5,000 to the plastic surgeon who performs the removal surgery. There are eight requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for this assistance. The first requirement is that you must have at least one silicone gel-filled or double lumen type breast implant in your body that was implanted before December 31, 2006.
In order to find out how the Explant Financial Assistance Program works, learn about the eligibility requirements, and express your interest in receiving this assistance, please visit www.explantassistance.com and www.oplc.org. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Program Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (205)252-6784.
The comments and statements of the National Center for Health Research are believed and intended to be accurate, and where applicable, based on scientific literature. NCHR’s statements do not constitute medical diagnoses, medical advice, plans of treatment, or legal opinion, and we are not responsible for the use or application of this information. All medical information should be reviewed with your health care practitioner.
We hope that the information we’ve provided is helpful. In order to maintain this free service to all women and their families, we invite your tax-deductible contributions to NCHR (see http://www.center4research.org/contribute.html)