Although health insurance offers coverage for breast surgery reconstruction following breast cancer treatments, very few women are aware of this option in Orange County. Breast surgery reconstruction simply isn’t presented as a choice for all women undergoing mastectomy and lumpectomy. The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act is designed to change that.
Ever since the enactment of a 1998 Federal law, health plans which provide breast cancer coverage have also been required to cover the costs of breast reconstruction or prostheses. Tracking data shows that, of the women who are eligible to take advantage of this benefit, only 33 percent actually undergo breast reconstruction following their cancer treatment. Studies have shown that almost 70 percent of women who are in this situation are simply not informed of their rights under the law.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) strongly supports this proposed Act, which would educate women of their right to reconstructive surgery. The two main reasons women do not receive reconstructive surgery following breast cancer are because of failing to receive the appropriate data, and also because no plastic surgeon referrals are issued. The ASPS feels that women deserve to know their rights, and this Act would help educate women about those rights. Whether full reconstruction, adjustment to correct asymmetry, or prostheses is required, all stages of the surgery are covered by health insurance.
The Act itself requires that an education campaign be planned and implemented in order to inform women of the coverage and availability to cover all procedures related to breast surgery reconstruction. Orange County women may choose to delay their reconstruction until after treatments, or they may prefer prostheses instead. In this case, they should be aware that reconstruction is still mandated by Federal law, regardless of any delay. Women should know their rights, and this bill will help make that happen.
As one of the leading Orange County plastic surgeons, Dr. Michael Niccole founded and is the Medical Director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center & MedSpa. Since opening the doors in 1982, he has turned CosmetiCare into one of the most successful multi-specialty cosmetic rejuvenation centers in Southern California.
Dr. Niccole has extensive experience and a refined technique in performing many cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. His skills as a surgeon and the positive results seen on thousands of satisfied patients have helped him create recognition for CosmetiCare around the world receiving patients from Germany, Italy, France, England, Australia, Israel, Costa Rica, and a host of other countries.
Dedicated to his work as a plastic surgeon, Orange County resident Dr. Niccole loves helping people, and it shows with every patient he sees. He has been honored over the years for his abilities as a surgeon and his countless humanitarian efforts. The MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) chose him as their “Man of the Year” in 2008 for his continued humanitarian efforts dedicated to reconstructing lives for children and adults through donated plastic surgery.
Dr. Niccole was honored at one of the MDA’s Gala fundraiser, “Gift of Hope”. He was selected by the Consumer’s Research Council of America as one of the TOP PLASTIC SURGEONS IN AMERICA and included in the “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons”. CosmetiCare was voted one of the “Best Plastic Surgery Centers in Orange County” (multiple times) by The Orange County Register’s “Peoples’ Choice” and published in its guide “The Best of Orange County.”