Insurance Coverage for Iontophoresis Machines

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Wondering whether your insurance would cover the cost of iontophoresis machine?

Answer is complicated, but there is some good news to be sure. Iontophoresis has gained acceptance as a medical treatment of Hyperhidrosis and if you chose your health insurance wisely, there is a good chance that your insurance may cover the cost of iontophoresis treatments and machine!

Insurance Coverage for Iontophoresis: Summary

Iontophoresis is sadly still a debated treatment option for Hyperhidrosis. There are some insurance providers who consider this to be an unproven/investigational treatment and do not cover the costs. Other insurers who cover the cost of iontophoresis machine normally require to show proofs of having tried other treatment options (medication, antiperspirants) with no success.

Sweathelp.Org has excellent resources to go through the process of claiming the iontophoresis treatment from your insurer (if they cover this treatment) – so be sure to check those.

Below is the summary of the iontophoresis coverage by some of the top insurers in US (as in March 2014). Hopefully things will change in future so that more and more insurance companies will cover the iontophoresis treatment for hyperhidrosis.

Insurance Company Policy Details
Aetna Recognizes iontophoresis as medical necessity if certain medications and anti-antiperspirants have been tried and found ineffective Document
United  Excludes Medical and surgical treatment of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) – thus iontophoresis is most likely not covered  Document
Cigna Covered when medically necessary for primary palmar, axillary and plantar hyperhidrosis Document
Blue Cross Blue Shield Considers iontophoresis as investigational and is presumably not covered. Document
Anthem Iontophoresis is considered medically necessary in the treatment of primary or secondary hyperhidrosis only for individuals who have tried prescription strength antiperspirants without success. Document

If you have experience with any other insurer and had success/failure in getting them cover iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis, help others by posting a quick comment below.

 

Tips for Getting Your Insurance Pay for Iontophoresis Treatment for Hyperhidrosis

Apart from choosing the Health Insurance wisely,  it would be best to follow certain guidelines to ensure that you get the treatment you need without falling into the procedural traps. Some tips to ensure that your health insurance would cover the cost of your iontophoresis treatment for Hyperhidrosis:

  • Maintain records of your hyperhidrosis condition – it helps to establish that your hyperhidrosis is a long standing condition that is affecting your ability to be socially active or perform your work. The earlier you can date your condition to, the easier it is to establish that. For example – keep the record of your first visit to the doctor to consult regarding your sweat (even before you knew the term Hyperhidrosis)
  • Maintain records of the treatments tried and the results – Most insurance policies require that the patient has tried other options before going for iontophoresis (surely has to do with the cost!). Your doctor will probably advise you for antiperspirants before he prescribes iontophoresis. Maintain that record, as well as the results thereof (followup visits).
  • Get a Prescription – While you can buy some iontophoresis machines without prescriptions (e.g. if you get them shipped from Europe), insurance would not cover that cost.
  • Confirm the Model with your insurance before you buy – You need to get the prescription first and then confirm with your insurance what specific models of iontophoresis would they cover (many insurance companies in US approve of R.A Fischer machines and in some cases Drionic).
  • Ensure you can return the iontophoresis device – Ensure that your seller accepts returns in case your insurance company (for whatever reasons) denies your claim. Most of the vendors offers some sort of return policy – but read the fine print carefully.
  • Read the super- helpful article at Sweathelp.org – they have tons of information, forms and materials for getting your hyperhidrosis treatments (including iontophoresis) covered by your insurance.

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About Author

I have had hyperhidrosis (palms and feet) since my childhood. I have tried/researched almost every treatment for hyperhidrosis over last decade, and in the process have acquired considerable experience that I hope will help others suffering with hyperhidrosis. I am happy to help you in whatever way I can to manage your excessive sweat problem - see the About page for more details and my contact information. Remember you are not alone, and that hyperhidrosis is entirely manageable with informed treatment. Good luck! PS: I recently published all that I have learnt about Hyperhidrosis in my book No Sweat! I encourage you to check that out as I believe its the best resource out there to understand and manage hyperhidrosis without falling for the miracle cures. Will love to hear your feedback on how to make it better.

3 Comments

  1. I made a mistake when buying my first iontophoresis machine, and I never even checked to see if my insurance will cover it – or is there a way to get an insurance that would cover iontophoresis for sweaty hands. Soon I am planning on buying a different iontophoresis device, I have medical records ready, and I hope to be able to get my insurance to cover some expenses this time around. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I have Anthem health insurance, and since prescription antiperspirants work for me, I cannot get them to cover iontophoresis expenses for me. And I would love to try out iontophoresis – it seems so much better than antiperspirants, somehow. Do you think Cigna would cover iontophoresis if I can also successfully treat myself with antiperspirants?

    • I’m sorry to say this, but if you can successfully keep yourself dry with antiperspirants only, I think that the chances for iontophoresis coverage even with Cigna are very very slim. I don’t think any health insurance would really cover something as expensive as iontophoresis, unless there is no other (cheaper) option. Still, I think you should give them a call – it never hurts to ask!

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