Ask Dr. Anna:
Is Botox covered by insurance?
Yes, therapeutic Botox is covered by insurance but under very specific circumstances.
In 2001, Health Canada approved the coverage of Botox for patients experiencing chronic migraines, strictly limited to those who experienced headaches 15 days or more per month, for four hours a day or longer in duration. Migraine patients were advised to see a neurologist, headache or pain specialist to diagnose, treat, and manage their condition. Especially to rule out serious brain pathology such as an aneurysm or brain tumor.
In 2012, Health Canada approved coverage to treat neurogenic bladder (Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity) associated with MS and spinal cord injury. Again, they were advised to see a specialist to determine whether they were a good candidate for therapeutic treatment.
Now, it seems, the line has blurred on who can prescribe therapeutic Botox. I’ve heard of patients who are claiming on insurance that their Botox is therapeutic, and are actually receiving cosmetic treatments.
Misrepresentation in the medical industry hurts everyone involved – from practitioners to patients. It’s important that we keep communication in this industry transparent and honest. Let me explain why.
Botox is an extremely safe albeit powerful protein. It was first approved for therapeutic use in Canada in 1990 to treat strabismus (lazy eye) and blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking). It’s also approved for use in pediatric cerebral palsy in patients two years and over, and to treat cervical dystonia (neck contractions), and hyperhidrosis or the axilla (excessive underarm sweating).
Today, Botox is used in around 80 countries and by millions of patients who rely upon the treatment. Insurance coverage is vital to therapeutic Botox patients to improve their quality of life. When someone abuses this privilege, it threatens access for all.
If you suffer from a medical condition that may be improved by Botox treatments, seek out a qualified specialist.
I no longer write prescriptions for therapeutic Botox but will consult with patients, if they already have an existing prescription from a qualified specialist, and charge an injection fee. Book a complimentary consultation.
Ask Dr. Anna
A new blog series where she provides information to empower women to make better choices.
Do you have a cosmetic, medical or general health question? Dr. Anna wants to hear from you!