Author Topic: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!  (Read 430 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline fluffyfrog

  • Visitor
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Reputation: +1/-0
UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« on: October 15, 2018, 08:33:13 am »
Hello all,

This is my first post here, and I actually created my account just to post this as I am in fairly urgent need of some help / advice / experience from UK trans-folk (specifically MtF) who have had FFS (facial feminisation surgery), specifically in the United States.

I have been going through the processes of research and consultation for a while, and ended up feeling confident and happy with my decision to have Facial Feminisation Surgery with Dr. Spiegel in Boston, USA. I am from England, UK.

I am due to have the surgery next year, and have decided on (and feel happy with) the individual procedures. I even paid my deposit.

Okay, so now to describe my dilemma:

Stupidly, I presumed that getting sufficient travel insurance would be a walk in the park - after all, "there must be plenty of UK citizens travelling to the US to have various cosmetic surgery procedures every year".

Well, after a large amount of research, phone-calls, question-asking and form-filling, I have to find any solid information on how exactly UK citizens can get SUFFICIENT medical travel / medical conplication insurance when having treatment specifically in the USA.

The closest I have got is one insurance broker who said that they could find a general travel insurance policy that contained an exclusion (i.e  I would be covered for the basic travel insurance stuff such as lost luggage, being hit by a car, cancelled flights, etc - but ANYTHING related to my surgery, such as prolonged recovery, medical complication, change of flights due to longer hospital stays etc WOULD NOT BE INCLUDED / COVERED).

Essentially, UK travel insurance providers seem to avoid insuring cosmetic surgery patients having treatment in the USA like the plague! This is apparently due to the potential for extremely expensive additional costs associated specifically with USA health systems. If I was having surgery in any other country, it seems as though finding sufficient medical travel insurance would be easy (with providers such as Medical Travel Shield).

So, am I simply doing something wrong? There must be lots of UK citizens (including UK trans individuals) having FFS in the US!? How are they insuring themselves in case of extended recovery / conplication / etc? Are they simply not bothering to get sufficient insurance? Are they buying a general travel insurance policy which is likely invalidated due to them having elective surgery in the USA?

I'd be very greatful if some UK trans-gals who have had FFS in the US could advise me on the above - It'd be even more awesome if some UK trans-gals who had FFS specifically with Spiegel could lend their advice / knowledge too

Finally, does anyone happen to know if Dr. Spiegel offers additional cover / help in cases such as complication / extended recovery, etc...? Is any of this at all covered by the "Recovery Fees" that are billed in the procedures outline? Is there any documentation that people have recieved from Dr. Spiegel regarding what cover they offer / whether conplication / remedial / extended recovery stuff is covered at all? Or does this stuff simply come out of the unluck patient's pocket?

Apologies if this post is a little extensive / clumsily put together - i appreciate you taking the time to read through it and thank those who are able to offer help im advance!

Many thanks,

- fluffy


Online Devlyn

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 27,618
  • Reputation: +217/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Veteran, US Army
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 08:50:41 am »
Welcome to Susan's Place, Fluffy! I can't directly answer your question, but in general insurance isn't going to cover any elective procedures. You won't be denied emergency care in Massachusetts if something goes wrong, but you will probably be responsible for the charges. On the plus side, I've met several of Dr Spiegel's patients immediately after surgery and none had any serious problems. I wish you the best!

Hugs, Devlyn

Offline fluffyfrog

  • Visitor
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Reputation: +1/-0
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 09:01:42 am »
Welcome to Susan's Place, Fluffy! I can't directly answer your question, but in general insurance isn't going to cover any elective procedures. You won't be denied emergency care in Massachusetts if something goes wrong, but you will probably be responsible for the charges. On the plus side, I've met several of Dr Spiegel's patients immediately after surgery and none had any serious problems. I wish you the best!

Hugs, Devlyn

Thanks for your response Devlyn. Just to make myself clearer, I will of course be paying for all of the Surgery costs / fees as listed by The Spiegel Centre in their procedure / cost outline - what I am concerned about is what happens if something were to go wrong i.e. an infection / complication leading to extended stays in the hospital, pathology work, a conplication mid-way through surgery which meant that the surgery could not be completed etc. Do you think any of these scenarios would be covered by Dr. Spiegel's insurance / fees at all? Or would I simply have to pay for everything out of pocket?

It just seems like a crazy risk to have absolutely zero cover if something goes wrong... surgery isn't always predictable and there must be cases where freak events or unlikely conplications occur...  this stuff really terrifies me, and I have no idea just how expensive this could turn out to be...

Online Devlyn

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 27,618
  • Reputation: +217/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Veteran, US Army
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 09:11:11 am »
I really don't know the answer, you're going to have to do some legwork between Dr Spiegel's office and your insurance provider. My gut feeling is that any insurance comprehensive enough to cover any overseas medical expenses incurred during elective procedures would be prohibitively expensive. I hope someone comes along and proves me wrong.

As an aside, I'm currently in the UK hoping nothing goes wrong with me, because I'm sure the NHS would tell me to piss off.  ;D

Offline Kendra

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3,930
  • Reputation: +135/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 09:40:11 am »
Hello Fluffy, welcome to Susan's!

I live in the states and had FFS in Europe.  Of all the various MTF surgeries, GCS seems to have a higher incidence of patients having to remain in town for a few additional days or weeks due to complications.  Complications with FFS seem to be more frequently connected to patient satisfaction with outcome during long term healing, and not as much due to situations during the operation or immediate recovery. 

Surgical forms and disclosures contain all sorts of contingencies and some of it can be a bit unsettling to read... it is a contract stating unforeseen circumstances can occur and may not be included in the quote.  I didn't worry about that.  I figured the task was pick a surgeon with an excellent reputation and Dr. Spiegel definitely qualifies.  He is one of two surgeons I had an in-person FFS eval with before my surgery 5 months ago. 

Since these were your first posts I'll add information to help with navigation and site guidelines.

Things that you should read

When you get a chance, it would be great if you can introduce yourself in the Introductions Forum.

Really great to see you here!

Kendra
Assigned male at birth 1963.  Decided I wanted to be a girl in 1971.  Laser 2014-16, electrolysis 2015-17, HRT 7/2017, GCS 1/2018, VFS 3/2018, FFS 5/2018, GCS-2 & BA 7/2018. 

Offline fluffyfrog

  • Visitor
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Reputation: +1/-0
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 10:35:06 am »
Hello Fluffy, welcome to Susan's!

I live in the states and had FFS in Europe.  Of all the various MTF surgeries, GCS seems to have a higher incidence of patients having to remain in town for a few additional days or weeks due to complications.  Complications with FFS seem to be more frequently connected to patient satisfaction with outcome during long term healing, and not as much due to situations during the operation or immediate recovery. 

Surgical forms and disclosures contain all sorts of contingencies and some of it can be a bit unsettling to read... it is a contract stating unforeseen circumstances can occur and may not be included in the quote.  I didn't worry about that.  I figured the task was pick a surgeon with an excellent reputation and Dr. Spiegel definitely qualifies.  He is one of two surgeons I had an in-person FFS eval with before my surgery 5 months ago. 

Since these were your first posts I'll add information to help with navigation and site guidelines.

Things that you should read

When you get a chance, it would be great if you can introduce yourself in the Introductions Forum.

Really great to see you here!

Kendra

Thankyou for your response Kendra!

It puts my mind at ease a little bit to know that FFS seems to have a lower complication related extended recovery frequency than GCS etc.

I guess I am just worrying about unpredictable and very expensive costs occuring due to some kind of freak complication or scenario... obviously, if a very minor complication such as a mild infection occured in an incision, I am sure this could be quite easily fixed with antibiotics and an extra hospital stay at most.. which probably wouldn't be too expensive (relative to the surgery costs at least).

I don't know, I guess I am just panicking about a worst case sceneario - I don't know if it is sensible for me to be worrying so much or if I am just stressing myself out, but I just feel vulnerable without some kind of cover or similar for rare but potentially very expensive unforseen scenarios...

It just seems a little crazy that people would go for a surgery without their insurance covering them for unlikely scenarios...

Offline AnonyMs

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,762
  • Reputation: +37/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 10:50:45 am »
That's one of the main reasons I'll not be having any kind of surgery in the USA. I'd also be worried that even if I had insurance that they would somehow find a way of not paying it. I'm super risk adverse and can't bring myself to do it.  Fortunately there's excellent surgeons for all procedures elsewhere so I don't have to worry about having second rate surgeons.

Offline reborn

  • Friend
  • ****
  • Posts: 248
  • Reputation: +2/-0
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 04:41:03 pm »
I think you should ask your doctor if the complications are covered in the price. Many doctors have them covered in the price. I am not sure about Dr S though

Offline AnonyMs

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,762
  • Reputation: +37/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 04:51:24 pm »
I think you should ask your doctor if the complications are covered in the price. Many doctors have them covered in the price. I am not sure about Dr S though

What if you have a car accident and end up in hospital? No insurance, and no way the FFS surgeon is going to cover that.

Offline Dietlind

  • I feel that I did it!
  • *
  • Posts: 3,379
  • Reputation: +5/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2018, 06:28:05 pm »
This si not a direct answer for your question, but it seems that no insurance really pays for any elective surgery or medical procedure in a foreign country.  I have the same problem when I visit Europe, it is darn hard to find any decent insurance to cover possible problems, leave alone elective surgery.  I always take out an insurance in the country I visit, you might want to do the same with the US!
02/22/2019 bi-lateral orchiectomy




Offline CarlyMcx

  • *
  • Posts: 912
  • Reputation: +19/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: UK MtF trans-folk who had FFS in the USA - I need your help!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2018, 07:50:34 pm »
Travel insurance would cover you if you have a car accident in the USA but if you decide to procure travel insurance you would want to ask if it covers the consequences of what would legally considered to be medical tourism.