Plastic surgery rates are on the rise throughout the United States. And while no one blinks an eye when models and actors pursue cosmetic enhancement, the increase in surgery rates among one group is raising eyebrows. According to various reports, it’s becoming more commonplace for America’s educators to undergo plastic surgery during the months between academic years. And at least one school system is giving these teachers a financial leg up. Despite a $50 million budget deficit, the Buffalo school system currently offers a cosmetic rider on its insurance plans, making procedures like tummy tucks and breast lifts far more affordable.
Buffalo’s cosmetic rider allows teachers and other union members to undergo plastic and reconstructive surgery. Along with microdermabrasion, educators can use their insurance benefits to pursue treatments like hair removal, liposuction, breast lifts, tummy tucks, and nose jobs. And because cosmetic features don’t require a copay on behalf of the teachers, the school district winds up paying most of the bill.
While Buffalo’s cosmetic rider is nothing new, administrators are shining a light on the policy as a result of the school system’s significant deficit. According to multiple sources, expenses from the cosmetic rider totaled $5.4 million during the 2013-14 school year. This number represents a significant increase from recent years. Still, the school board has refused to sign off on a new labor agreement to date. Until they agree on a plan, teachers will continue to enjoy the benefits of virtually free cosmetic treatments.
For most Americans, plastic surgery is an expensive proposition. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rhinoplasty averages $4,545 while breast lifts cost $4,207 and liposuction $2,866. In light of these figures, it’s not surprising that teachers are unwilling to give up such a significant benefit.
Further, removing the cosmetic rider from the Buffalo school system’s current insurance package is unlikely to correct the district’s money problems. If the board hopes to control spending and balance its budget, the members will need to commit to making more serious changes in the weeks and months to come.
Recommended by an outside mediator, a new proposal would give Buffalo teachers an 11 percent pay raise while requiring them to pay a larger portion of their healthcare costs moving forward. At the same time, the new plan would eliminate the cosmetic rider from all future budgets.
If you or someone you know would like more information about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!