City workers claiming for cosmetic surgery

October 27th, 2010
City workers claiming for cosmetic surgery

An associate of the School Board in the US city of Buffalo has revealed how many of the city’s teachers and administrators are taking advantage of a clause in their health care insurance which allows them to claim for cosmetic surgery procedures.

Chris Jacobs has revealed that while the inclusion of cosmetic surgery in the insurance plan for the 10,000 members of the Buffalo Teachers Federation is nothing new, costs have risen by 800% in only five years.

“Two percent of employees are using this benefit and raking up $8 million in cost,” said Chris Jacobs.

In 2009, there were 8,000 cosmetic procedures carried out, including non-invasive treatments such as chemical peels and laser hair removal.

However, the head of the Buffalo Teachers Federation defended the actions of his members, claiming some of these seemingly frivolous claims were for genuine health reasons. President Phil Runmore argued; “That could be for a number of reasons as a result of skin cancer, scar, there could be lots of reasons for that.”

Other city employees have the same benefits included in their health care insurance packages, but as yet the increases in costs for organisations such as the police department have not been made public.

Chris Jacobs is also concerned that a number of private doctors are benefiting from public money by carrying out these procedures for teachers and other city staff. Jacobs said, “There’s eight doctors who are making 95% of the money on this, so something’s going on here and we gotta get our arms around it and we gotta get it in check here.”

Buffalo School District Chief Financial Officer Barbara Smith added, “Every dollar that we didn’t spend on the cosmetic surgery rider, we could have spent on something else in the budget.”

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