Neonatal Circumcision – Insured or Uninsured?

Pursuant to the provisions of the Health Services Insurance Act, only medical services that are “medically required” are insured services.  If a medical service is not medically required, it is an uninsured service.  Therefore, a circumcision that is not medically required is uninsured.

The vast majority of neonatal circumcisions are not medically required since medical indications for neonatal circumcisions are rare.  Circumcisions that are performed solely for religious, cultural or aesthetic reasons, and not for any medical indication, are uninsured services.

As is the case with all uninsured services, physicians who perform newborn circumcisions for reasons other than medical necessity are at liberty to direct bill the patient’s family for the service.

Despite the foregoing, some physicians choose to bill Manitoba Health for newborn circumcisions that are performed for reasons other than medical necessity, and Manitoba Health continues to make it a policy to pay for these services.  (Manitoba is the only remaining province in Canada that pays for this service under our provincial health care plan.)

Nevertheless, regardless of Manitoba Health’s policy, the fact remains that newborn circumcisions that are not medically required are uninsured services, and Doctors Manitoba recommends that you direct bill for the service.

Questions?

Roger Jamieson
rjamieson@docsmb.org
(204) 985-5849

 

 

Updated: December 2016