Does Health Insurance Cover Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, can be covered under your health insurance if done for medical reasons instead of cosmetic. Patients having trouble breathing or suffer from a condition that requires to have a rhinoplasty, should be covered under health insurance. 

That would be the short answer to it. The long answer would suggest comparing your needs with the insurance plan you have and then understanding what aspects of rhinoplasty are covered under your plan.

To help you understand better, there are a few things you should know about rhinoplasty first.

Rhinoplasty Covered Under Health Insurance

What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty refers to the surgical process of altering and modifying a patient’s nose, either for cosmetic or functional (medical) reasons. It is commonly known as a nose job.

Rhinoplasty is done by certified plastic surgeons who can help change the shape and form of your nose to better a condition you’re suffering from or simply get an attractive look on your face.

We have previously covered the 5 Common side effects of rhinoplasty that you must know before considering rhinoplasty.

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Types Of Rhinoplasty

There are 2 types of rhinoplasty procedures, both of which are carried out on patients commonly all around the world. These are: functional, or medical, rhinoplasty, and cosmetic rhinoplasty.

Functional Rhinoplasty

Functional Rhinoplasty refers to the surgical procedure of modifying a patient’s nose primarily for medical reasons. Many medical conditions require a person to go through functional rhinoplasty to surgically modify their nose into a functional body part. 

Rhinoplasty

Some people have a natural deformity of their nose at birth which they aim to fix and some fall into an accident that restricts their nose to work properly. 

The most common medical conditions requiring functional Rhinoplasty are:

  • Deviated septum.
  • Cleft palate.
  • Cleft lip.
  • Structural abnormalities due to injury or trauma.
  • Nasal inflammation from chronic allergies.
  • Polyps or nasal masses

Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Cosmetic Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed around the world. It refers to surgically modifying a person’s nose not to cure any medical condition but for the primary reason of changing the way your nose looks in an attempt to look more attractive and beautiful.

The nose of a person is considered to be one of the most dominant facial features. Many celebrities have helped elevate the use of cosmetic rhinoplasty, or a nose job, showing how big of a difference it can make. 

Cosmetic rhinoplasty can help change the shape or size of a nose, e.g. losing nose fat. Some cases can even go to the extent of changing the whole appearance of a nose.

The most common reasons for Cosmetic Rhinoplasty are:

  • Narrowing the nose bridge 
  • Removing bumps
  • Narrowing or widening the nostrils 
  • Reshaping the tip 
  • Straightening a crooked nose 
  • Altering the angle between the nose and the upper lip 

Who Diagnoses A Rhinoplasty Appointment?

Rhinoplasty is diagnosed by an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) Specialist. If you feel you’re having trouble breathing or feel any discomfort in your nose, you should make an appointment with your ENT doctor. If a medical rhinoplasty is necessary, the ENT specialist will diagnose a functional rhinoplasty. 

Cosmetic rhinoplasty doesn’t need a medical diagnosis. However, it is better to get advice on it from an ENT surgeon before going in.

Rhinoplasty, medical or cosmetic, is performed by an ENT surgeon or a certified plastic surgeon (for cosmetic purposes).

Is Rhinoplasty Covered Under Health Insurance?

Typically, most functional rhinoplasty procedures are covered under health insurance policies because they aim to better a medical condition.

Cosmetic rhinoplasty on the other hand is almost never covered by health insurance because they aren’t aimed at benefitting a person’s health but just to help them achieve a better facial look.

In some cases, even a cosmetic rhinoplasty may be covered under health insurance because it does simultaneously fix a person’s medical issues. In these cases, a part of the amount, or the whole amount, is reimbursed back to the patient.

However, as every insurance policy differs from others, you can only find accurate information relating to insurance claims on your health insurance plan. 

The best way to ensure that a medical procedure is covered under your health insurance policy would be to consult your health insurance provider.

What To Do If Your Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is expensive. Especially in countries like the USA, going for medical procedures without health insurance is almost a foolish decision because the most insignificant of procedures cost a lot!

However, there may be some cases where health insurance doesn’t cover a medical procedure you desire or need. 

If you’re going for cosmetic rhinoplasty, there is a big chance you’ll have to pay it by yourself, which will be a really difficult task to do with upfront cash, however, there are some options that may ease the payment procedure and help you financially with better payment plans.

Paying For Rhinoplasty With A Credit Card

Many people choose to pay for cosmetic rhinoplasty with a credit card that makes them financially capable of affording the surgery. However, this option should only be considered if you have a good payback plan and the interest rate in your country is low. 

Credit cards are also a widely accepted medium in plastic surgery now.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

FSA is a practical option for large payments in many countries. Basically, if the option is available, your employer can allow you to spend some amount from your work’s pre-tax savings account. You can choose to pay all or some of your rhinoplasty costs using your flexible saving account. 

For better advice, you should consult your workplace HR.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

A Health Savings Account is a part of high-deductible health insurance plans. These are mainly aimed at covering catastrophic incidents, however, subscribers can choose to use their health savings account to pay for medical care until they reach the high deductible.

This option varies on the account provider so it’s better to consult your plan administrator first.