Does Medicare Cover Plastic Surgery?

History of Medicare

When the Medicare program became law in 1965, it was intended to offer health coverage and some level of financial security for seniors who were locked out of employment-related insurance protection. Since then, the program has undergone some enhancements, including Part C enacted in 1997 and Part D, which rolled out in 2003. In recent years, Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, began offering extra benefits, such as fitness programs, over-the-counter allowances, meal delivery services, transportation to the doctor’s office, telehealth, wheelchair ramps and bathroom grab bars. However, these offerings have not extended to elective surgery.

Medicare Benefits Solutions

Aug 3, 2020

timer 3 minutes read

Types of plastic surgery

Medicare benefits are limited to some types of plastic surgery deemed to be medically necessary, but this does not include cosmetic surgery. It may be helpful to understand the difference between the two. The purpose of cosmetic plastic surgery is to improve innate features for aesthetic purposes only. Examples are face lifts, liposuction, and body contouring. Medicare would not cover these procedures.

Reconstructive plastic surgery is performed to repair body parts impacted by injury, malady or developmental failings. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “reconstructive surgery can improve abilities, function and quality of life when structures on the body have been affected by congenital and developmental defects, trauma or disease.” 

Get easy-to-read, informative Medicare articles like this in your inbox every month.

Medicare Benefits Solutions is a non-government website. This is a solicitation for insurance. By submitting information on this site, I am providing my written consent for Medicare Benefits Solutions, herein after referred to as “Medicare Benefits”, which is a brand operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc., its sales agents, or affiliates to contact me (even if I’m on a state or national do not call registry) at the phone number or email address listed to provide me with quotes or information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D plans. I further consent to such calls or texts sent via autodialer, automated technology, prerecorded message and/or artificial voice. I understand my consent is not a condition of purchase and that I can revoke my consent at any time via medicarebenefits.com/about-us/contact-us. Additional charges may apply to SMS, call, or Internet usage depending on your data providers.

Plastic surgery covered by Medicare 

Medicare benefits are available for three specific types of reconstructive plastic surgery. One is to remediate an accidental injury, such as skin burns. Another is to restore some functionality to a deformed body part. The malformation may be something you were born with, caused by disease or brought on by aging. Also, if you had a mastectomy due to breast cancer and need breast reconstruction, Medicare would cover breast prostheses, known as artificial implants. 

Confirm surgery is covered

There can be an overlap in surgery intended to enhance beauty and surgery performed to address a medical need. Examples are rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery. In some cases, they are needed to fix a problem that may adversely affect breathing or vision, respectively. However, following the surgery, you may find that your appearance has improved as a byproduct of correcting the issue. 

It is a good idea to check with your plan to ensure the type of plastic surgery you need is covered. The cost of any services rendered that are not covered will be your responsibility. For surgical procedures that are eligible for Medicare benefits, be prepared to pay the obligatory deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

Got questions?

Call a licensed sales agent at

877-874-1499
or TTY 771

Mon to Fri 5 am – 6 pm PST | Sat 5 am – 5 pm PST | Sun closed

Send us a message

We aim to reply within 24 hours.



    Medicare Benefits Solutions is a non-government website. This is a solicitation for insurance. By submitting information on this site, I am providing my written consent for Medicare Benefits Solutions, herein after referred to as “Medicare Benefits”, which is a brand operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc., its sales agents, or affiliates to contact me (even if I’m on a state or national do not call registry) at the phone number or email address listed to provide me with quotes or information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D plans. I further consent to such calls or texts sent via autodialer, automated technology, prerecorded message and/or artificial voice. I understand my consent is not a condition of purchase and that I can revoke my consent at any time via medicarebenefits.com/about-us/contact-us. Additional charges may apply to SMS, call, or Internet usage depending on your data providers.

    Find a plan

    find a plan
    Get plan recommendations

    Compare your current Medicare plan to our recommendations – then choose the plan that gives you more of the things you want.

    Get informative, easy to read health, lifestyle and Medicare articles. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter.

    Medicare Benefits Solutions is a non-government website. This is a solicitation for insurance. By submitting information on this site, I am providing my written consent for Medicare Benefits Solutions, herein after referred to as “Medicare Benefits”, which is a brand operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc., its sales agents, or affiliates to contact me (even if I’m on a state or national do not call registry) at the phone number or email address listed to provide me with quotes or information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D plans. I further consent to such calls or texts sent via autodialer, automated technology, prerecorded message and/or artificial voice. I understand my consent is not a condition of purchase and that I can revoke my consent at any time via medicarebenefits.com/about-us/contact-us. Additional charges may apply to SMS, call, or Internet usage depending on your data providers.

    Find a new Medicare plan

    Get a plan recommendation based on what's important to you.