Understanding Insurance Coverage for Plastic Surgery (2023)

When it comes to insurance coverage for plastic surgery, the landscape is often met with misconceptions and unclear boundaries. Patients frequently inquire whether their insurance plans encompass such procedures. Contrary to popular belief, while medical insurance providers commonly disavow coverage for cosmetic surgeries, there are numerous instances where coverage is indeed warranted, rendering denial unjust.

Scope of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery, recognized by the Federal Council of Medicine, serves a multifaceted purpose within the realm of medical practice. It addresses not only the enhancement of aesthetic features but also encompasses two primary categories:

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

This category caters to individuals seeking refinement in appearance without functional deficits or deformities. Procedures like liposuction, rhinoplasty, or breast augmentation fall under this umbrella, aimed at bolstering self-esteem or fulfilling cosmetic desires.

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Unlike its aesthetic counterpart, reconstructive plastic surgery prioritizes correcting congenital or acquired deformities, trauma-induced alterations, post-oncological surgery outcomes, accidents, and other conditions. Such procedures aim at either restoring function or rectifying physical abnormalities, not solely driven by vanity but rather to reinstate a state of normalcy.

Insurance Coverage Criteria

The crux lies in discerning when insurance providers are mandated to cover plastic surgeries. As a rule, insurance laws often exclude coverage for purely aesthetic procedures driven by a patient's desire for beauty enhancement. Conversely, surgeries aiming at restoration or improvement of physical and psychological health receive coverage.

Covered Plastic Surgeries

Noteworthy examples of reconstructive surgeries that insurance plans typically cover include:

  • Breast reconstruction post-cancerous mastectomy
  • Reduction mammoplasty for excessively large breasts causing medical issues
  • Post-bariatric reconstructive surgeries addressing excess skin after substantial weight loss
  • Correction of congenital or acquired physical deformities and skin grafts for burn victims

In these instances, the intent transcends mere aesthetics, focusing on augmenting both physical health and mental well-being, warranting coverage by health insurance plans.

Addressing Denied Coverage

When faced with a denial of coverage for a reconstructive plastic surgery deemed necessary, immediate recourse involves consulting a specialized health insurance attorney. Equipped with a comprehensive medical report detailing the necessity and justification for the surgery, patients stand a stronger chance in challenging the denial.

Legal Precedents

Legal precedents showcase numerous instances where courts have upheld the necessity of coverage:

  • Cases involving reduction mammoplasty for medical reasons
  • Situations necessitating surgeries post-massive weight loss due to obesity-related issues

The pivotal document remains the detailed medical report, outlining the clinical necessity and urgency of the procedure. Armed with this and the denial, a seasoned health attorney can swiftly initiate legal proceedings to secure surgery approval.

The Role of Specialized Legal Support

Securing coverage for plastic surgery via legal channels necessitates adept legal guidance. Seasoned attorneys specialized in health insurance laws, versed in evolving legal nuances, significantly enhance the likelihood of success in such cases.


In summary, health insurance plans should cover reconstructive plastic surgeries with a genuine medical purpose. When faced with denial, patients armed with a thorough medical report should seek legal counsel adept in health insurance laws to navigate and challenge the denial effectively.

For further guidance or in cases of denial, contacting a specialized law firm like Bueno Brandão Advocacia can facilitate the necessary legal steps to obtain rightful coverage for reconstructive plastic surgeries.

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