Does Insurance Cover Rhinoplasty? Exploring the Options

Rhinoplasty before and after photo. Surgery performed by Dr. William Numa, Boston Plastic Surgeon.

Rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a “nose job”, is a cosmetic surgical procedure which alters the shape and appearance of the nose. While some individuals choose rhinoplasty for aesthetic reasons, others may opt to pursue it for medical or functional purposes, such as correcting breathing difficulties or addressing congenital defects. One of the common questions people have when considering rhinoplasty is whether their insurance will cover the expense of the procedure. We will review and explore some factors which determine insurance coverage for rhinoplasty.

Understanding the Difference: Cosmetic vs. Functional Rhinoplasty

Before diving into insurance coverage, it’s essential to differentiate between cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty. Cosmetic rhinoplasty is performed solely for aesthetic purposes to enhance the appearance of the nose, while functional rhinoplasty aims to address medical conditions, such as breathing difficulties, caused by anatomical abnormalities or trauma.

Insurance Coverage for Functional Rhinoplasty

Functional rhinoplasty may be covered by insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. Insurers typically require documentation from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a Facial Plastic Surgeon, Otolaryngologist or a General Plastic Surgeon to support the medical necessity of the procedure. This documentation typically includes diagnostic tests, medical history, physical examination findings, and detailed explanations of how the rhinoplasty will alleviate the functional issues.

Common functional issues that may warrant insurance coverage for rhinoplasty include:

  1. Deviated Septum: When the septum (the wall that separates the nasal passages) is significantly crooked or deviated, it can obstruct airflow and cause breathing difficulties.
  2. Nasal Valve Collapse: The nasal valve, responsible for regulating airflow, can collapse or become weakened, leading to breathing problems.
  3. Congenital Abnormalities: Some individuals may be born with nasal deformities or conditions which can impact their ability to breathe properly.

Insurance Coverage for Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Cosmetic rhinoplasty, performed solely for aesthetic reasons, is generally not covered by insurance. Insurance providers typically consider such procedures elective and not medically necessary. However, it is crucial to note that each insurance policy and provider may have specific guidelines and exclusions, so it’s advisable to review your insurance plan to understand the coverage details.

Options to Consider:

If your rhinoplasty is not covered by insurance, there are alternative financing options to explore:

  1. Self-Payment: Individuals can opt to pay for the procedure out of pocket, either in a lump sum or through financing plans, if these are provided by the surgeon’s office.
  2. Medical Financing: Some specialized medical financing companies offer loans or credit specifically for patients seeking cosmetic procedures. These financing options often come with repayment plans and interest rates. Therefore, it’s important to consider the terms and thoroughly understand the associated financial implications.


In conclusion, when considering rhinoplasty, it’s crucial to understand the difference between cosmetic and functional procedures, as it directly impacts insurance coverage. While functional rhinoplasty may be covered if deemed medically necessary, cosmetic rhinoplasty is typically considered elective and not covered by insurance. It is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider and insurance company to gain a clear understanding of coverage options and explore alternative financing if necessary. Always remember to prioritize your health and consult with qualified and experienced Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons to make informed decisions regarding rhinoplasty procedures.