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Health insurance for cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery isn't covered by health insurance, but medically necessary plastic surgery is.

Medicare and health insurance won't pay for cosmetic surgery because it's not medically necessary — for example, surgery intended to improve a person's aesthetic appearance. However, you can get insured for reconstructive surgery that corrects abnormalities and repairs bodily function. You'll find it included in a bronze-level health insurance policy or above.

Which health funds cover medically necessary plastic surgery?

Here's a sample of policies from Finder partners that include private cover for plastic surgery. All prices are based on a single individual with less than $93,000 income and living in Sydney.

1 - 10 of 51
Name Product Treatments Price Apply
HCF logo
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +18 other treatments covered
$91.11
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
HCF logo
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +18 other treatments covered
$99.25
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
GMHBA Limited logo
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +16 other treatments covered
$103.32
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Frank Better Hospital (Bronze+)
Bronze Plus$750 excess
Frank Health Insurance logo
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +17 other treatments covered
$107.28
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
essentials silver plus
Silver Plus$750 excess
ahm health insurance logo
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Blood
  • Dental surgery
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • +24 other treatments covered
$112.52
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
HCF logo
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +18 other treatments covered
$112.56
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
core bronze plus
Bronze Plus$750 excess
ahm health insurance logo
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +17 other treatments covered
$113.58
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Bupa HI Pty Ltd logo
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Blood
  • Dental surgery
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • +24 other treatments covered
$113.69
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Medibank Silver Plus Core
Silver Plus$750 excess
Medibank Private Limited logo
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Blood
  • Dental surgery
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • +23 other treatments covered
$113.80
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
HCF HOSPITAL STANDARD SILVER PLUS
Silver Plus$750 excess
HCF logo
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Blood
  • Dental surgery
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • +24 other treatments covered
$114.03
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
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How does health insurance cover reconstructive and cosmetic surgery?

Plastic surgery can be split into two categories:

Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct abnormalities, whether they're congenital or acquired, and repair damage as a result of trauma.

  • It's covered by Medicare and health insurance because it's considered medically necessary.

Cosmetic surgery is typically carried out to improve appearance rather than health. For example, facelifts, implants, eyelid surgery and liposuction.

  • It's not covered by Medicare or health insurance because it's not considered medically necessary.

Finder survey: How many people made a hospital claim for any of these conditions?

ResponseFemaleMale
Plastic or reconstructive surgery0.96%0.21%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

What plastic surgery procedures does private health insurance cover?

If you need to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery, you can get cover for the following types of procedures:

  • Surgeries on congenital abnormalities. A condition that exists at or before birth, such as a cleft palate or a nasal deformity that results in breathing difficulties.
  • Surgeries following burns. Skin grafts, reduction of skin tightening and treatment of scarring.
  • Surgeries following traumatic injuries. Facial bone fractures and breaks that need to be repaired or reset.
  • Surgeries following the removal of cancers or tumours. Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy and skin grafts following the removal of a tumour.
  • Surgeries to repair scars. Lacerations or scarring.

Do I need health insurance for plastic surgery?

It's impossible to predict what the future holds and what sort of medical treatment you may require. If reconstructive plastic surgery is excluded from your cover, you could be hit with significant out-of-pocket costs should you ever need treatment.

You can also get health insurance for plastic surgery with some bronze plus policies. These only cost around $95 a month. If you want peace of mind, it may be worth switching to a policy that covers you.

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Editor, Insurance & Innovations

Gary Ross Hunter was an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

Gary Ross's expertise
Gary Ross has written 730 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Health, home, life, car, pet and travel insurance
  • Managing the cost of living

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