Getting a Nose Job: Primary Reasons for Rhinoplasty, Coverage Requirements, and Limitations

September 12, 2022

Some aesthetic and medical surgeries can seem prohibitively expensive. That is why patients often rely on their insurance plans, hoping that they will not have to bear all the costs.

Providers, however, hardly ever consider aesthetic reasons to be qualifying conditions for insurance coverage. Sadly, the same applies to such procedures as rhinoplasty.

If you have any concerns about the asymmetry, nasal passages, or nose form, this operation may be the answer. In fact, it is one of the most sought-after surgeries in the United States. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that around 220,000 operations correcting structural nose defects are performed annually throughout the country. But despite the popularity of rhinoplasty, insurance providers might not be willing to cover its costs.

At this point, you are probably wondering about the surgery specifics, factors that impact the cost, and coverage. Read on to find out about the reasons for rhinoplasty, prospects, and peculiarities of this procedure.

Understanding the Procedure and What to Expect From It

The first thing you need to know about this surgery is that it has a lot to offer to patients. It can help them deal with numerous health issues requiring alterations, like enhancing airway passages, reducing nose volume, and correcting asymmetries.

As mentioned before, it is a common but quite expensive surgery. Nevertheless, patients do not let the costs stop them from improving their looks and fixing physical shortcomings. For instance, more than 350,000 nose reshaping operations were performed in 2020 throughout the country.

And while people consider this procedure for a variety of reasons, most underlying motives are likely to affect the coverage capability. Let’s say that you suffered from an injury, and your health condition now requires dealing with the complications like a deviated septum. In this case, you can benefit from the deviated septum nose job insurance. Simply put, it will be considered a qualifying condition only if it is a medical necessity.

The thing is, for every patient, it can be a life-altering event regardless of its functional or cosmetic nature. Let’s unpack this a bit more and look into the principal differences.

What is the difference between a cosmetic and a medical nose job?

It is no secret that today this surgery is getting more and more popular due to purely aesthetic and non-gender-specific reasons. In a nutshell, most people simply want to feel more confident about their looks. As for the reasons, they may vary from wide nostrils or crooked nose shapes to unattractive bumps. So, when it comes to coverage, it does not extend to purely aesthetic procedures.

There are, however, those struggling with breathing. Apart from congenital deformities, these issues can occur after accidents or injuries. The most common reasons are functional anomalies, inflammation, or trauma. In this case, patients can count on their providers to cover the related expenses.

Patients should bear in mind that the surgery includes numerous costs apart from the procedure performed by the surgeon. Let’s take a closer look at it.

What You Should Expect From the Surgery

No matter how much you might be looking forward to it, any operation is stressful. That is why it is important to understand what your body will have to go through.

#1. Narcosis. Regardless of the reason behind the procedure, you are going to be sedated. This surgery is always performed under general anesthesia and requires you to provide your medical background.

#2. Incisions. Major adjustments might require several incisions. But no need to worry; the scars will not be visible afterward.

#3. Reshaping. That is what happens after incisions. Depending on the issue, the doctor will add or remove cartilage.

#4. Recovery and healing. In most cases, patients can see and feel the improvements right away. But bear in mind that long-term swelling is only natural for the healing process.

For those who experienced narcosis before, it might not seem stressful or scary. In fact, one of the top concerns — age limitations — has almost nothing to do with the process itself.

Are There Any Age Limits?

To make it clear, no age can be unsafe or safe to get a nose job. There are general recommendations, but it is always individual. For that reason, people are typically required to provide their entire medical history before making any arrangements with surgeons.

Naturally, older patients should be aware of the longer rehabilitation and healing times. And while there is no upper limit for this procedure, narcosis might not be recommended to people with serious heart issues.

When it comes to gender, rhinoplasty for men can be only different in terms of thicker skin. It does not complicate the operation but requires slight modification in the work of an operating surgeon. As for rhinoplasty for women, no modifications are typically required.

What Is the Average Cost of Rhinoplasty?

First of all, keep in mind that the average cost does not reflect a total price. Case in point: the average cost was $5,409 in 2019, but the price for the procedure (depending on its complexity) ranges from $500 to $25,000.

If you are considering a nose job, an online calculator can help you get closer to determining the final fee. All you need to do is enter your zip code, and voilà — you have it.

Before the final arrangements, you should ask about the additional costs you might have to cover. Why? The average price does not include a number of expenses like hospital costs, medical screening, surgeon’s work, narcosis fee, medication, and the price of compression garments. That is why most patients are determined to cut the out-of-pocket rhinoplasty cost with insurance.

How Do I Find Out If My Nose Job Is Covered By Insurance?

Reimbursement is typically available to policyholders suffering from deformations, breathing issues, or structural damage. It means that aesthetic procedures stand no chance. However, you need to contact your provider and double-check if your plan can cover the costs. But bear in mind that there are specific criteria that help determine the portion that will be covered.

If you do not have all the information on the surgery, you need to consult a doctor first.

How Much Is a Nose Job Without Insurance?

Paying out of the pocket can be overwhelming. That is why some doctors offer their patients a financing plan. It can come in handy, especially if you are after aesthetic alterations.

The financing plan generally requires you to make a downpayment — a specific percentage of a total cost. Then, after the surgery, you have to make several monthly payments according to the installment plan.

And while having this option can help you bear the costs, it is not a common approach. That is why we recommend doing research ahead of time to find suitable financing alternatives.


Is a nose job covered by insurance?

Yes, it is covered if it helps you restore breathing function, repair the obstructed airway, and much more. The procedure, however, requires tests and detailed examinations to verify the cause of the issue.

How painful is it?

You cannot feel any pain during the surgery due to narcosis. As for the recovery, you might experience mild discomfort, ache, and swelling right after the procedure. Naturally, it will reduce in a couple of days and eventually go away completely.

Can I ruin my rhinoplasty?

The only way to ruin it is to traumatize your nose. Other than that, you cannot affect it.

Is 50 too old to get a nose job?

You cannot be too old or too young for a nose job. As long as you do not have any serious health issues, you are good to go. The only factor that depends partly on age is recovery time. It might take a bit longer to heal if you are 50.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At CoverExplore, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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