Does Insurance Cover Breast Lifts?

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, improves breast shape and appearance. While many women desire breast lifts for aesthetic reasons, they usually ask: does insurance cover breast lifts? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors that determine insurance cover breast lifts, how to find out if your insurance policy covers the procedure, and what steps need to be taken to secure coverage.

Understanding Breast Lift Surgery

A breast lift is a surgical procedure that reshapes and lifts sagging breasts, giving them a firmer and younger appearance. It is critical to note that a breast lift does not significantly alter the size of the breasts; this would require a separate procedure like breast augmentation (increasing the size) or breast reduction (decreasing the size). However, these procedures can be combined with a breast lift for those looking to change both breast shape and size.

Understanding the risks involved with a breast lift is crucial before having one. Breast lift surgery risks include infection, blood clotting, and scarring. Breast lift surgery is a serious procedure that requires general anesthesia. Depending on the patient, the rehabilitation process might take weeks or even months before the person is ready to resume normal activities.

It’s crucial to discuss expectations and desired results with a skilled plastic surgeon before breast lift surgery. The doctor will go through the possible advantages and disadvantages, as well as the expected outcome and recovery time, during the consultation. In order to decide on the most effective strategy for the operation, the doctor will also study the patient’s medical history and check breasts.

Procedure Overview

Before undergoing a breast lift, patients typically consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss their goals and expectations. The surgeon will review the patient’s medical history and body type, and provide recommendations on the right course of action. This includes any associated risks. While breast lifts generally pose fewer risks than many other surgeries, all medical procedures carry some degree of risk. However, complications are relatively rare for patients who follow their providers’ instructions.

Most breast lift procedures can be performed outpatient, allowing patients to return home the same day. Full recovery from a breast lift may take up to six weeks, with the initial week experiencing the most swelling and pain. Patients will need to rest, use ice, and take prescribed or over-the-counter medications to alleviate discomfort during this time.

Does Insurance Cover Breast Lifts

Companies offering insurance cover breast lifts are not universal and depend on several factors, primarily the medical necessity of the procedure. While some insurance companies cover breast lifts, they may not be in all situations.

Medical Necessity and Insurance Coverage

In many cases, insurance companies only cover breast lifts if it is medically necessary. This is often the case for patients requiring breast reduction surgery due to health issues caused by their breast size. In these instances, a breast lift may also be necessary to ensure the success of reduction surgery. This leads insurance companies to cover both procedures.

However, whether a patient or their doctor considers the procedure medically necessary does not guarantee insurance coverage. To determine if your breast lift is covered by insurance, several steps can be taken to secure preauthorization for the surgery.

Review your insurance benefits: Consult your insurance benefits paperwork to see if breast lifts or related procedures are mentioned. Keep in mind that insurance policies can be complex and difficult to understand, so it is always a wise idea to contact your insurance company for clarification.

Obtain a letter of medical necessity: If your insurance company covers your breast lift, ask your doctor to provide a letter of medical necessity. Healthcare providers are usually familiar with the requirements for such letters and may have experience working with your insurance company.

Speak with a caseworker or pre-authorization representative: Contact your insurance company to discuss what documentation is needed for preauthorization. Preauthorization is a formal acknowledgment from your insurance company that they approve and cover the service, as long as all preauthorization requirements are met.

Coordinate with your provider: Ensure that your medical provider’s office is aware of the necessary documentation and prepared to submit the appropriate billing information.

Verify in-network providers: Confirm that your surgeon is within your insurance plan’s network, as out-of-network providers may result in a loss of coverage or an increase in out-of-pocket expenses.

Understand your copay and deductible: Even if your procedure is covered, you may still be responsible for a portion of the bill. Be aware of your copay and deductible amounts to avoid surprises.

Financial Arrangements and Payment Plans

If your breast lift is not covered by insurance, speak with your provider’s office about financial arrangements. Many offices offer payment plans, and some provide discounts for paying the total amount at the time of service.

Breast Lifts and Breast Cancer

It is critical to note that breast lifts do not cause cancer. While stories of breast lift patients receiving positive mammography results may circulate online, a breast lift cannot cause cancer. Speak with your surgeon to address any concerns you may have about this topic.

Breast Lift Surgery Costs

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a breast lift ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. This figure does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses. This variation in the cost is due to the type of procedure, the extent of surgery, and the surgeon’s experience. In order to know the exact cost of surgery, you can consult with your plastic surgeon’s office to determine the total cost of your procedure. Keep in mind that a surgeon’s fee may be based on their experience, the type of procedure used, and the geographical location of their office.

The price of a breast lift procedure normally includes the surgeon’s fee, the cost of the operating room, the cost of anesthesia, and any other expenses. It is important to realize that the price of breast lift surgery can vary greatly depending on the procedure’s difficulty, its scope, and the surgeon performing it.

The overall cost of a breast lift operation might vary depending on a number of factors in addition to the surgery’s price. The kind of anesthesia used, the type of implants used, and any extra operations are a few examples.

Insurance Coverage for Breast Reduction

In contrast to breast lifts, breast reduction surgery is more likely to be covered by insurance due to its potential medical benefits. Large breasts can cause chronic pain and other health issues, making breast reduction a medically necessary procedure in many cases. Most insurance carriers cover breast reduction surgery as long as specific requirements are met. For example, the removal of a certain amount of tissue from each breast.

Determine eligibility for Breast Reduction Coverage

To find out if your insurance provider covers breast reduction surgery, contact them directly to discuss their terms and guidelines. Each insurance company, policy, and state may have different criteria for determining whether breast reduction is medically necessary. Your surgeon and their office staff can help you navigate these requirements and determine if you are eligible for coverage.


In summary, whether insurance covers breast lifts or not depends on several factors, primarily the medical necessity of the procedure. While some insurance companies cover breast lifts, they may not be in all situations. It is essential to consult with both your insurance company and your medical provider to determine if your breast lift is covered by insurance and what steps need to be taken to secure coverage.