Medicare only covers certain plastic surgery procedures and usually only if the procedure is classified as reconstructive (medically necessary) as opposed to purely cosmetic. Whilst we always advise you to consult your surgeon who will better be able to identify your individual needs and situation, we have compiled a list below of those plastic surgery procedures that have a Medicare Item Number. These item numbers all require a Specialist Eligibility Form to be completed and again, your surgeon should be able to help you with this. Make sure you look at the full description and requirements of each item number before assuming that you will be entitled to a rebate (found on the Medicare website).

BREAST Item No. Rebate Amount
Reduction Mammaplasty – with nipple repositioning 45520 $675.35
Reduction Mammaplasty – without nipple repositioning 45522 $473.85
Mammaplasty, Augmentation – one breast 45524 $556.25
Mammaplasty, Augmentation – following mastectomy 45527 $556.25
Mastopexy (Breast Ptosis) – correction to match position of the contralateral breast 45556 $574.55
Breast Prosthesis – Removal 45548 $207.60 – $235.30
Breast Prosthesis – removal with excision of fibrous capsule 45551 $332.80
Breast Prosthesis– removal and replacement 45552 $479.00 – $560.25
Breast Prosthesis– removal and replacement following complication 45553 $479.00 – $560.25
Breast Prosthesis– removal and replacement with formation of a new pocket 45554 $524.60 – $621.05
Silicone Breast Prosthesis 45555 $479.00
Breast Ptosis, correction of by mastopexy (unilateral) by any means following pregnancy and lactation , when performed not less than one year and not more than 7 yrs after the end of the most recent pregnancy and where it can be demonstrated that the nipple is inferior to the infra-mammary groove, not being a service associated with a service to which item 45522 applies) 45557 $574.55
Breast Ptosis – (as above but bilateral) 45558 $861.75
Tuberous Breast Reconstruction 45559 $852.60 – $1058.40
FACE/HEAD Item No. Rebate Amount
Face, Contour Restoration of 1 region 45647 $959.60
Meloplasty/Rhytidectomy – Facelift 45587 $812.45
Otoplasty – (Lop Ear, Bat Ear or similar deformity, correction of) 45659 $443.10
Upper Eyelid – reduction 45617 $176.30 – $199.80
Ptosis of Eyelid 45623 $542.30 – $644.65
Ptosis of Eyelid – revision 45624 $703.05 – $859.00
BODY – Abdominoplasty/Apronectomy/Abdominal Lipectomy Item No. Rebate Amount
Lipectomy – not being a service performed within 12 months after the end of a pregnancy 30165 $341.15
Lipectomy – 1 Excision 30168 $341.15
Lipectomy – 2 OR MORE EXCISIONS 30171 $518.85
Lipectomy – subumbilical excision 30174 $518.85
Lipectomy – radical abdominoplasty 30177 $739.30
Liposuction 45584 $473.85 – $553.35
Vulvoplasty/Labiaplasty – Inner or Outer Labia (folds of skin surrounding the vulva) 35533 $262.40
RHINOPLASTY – NOSE Item No. Rebate Amount
Rhinoplasty – correction of lateral or alar cartilages 45632 $384.00 – $435.20
Rhinoplasty – correction of bony vault only 45635 $440.70 – $509.20
Rhinoplasty, total – nasal obstruction or post traumatic deformity 45638 $760.55
Rhinoplasty, total – developmental deformity 45639 $760.55
Rhinoplasty – with graft 45641 $812.20
Rhinoplasty, total – with autologous graft 45644 $959.60
Rhinoplasty – secondary revision 45650 $110.85 – $125.65
SCAR REVISION Item No. Rebate Amount
SCAR – revision face or neck, not more than 3cm 45506 $165.00 – $187.00
SCAR – revision face or neck, more than 3cm 45512 $221.80 – $251.35
SCAR – revision other than face or neck, not more than 7cm 45515 $139.90 – $158.55
SCAR – revision other than face or neck, more than 7cm 45518 $169.30 – $191.85

There may be other Medicare Item numbers relevant to your unique situation. The rebate amounts can vary depending on whether your surgery is in a hospital or a private practice. The amounts can also vary (reduce) if you are having multiple operations at once.

The rebate amount for a procedure does not increase on a percentage basis, ie. if you pay more than someone else (because of a different surgeon charging a different price) you will not get any more than the listed rebate amount. These amounts are capped. Please also note that these amounts are subject to change at any time but were correct as at August 2015.

You may want to consider getting Private Health Insurance if you don’t already have it, but make sure you read the fine print on what plastic surgery procedures they do and don’t cover, and how much of the cost they do actually contribute.

For more information on what types of plastic surgeries are covered read our article. You can also contact Medicare through the Department of Health on 132 011.

Trish

Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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