Will my Insurance Company Cover Brachial Plasty?

I have been over weight my entire life and finally lost weight, now my arms are so disgusting and flabby. My biceps measure 17.7 in. I am so disgusted with them! I live pay check to pay check and can not afford to pay for the whole procedure. Is there anyway to get my insurance company to cover some of it? Thanks in advance, for taking the time to read my question.

Doctor Answers 7

Will my Insurance Company Cover Brachial Plasty?

Rarely to never, in my experience. The carriers will pretty much always consider this a cosmetic procedure by definition, and such a procedure is often a specific exclusion in the policy. 

Best wishes. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Insurance and Brachioplasty

   It has become very difficult to get this approved, and even panniculectomy is not as easy to get covered as it once was.  You may want to consider a few surgeons in your area who perform alot of body contouring procedures to determine what financing options may be available.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Brachioplasty Financial Options

It's not unusual for massive weight loss patients to develop significant amounts of excess upper arm skin. Under these circumstances, it would be extremely unusual for an insurance carrier to cover the cost of an arm lift procedure. Most insurance companies would view this procedure as cosmetic in nature. Faced with this reality, it might be appropriate to explore other options. In some cases, financing this type of procedure may be a  consideration.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews


Insurance companies generally deem arm lift procedures as not medically indicated.  Hence they do not cover arm lifts.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 212 reviews

Arm Lifting and Insurance Coverage?

Sorry, but arm lifting surgery is generally not a “covered procedure” by insurance companies that I know of.

Arm lifting surgery can be an excellent operation for the right patient.  The ideal patient has loose skin/adipose tissue of the upper arms ( sometimes patients called the area “bat wings”),  especially common after significant weight loss.  This operation is best done when patients have achieved a long-term stable weight.

Understandably, one of the main concerns/downsides of the arm lift surgery is a resulting scar. Careful planning of the operation is critical  in executing the operation and determining the final position of the resulting scar.  In my opinion, a scar that ends up along the very lower border of the upper arm is the best tolerated scar,  since it is hard to see from the front or back when a patient's arms are by his/her side.

You may find it attached link helpful as you do your research.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,501 reviews

Brachioplasty and Insurance Coverage

  • In my experience, arm lifts (brachioplasties) are never covered by insurance.

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Will insurance cover brachioplasy?

I have been unable to get insurance to cover brachioplasty. They typically do not find it medically necessary.

I do a lot of them in my practice and can tell you it is a very gratifying procedure. It is never a good idea to "break the bank". But a strongly recommend starting a piggy bank if you think this is something you really want.  Your next task will be finding the right Plastic Surgeon to do it for you.

Congrats on the weight loss!!!

Best of luck,

Jennifer L. Harrington

Jennifer Harrington, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.