Comprehensive Guide to Medicare Coverage for Jaw Surgery

Home » Resources » Comprehensive Guide to Medicare Coverage for Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a medical procedure that corrects abnormalities or misalignments in the jaw and facial structures. It can address a range of conditions such as malocclusion, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, sleep apnea, and facial trauma. The surgery involves realigning the upper and lower jaws to improve functionality and aesthetics, relieving pain, and enhancing overall oral health.

Medical Necessity and Medicare Coverage

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that primarily serves individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities. Coverage for jaw surgery under Medicare depends on the medical necessity of the procedure.

To determine medical necessity, Medicare generally follows specific guidelines and requirements. These include:

  • Functional Impairment: Medicare considers the severity of the condition and whether it significantly impairs the individual’s ability to speak, eat, or breathe.
  • Conservative Treatment Options: Medicare requires that non-surgical treatment options, such as orthodontics or physical therapy, have been attempted and proved insufficient to correct the issue.
  • Documentation and Evaluation: Medical documentation, including X-rays, diagnostic tests, and comprehensive evaluations from qualified healthcare professionals, are crucial in establishing medical necessity.

Medicare Part A, Part B, and Jaw Surgery Coverage

Let’s delve into the coverage provided by different parts of Medicare for jaw surgery:

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance): Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, including surgical procedures deemed medically necessary. If jaw surgery requires hospitalization, Part A may provide coverage for associated hospital costs.
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance): Part B covers medically necessary services, including doctor’s visits, outpatient care, and certain surgical procedures. Jaw surgery performed on an outpatient basis may be covered under Part B, subject to medical necessity criteria.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C): Medicare Advantage Plans, offered by private insurers approved by Medicare, provide all Part A and Part B coverage. Depending on the plan, additional benefits like dental coverage may be included, which could potentially cover some aspects of jaw surgery.

Factors to Consider for Coverage

While Medicare coverage for jaw surgery exists under certain circumstances, it is crucial to consider the following factors:

  • Pre-authorization and Prior Approval: Medicare may require pre-authorization or prior approval for jaw surgery. It is essential to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the coverage criteria and obtain the necessary approvals.
  • Cost-Sharing: Medicare beneficiaries may still be responsible for certain out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance. Understanding the cost-sharing requirements is vital for financial planning.
  • Network Providers: Confirming that your healthcare providers participate in Medicare and are in-network is crucial to ensure maximum coverage. Out-of-network providers may result in higher costs or limited coverage.


In conclusion, understanding Medicare coverage for jaw surgery is essential for individuals considering or requiring this medical procedure. By evaluating medical necessity, following Medicare guidelines, and exploring coverage under different parts of Medicare, beneficiaries can make informed decisions. Hope this comprehensive guide has shed light on the topic and provided valuable insights for your journey toward better oral health and well-being.


  • Jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, corrects abnormalities in the jaw and facial structures.
  • Medicare coverage for jaw surgery depends on medical necessity.
  • Medicare Part A may cover inpatient hospital stays related to jaw surgery.
  • Medicare Part B covers outpatient jaw surgery if medically necessary.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans may offer additional coverage for jaw surgery.
  • Factors such as pre-authorization, cost-sharing, and network providers should be considered.

Useful Resources:

  1. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR): NIDCR is a valuable resource for research and information on dental and craniofacial health.
  2. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS): AAOMS provides educational materials and resources on jaw surgery and oral health.
  3. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): CMS offers official guidance and information on Medicare coverage, policies, and procedures.
  4. American Dental Association (ADA): ADA provides comprehensive information on oral health, including jaw surgery and insurance coverage.

Insurance Facts

Join the 65+ million Americans
looking for insurance options

Description: Health insurance is a crucial form of coverage that helps protect you and your family from high medical costs. It provides financial support by covering medical expenses such as hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and preventive care. Having health insurance ensures that you can access necessary healthcare services without facing significant financial burdens. Additionally, many countries mandate health insurance to ensure that their citizens receive essential medical care.

Description: Auto insurance is a legal requirement in most countries for anyone owning a vehicle. It offers financial protection in case of accidents, theft, or damage caused by your vehicle to others or their property. Different types of auto insurance, such as liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, cater to various needs. It is crucial to have appropriate auto insurance to avoid potential financial losses and legal issues in the event of an accident.

Description: Life insurance is a policy that provides a lump sum payment to beneficiaries upon the insured’s death. It is an essential financial planning tool that offers peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will have financial security and stability after you are gone. Life insurance can be used to cover funeral expenses, outstanding debts, mortgage payments, and even provide income replacement for the family. The amount of coverage needed depends on individual circumstances, such as family size, outstanding debts, and future financial goals.

Description: Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your home and personal belongings against unexpected events like fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. It provides coverage for both the physical structure of your home and your possessions inside it. Moreover, homeowners insurance often includes liability coverage, which protects you if someone is injured on your property. Lenders typically require homeowners insurance for anyone with a mortgage to safeguard their investment.

Description: Travel insurance offers coverage for unforeseen events that may occur during your travels, both domestically and internationally. It can include benefits such as trip cancellation/interruption, medical emergencies, lost luggage, travel delays, and emergency evacuation. Travel insurance is especially important when planning expensive trips, traveling to remote locations, or engaging in adventurous activities. It helps mitigate financial losses and provides assistance when facing unexpected challenges away from home.

Newsletter Sign-Up:

Stay in the Loop!

Receive important insurance information right in your inbox weekly!

Newsletter Form | Email Verication