19 answers

Paying for Orthognathic Surgery

Our 18 yr. old daughter will be needing orthognathic surgery over the next year. The oral surgeon's office has said to expect at least a $50,000 medical bill between surgeon's fees and hospital bills. That does not include the orthodontics that she will need before and after, tongue thrust therapy and a gum graft that is also needed. Our daughter had 4+ years of braces that she finished approx. four years ago and her teeth remain beautiful. Unfortunately, her bottom jaw has been receding over the last year or so due to some genetic problems with her jaw joints. The problem is that our health insurance does not cover this type of treatment/ surgery. Orthognathic surgery is specifically excluded regardless of cause. I am probably going to move our daughter to my health insurance through work that has benefits that indicate they "might" pay for up to $15,000 of treatment. This will remain to be seen once her case is submitted to insurance for review. Even if they actually cover the full $15,000, that will still leave us at least $35,000 short. This would a devastating financial blow to our family. Our daughter needs the surgery as she may be facing some structural difficulties in swallowing, chewing, headaches, breathing, etc. The surgeon's office does not have many suggestions for coping with the staggering medical costs. Most oral surgeons we have found are not providers for any insurance plans and expect their payment in full. Besides credit cards and home equity loans has anyone else dealt with the enormous uncovered costs in any other ways?? Any families have any experience with obtaining legitimate medical grants to help defer some of these costs. This had been one suggestion I received. I would sure appreciate any advice. Thank you!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Have a look at carecredit


I'm sorry it isn't covered, doesn't really make sense, does it?

Best wishes,

More Answers

I haven't found many doctors who aren't willing to set up a payment plan. Your orhtodontist should be willing to help you find a good surgeon will will set up a plan for you. This is a sad by product of our inusrance situation, and we've been in the same boat.....

1 mom found this helpful

Hi - I just had a thought. Maybe you can check with your insurance to see if they cover a maxillofacial surgeon. They basically do the same thing as orthodontists (except braces) but generally work in a hospital thus most insurance cover them. (It worked for my daughter and we have Kaiser HMO!) Her case was a bit different from your daughter's as the dentist found a tumor in her mouth - but it was the orthodontist that we were referred to that gave us this tip. (We have medical but not dental)...Good luck and God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

um re check if she is put under or asleep its covered, and because it is a sugery that will last longer than 2 hrs it is covered, your insurance is giving you the run around, your daughter is 18 she could be covered under the healthly childrens medical, I would shop around doctors who take it, that is a huge bill you could spend a lot less if you do your home work,

1 mom found this helpful

UCLA has a teaching program and it might be covered through their Dental School-it's worth a try!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.!

I have to tell you while your doctor's diagnosis may be completely correct, have you:

a) gotten a second opinion?

b) checked out alternative medicine like chiropractic and acumpuncture?

Perhaps her jaw can be adjusted and you wouldn't need surgery.

I'd try that first. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Contact her school or your church or other group. Ask them to do a fundraiser in her honor to help pay for the cost of the medical bills. This may sound weird, but post flyers in wealthy cities asking for help. It may be all you can do. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Checking with Shriner's is a good idea. Also check with her college's health services department to see if they know of any ways to ease medical cost, programs, etc.


I am not sure if they do this, but I would check into Shriners Hospital. They do all kinds of surgeries for children at little or no cost. My niece had her sons club feet fixed for free! Their web site is www.shrinershq.org. It's worth a try. Good luck.


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