Dental insurance can help to save money on many different treatments, and your insurance may even help you cover some of the costs associated with braces. Orthodontics can correct several issues that may come up later on in life. If you are interested in braces for your child or yourself, it’s wise to find a good dental plan that provides you with orthodontic coverage.
Depending on the type of orthodontic care or service you are searching for, many different plans can provide you with coverage and benefits. Orthodontic insurance may have different coverages for adults vs. kids, so it’s always recommended to read the fine print in your specific plan before beginning treatment.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
While it’s difficult to determine, the average cost of orthodontic treatment can vary depending on the type of treatment your child needs. According to a 2016 survey of dental fees by the American Dental Association, the average cost for comprehensive treatment to correct orthodontic issues, including misalignment, ranged from $4,978 to $6,90 in children. The cost of treatment in adults ranged from $5,100 to $7,045. Given the out-of-pocket expenses associated with orthodontics, many people look for ways to help save on the overall cost of braces.
Are You Covered By Insurance?
If you have health or dental insurance, it is recommended to check with your provider to determine the type of coverage they offer towards orthodontic treatment. Most health plans do not pay towards orthodontic treatment for patients over the age of 18. However, many insurance plans are now including partial coverage for children under the age of 18.
If your child is nearing the age of needing braces, it’s wise to read the details of your coverage. Not all plans are the same; planning ahead may enable you to find the right one that offers some coverage.
In general, most insurance plans and providers follow these coverage guidelines:
- Dental insurance plans typically do not cover cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening and veneers. If your child has a medical need for braces, such as difficulty chewing or jaw misalignment, your plan may provide coverage from a medical standpoint.
- All dental plans have an annual cap on services for the year. The cost of braces may fulfill or exceed your annual allowance.
- Some dental insurance plans also have a set waiting period for specific treatments, so enroll with plenty of time before your child needs braces.
- Many orthodontic plans wouldn’t cover costs associated with braces if your child got them before the effective date of the policy. It’s recommended to keep the same insurance plan throughout your child’s entire orthodontic treatment to avoid gaps in coverage.
Using FSA and HSA To Cover Braces
Funds from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) can be used towards any out-of-pocket costs associated with the installation, maintenance, or removal of a child’s braces. As long as the treatment is deemed medically necessary, utilizing spending accounts to help cover treatment costs comes with tax benefits associated with your account.
Other Payment Options
Financing – Methods of financing, such as personal loans or credit cards, are frequently used to fund orthodontic treatment. If you are utilizing one of these financing methods, you can often request a discounted rate to avoid interest charges by paying a sizeable percentage of the overall treatment cost upfront. Additionally, many credit cards offer 0% financing for an extended period and other special offers when signing up for a new card.
Payment Plans – Many orthodontists offer their patients payment plans for eligible patients. Most of these payment plans are flexible in terms, and may even be interest-free.
Affording a Straighter Smile
Whether or not you have dental insurance, many of these other options can help you to cover the cost of orthodontic treatment more effectively than you would otherwise be able to do. While it may be daunting to determine what is covered under your dental insurance, Thomas Orthodontics is here to help answer any questions you may have. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation for your child’s orthodontic treatment.