Paying for Braces
Let’s be honest…there are a lot of things we have to allot money to each month. Car payment, rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, the list goes on, and adding another expense can seem almost impossible. You may have just gotten the news that braces are in your family’s future and are wondering how you’re ever going to pay for them. The good news is there are many ways to pay for braces, so don’t worry. Let’s discuss paying for braces and your options.
Are Braces Worth Paying For?
First and foremost, you might be wondering if braces are really worth the expense. Braces don’t just provide a more attractive smile, they also treat orthodontic issues that can become worse if not corrected. Uneven tooth wear and jaw pain are common problems that arise from having crooked teeth or misaligned jaws. Having a straighter smile can also provide a huge boost in confidence whether you are 15 or 50.
Now that you know why braces are worth paying for, here are some options for how to make braces work for your budget.
Paying with insurance
Many insurance plans offer orthodontic coverage, and many orthodontists, including Smith Orthodontics, accept most insurance plans. So, if you’re thinking about paying for braces with insurance, do a little research into the best insurance plan to meet your needs. While insurance generally doesn’t completely cover the cost of braces or Invisalign, it can reduce the amount you have to pay. If you have insurance that covers any portion of your orthodontic treatment, our office staff is always available to help you with insurance claims and paperwork. Our in-network status with several major insurance providers means you get the best coverage they offer and the payments are made directly to our office, so you don’t have to forward checks or ask to be reimbursed.
Many health insurance plans will offer partial coverage for patients under 18, so check with your provider to see who’s covered and for how much. Also ask if there are any programs in place to assist you in paying for treatment, your insurance provider may offer you a supplemental plan to assist with this expense.
Orthodontic Insurance for Adults
Depending on your health insurance plan, some plans partially cover the cost of treatment for adults as well. When enrolling or re-enrolling in a health care plan, it’s important to pay close attention to what it does and does not cover.
Insurance plans do not cover the full cost of treatment regardless of the age of the patient, however, there are plenty of ways to pay for braces.
Paying out of pocket
If your insurance doesn’t cover orthodontic treatment, another option is to pay for treatment out of pocket. Paying out of pocket means that you will be solely responsible for the cost of orthodontic treatment. While this can at first sound daunting, it is a lot more doable than you might think. Many orthodontic practices provide easy-to-navigate payment plans that help make paying out-of-pocket work better for your budget.
Just as you have a rainy day budget or funds set aside for an emergency, it is a good idea to think about setting up a savings account for you or your child to have money set aside to help pay for braces.
Credit cards and payment plans
Another option is to pay for braces using a credit card. Orthodontists accept most major credit cards and make it easy to pay using their online patient portals. Through the portals, you’re able to:
- Pay your bill
- Change/view your appointments
- View payment history
- Print out flexible spending account reimbursement/tax receipts
Some orthodontists will even offer in-house payment plans and discounts. It’s best to speak with your orthodontist to discuss a plan of action. Remember, they’re there to help you, so don’t think they won’t work with you to figure out a solution.
Paying for Braces with FSA and HSAs.
If you have a health insurance plan that allows you to set aside additional funds to help pay for medical an essentials, that money can also be used towards getting braces. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are offered to people who have high-deductible insurance plans and allow them to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical care. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) do the same for those with normal deductibles, but the money saved must be used by the end of the year. Both of these accounts can be used to pay for braces.
Having a plan to pay for braces
It’s important to discuss your best plan of action before beginning treatment. After all, you don’t want to worry about how you’re going to pay for braces on top of having the added responsibility of taking care of them. Be honest with your orthodontist and they’ll help you devise a plan to ensure your treatment is affordable for you and goes smoothly from beginning to end.
Your smile is a big part of your life and worrying about paying for braces shouldn’t be at the forefront of your mind. Do a little research into your options and talk to your orthodontic team to find the best solution for you.