Paying for Orthodontics
Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that fixes misaligned teeth and jaws using braces and other corrective procedures. Many dental plans cover orthodontics, but the coverage often differs from other dental services. You will most often pay a higher share of the cost for orthodontic care. Coverage is typically limited to children, and there is often a lifetime maximum. Orthodontic services usually go on for many months, or even years. The lifetime maximum is usually separate from the yearly maximum the plan will pay for other dental care.
Plans that cover orthodontics often pay up to 50 percent of the charge. To help you pay the rest, most orthodontists offer payment options like installment plans or financing. They may also offer discounts for paying the full cost up front. Do you have a flexible spending plan through your employer? If so, you may be able to use it to pay for orthodontic costs your plan doesn’t cover.
Like medical plans, dental plans have networks of providers who have agreed with the insurer to be paid set rates for specified services. Different types of dental plans have different rules about going to a provider outside the network. But, you will most often pay more if you do. Ask your dentist to send you to an orthodontist in your plan’s network.
To help manage the cost of orthodontics:
- Talk about the cost and your payment options with your orthodontist.
- Find out if you can use the funds in your flexible spending plan. If so, make sure you know how much you are going to have to pay, and when. That way, you will know how much money to put away. You can only use these accounts after the services have already been given, so planning is important.
Those of us who wore braces when we were younger can thank our orthodontists for the straight teeth we have now. Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that deals with fixing misaligned teeth and jaws with braces and other corrective procedures.
Many dental plans cover orthodontics, but the coverage often differs from other dental services. You will usually pay a higher share of the cost, coverage is generally limited to children and there is often a lifetime maximum. Understanding the details of your plan and your payment options now can help you get ready for the time when your children may need orthodontic care.