Posted on: 29 December 2016Share
Braces are expensive, but not all dental insurance plans include coverage for orthodontics. Even those that do usually cover only part of the cost. Therefore, if you don't have insurance that pays toward the cost of orthodontic treatment or you are left with a balance, it may be necessary to investigate other options to help you pay for your or your child's braces.
Enroll in a discount dental program. Although the cost of discount dental plans vary, there are programs nationwide in which orthodontists participate. The programs offer discounts that save you a specified percentage off the cost of braces.
If you are looking for affordable orthodontic care, there are online search engines that help you locate discount dental programs available in your local area. Even though a discount dental plan isn't the same thing as dental insurance, by paying an annual premium, you can get braces at a reduced rate.
Set up a flexible spending account (FSA). Inquire whether your employer offers flexible spending accounts as an employee benefit. The accounts help you save money on health care costs–including dental expenses for braces and orthodontic treatments. You also receive tax savings as the plans aren't subject to federal and state income tax or FICA and Medicare tax withholding.
Talk to an orthodontist directly. Orthodontists in your area, like Orthodontic Associates, are more than willing to talk with their clients, so contact more than one orthodontist who services your area. Some dental care professionals offer significant discounts if you pay for the total cost of the braces up front. Others are willing to set up a payment plan for patients who do not have dental insurance coverage for braces. Although an orthodontist may require some amount as a down payment, he or she may then allow you to make installment payments on the braces during the length of the orthodontic treatment process.
Check out any accredited dental schools. You may be able to get dental braces at discounted cost if there is a dental school located in your area. In addition to the cost savings, dental schools usually offer payment plans to help finance the cost of orthodontic treatment.
If you aren't sure whether there is a dental school near where you live, contact the American Association of Orthodontists for information on dental schools and the programs they offer.
Find out if you or your child qualifies for Medicaid coverage. While these joint federal/state government medical assistance programs are restricted to providing aid to low-income families, the cost for braces may be covered if the dental appliances are medically necessary. If you qualify, you can receive free or low-cost care. You can apply online on your state's official health plan marketplace or at your county Department of Social Services.