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How To Find Dental Insurance That Covers Braces For Adults

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Straight teeth and beautiful smiles aren't just for kids; parents want attractive smiles too. But orthodontia is pricey, and finding dental insurance that covers braces for adults can be challenging. Nonetheless, more plans are now offering orthodontic benefits for adults. So, if you don't have adult coverage, don't give up – there are options to help you afford the treatment you need.

Employer-Sponsored Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is often a part of an employee's health care package, where employers decide on the plan and levels of coverage. Not all dental plans include orthodontic treatment, and if they do, it's often limited to children under the age of 18. The good news is, coverage for orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more common.

If your employer's dental plan has adult coverage, see if there are any maximums or waiting periods before treatment can begin. You also need to know if there are any types of non-covered braces and if you're required to see a dentist or orthodontist within your insurer's network.

Individual Dental Insurance

More insurance companies are now offering individual dental plans. If you enroll in a medical plan through the Affordable Care Act, you may also enroll in a dental plan. Unfortunately, not all of these individual plans offer orthodontic coverage, and even fewer offer it for adults.

DeltaCare USA PAA48 is an example of an individual dental program that covers orthodontic treatment for adults. The annual premium is $105, and your expense for 24 months of orthodontic treatment is $2,500, which is about 50 percent less than the average treatment fee. It would be best to choose a dentist or orthodontist who has contracted with Delta Dental to accept this reduction. There are no deductibles or maximums with this plan, and no claim forms are necessary, but as with all benefits, you should carefully read the plan's orthodontic limitations. Those of DeltaCare PAA48 are located on page 29 of its Disclosure Form.

Discount Plans

Discount plans – also called dental savings plans – are not considered dental insurance but allow you to purchase lower-priced dental services. Because of the significant discounts given by network dentists, these programs are becoming more popular, and most of them offer price reductions on adult orthodontia and cosmetic procedures. Careington Care 500 Plan, for example, is a savings plan offering 20 percent off of the dentist's regular fee for adult orthodontia. You pay a $20 non-refundable processing fee and a $99 yearly fee for one member to join.

Discount plans are a good choice if you already have dental insurance but no coverage for orthodontic treatment or if you have reached your plan's yearly or maximum lifetime payout.

Shopping for Your Orthodontic Coverage

When looking for the right plan for you and your pocketbook, carefully compare your options. Not all dental plans are created equal—plan limitations, waiting periods, yearly costs, discounts, or copayments can vary greatly. And because most of these plans require the use of a network dentist, make sure there are dentists in your area that you can visit for treatment. When you find a plan that meets your needs, don't hesitate to ask your dentist or orthodontist if they would be willing to join the program.

Databases like DentalPlans – which represents over 40 discount plans – make it easy for you to compare yearly fees, discounts, and network dentists. The National Association of Dental Plans is another great marketplace where you can search for any program: group, individual, or discount.

Finding dental insurance that covers braces for adults may take some time. But with more discount programs and expanded dental networks popping up today, you can have straighter teeth and a gorgeous smile without breaking the bank.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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