When you learn that your child needs orthodontic treatment, cost is one of the first thoughts to cross your mind. How will you pay for it, how much are braces with insurance and will your health insurance even cover the expense, you wonder. Here are some answers to those questions.
Average Cost of Treatment
There isn't really an "average" cost of treatment, because the amount of money you spend depends on your child's age, the nature of his problem and the type of braces your orthodontist recommends. Nonetheless, average costs can be estimated based on reports from past and current patients. Without insurance, 2014 costs for traditional metal braces (commonly recommended) ranged from $3,000 to $7,500 according to patient reports, but the overall cost varies by state, according to the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. Keep in mind that clear or removable appliances, such as Damon or Invisalign, are typically around 20 to 50 percent more expensive than traditional metal braces.
If you have health insurance for your family, find out if it includes coverage for braces; it is possible for your policy to contribute at least part of the cost of your child's orthodontic care. In addition, if your child is 18 years or younger, your dental insurance may pay for a portion of the treatment as well. This cost may come in the form of adjustments and other regular appointments. Your dental insurance may also support prescription products such as Colgate® Phos-Flur® anti-cavity fluoride rinse, which helps ensure your child has healthy, beautiful teeth when the braces come off.
Out of pocket, patients with insurance paid an average of $3,407 for traditional metal braces, per reader reports from CostHelper. Insurance usually pays a portion of the down payment and spreads the rest of the benefit across the duration of the treatment, according to Bivins Orthodontics. The total amount covered by insurance is usually subject to a maximum benefit, so check with your insurance provider to find out where your coverage ceiling is.
You can pay for your child's orthodontic treatment in a number of ways:
- If you have health insurance with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) option, you may find that you qualify for reimbursement from the FSA for orthodontics. In addition, Damon Braces emphasizes that you can usually elect to set aside funds from your paycheck that are transferred directly into the FSA to cover the treatment. You will still pay the same amount, but it's easier than trying to find the money each month.
- Methods of financing, such as personal loans or credit cards, are frequently used to fund orthodontic treatment. If you're using one of these methods – or paying cash – you can often get a discounted price and avoid interest charges by paying a sizable percentage of the overall cost upfront, according to Pikes Peak Strategic Group.
- Many orthodontists offer payment plans for certain patients, as long as they're eligible. They're flexible and may even be interest-free, according to Great Expressions Dental Centers.
Whether or not you have insurance, some of these options can help you to cover the cost more efficiently than you would otherwise. Unfortunately, it is a subjective question: How much are braces with insurance? When you set out for your own answer, it's worth looking at the various ways you can pay for them at the same time.