Braces are one of the most expensive dental treatments out there. The treatment stretches over a long period of time, and may be necessary at any age. This is why it is wise to have good dental insurance that covers braces.
In this article, we lay out the best insurance options so that braces for you or any member of your family do not become a serious financial problem that would require you to spend your savings or go into debt.
Keep reading and find out what policy is most convenient for you to protect yourself if you need one or several sets of braces, which has become more and more common in families.
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Braces: an Expensive, but Common, Need
If you have children, you certainly know that braces are a very common dental treatment. Children grow and their teeth move out of position, turn, and twist. Sometimes they come in improperly positioned. Other times, they move over time. Then, then time comes to go to the dentist and ask for a quote on braces. And this doesn't only happen to children: braces are becoming more and more common in adults, either because someone was not treated as a child, or they have moved out of position over the years. For example, it is very common that pregnancy can upset a woman’s teeth, which move and twist to deform what was previously an orderly smile. The solution? Braces.
In fact, treatment with braces is so common that in 2015, at least one million Americans had orthodontics, or braces. They have become so popular that some people talk about an obsession with dental correction and having perfect teeth, meaning that this goes beyond remedying a defect that gets in the way of eating or disfigures a child’s face--it is a real need.
There's only one problem: braces are expensive. Although technology has made them practically invisible, noninvasive, and painless, it still has not made them cheap. That is why it is recommended that you get dental insurance to cover them, especially if you have small children or plan to.
Dental Insurance that Covers Braces
Dental insurance belongs to what is called supplemental health insurance. It is not mandatory for compliance with the Affordable Care Act, but forms a perfect supplement to you and your family’s healthcare coverage. Sometimes they can also be purchased together: the most common form is combined dental and vision insurance.
In essence, dental insurance is a policy that allows you to access a variety of services for a monthly premium, including a network of dentists throughout the country that offer treatments at low prices because the insurance takes care of paying the majority of the bill. You will have some deductibles (expenses that you pay out in advance) some copayments (established fixed costs for some services), and some coinsurance, that will determine the portion of each treatment that you ultimately pay for. For example, if you have coinsurance for a filling at 20%, a $100 filling will cost you just $20.
However, many dental insurance policies do not include treatment with braces. Therefore, if this is what you are looking for, do your research before purchasing the policy and make sure that they are covered. If you don't, you may find yourself facing the full cost of treatment.
Insurance that does include these treatments has some benefits apart from braces. For example, sometimes a tooth moves after the braces are taken off, which may mean that an adjustment is needed, which would be covered. Or maybe you are interested in an Invisalign-type treatment, which uses a transparent plastic apparatus that is practically invisible. Some insurance also includes this service.
What You Should Keep in Mind When Taking Out Insurance for Braces
When you go to choose a dental insurance policy that includes coverage for braces, you should look over some elements. The main ones are as follows:
- Time limit. Make sure that the policy does not have time limits for enjoying the benefits.
- Annual maximum. Ask if the policy has an annual maximum amount that it will pay out. Remember, we are talking about expensive services.
- The entire family. Since more and more adults are using braces, think about whether your insurance covers both children and adults.
- Exclusion period. It is common for insurance to have an exclusion period. This means that claims cannot be made until after a certain period. You should also check to see what happens if the treatment happens before this exclusion period has passed.
- Exceptions. Sometimes, some types of braces are not covered. Check to see if the insurance you want covers all types.
- Provider network. Occasionally, there may be restrictions on seeing certain dentists. Check what dental health network your insurance covers and if the providers you are interested in are included.
- Copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Do your research on what part of the bill you are responsible for paying and how much each possible treatment will cost you.
Apart from all that, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of health insurance offered by employers does not cover this type of treatment, so you should not assume that your employer’s health coverage offers it.
In conclusion, carefully evaluate the option to purchase dental insurance that covers braces. You never know if you will need them, and when confronted with this risk, it is much better to be covered.