So, you’re ready to start your journey to a stunning a smile. Yet, before you kick off your orthodontic treatment, you’re probably wondering the two things most of our patients ask right off the bat: How much do braces cost? How much does Invisalign cost? When our Papillion braces and Invisalign patients visit Hawley Orthodontics for their consultation, we go over the price as well as their options for financing, payment plans, insurance coverage and other considerations. Unlike most orthodontic offices, we don’t upcharge for clear braces or Invisalign. We don’t want price to deter anyone from choosing the treatment option they desire. We’ll chat about the factors that influence the price of orthodontic treatment in general and cover some of the basics of orthodontic insurance.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Braces and Invisalign
If you’ve researched or talked with friends about the average cost of braces and Invisalign, you’ve probably noticed a considerable range between the high and low ends of the scale. That’s why it’s impossible to make a blanket statement like, “the cost of braces for adults is xyz.” Some of this range is due to the location of the orthodontic office. Treatment, along with everything else, is usually more expensive in cities with a high cost of living (think New York City and San Francisco). Additionally, some orthodontists charge differently depending on how severe a patient’s bite issues are, the duration of their treatment – which can be influenced by age, compliance, and complexity – and the type of braces or appliances they choose. Though it’s not uncommon for doctors to have upcharges for Invisalign or clear braces, we don’t upcharge, as we noted. Therefore, you won’t be quoted a different price for clear braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen or metal braces.
The Role of Orthodontic Insurance
So, does insurance cover braces or does Medicaid cover braces? Some dental plans include orthodontic coverage and others do not, which is why it’s important to make sure it’s part of the package when you’re shopping for a comprehensive dental plan. If your insurance does foot some of the bill, this can really slash your out-of-pocket costs. At our office, differing insurance coverage is one of the factors that causes variations in how much each patient pays. Certain insurances only cover people 18-years-old and under. But don’t despair! Thankfully, more and more plans are extending their coverage to adults. It typically depends on your employer and their benefits packages. If you’re a grownup and find out orthodontic treatment isn’t covered, you can purchase supplemental orthodontic insurance as an alternative. If you have Medicaid in Nebraska, cases that meet the criteria and have prior authorization, will be covered for kids aged 20 and under.
If you know ahead of time that braces or Invisalign are in your near future, obtaining insurance prior to starting treatment is a good idea since some plans won’t cover treatment that’s already underway, though, as you’ll see, this is a point to look into when evaluating your options. To make sure the insurance will fit your needs, before purchasing a dental plan there are several questions you’ll want to ask:
- Does the plan include orthodontic benefits?
- Does the plan cover work in progress?
- Is there a waiting period before I can start treatment?
- Is there an age limit?
- Are there any types of braces that aren’t covered?
- Is there a lifetime maximum?
- Is there a deductible?
Once you’ve decided on a private plan or you’ve chosen an option through your employee benefits package, you can experience substantial savings. Yet, many patients are under the misconception that insurance polices will pay for orthodontic benefits upfront. In reality, they pay over the course of treatment.
Now, what about the costs that aren’t taken care of through insurance? Well, another source of savings is a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA). If you have one through your employer, you may be able to reimburse yourself for a portion of your or your dependent’s orthodontic expenses that aren’t covered by insurance.
The Hawley team conducts a free insurance benefits check for all of our patients. In addition to determining what percentage of your treatment is covered, we also find out about things like lifetime maximums, what has been used and if there are remaining benefits. We file claims on your behalf because we know insurance can be confusing and frustrating.
With all of that being said, if braces or Invisalign still seem out of your price range, you’ll be happy to know that you have choices and straightening your teeth may be more affordable than you think. At Hawley Orthodontics, we think everyone deserves to have a smile they’re proud to show off and we want treatment to be accessible. If you’re interested in braces or Invisalign in the greater Omaha area, schedule a free consultation at our Papillion orthodontic office. We offer in-office, interest-free financing and low down payment and monthly payment options. We’ll help you find a payment plan that doesn’t strain your budget. We’ll even work out your insurance details and let you know upfront what your out-of-pocket costs will be (no hidden fees here!). Instead of worrying about the bill, you can focus on achieving a beautiful, new smile.