INSIDE: Worried about how to pay for braces? They cost more than $ 3,000 and aren’t cheap! Learn the simple ways to save money on braces or spacers.
Braces are expensive. There’s no way around it. But there are things parents can do to pay for orthodontic care.
I have three children and the youngest is already getting a spacer (also called a) Palate expanders). My eldest will need braces this spring, and my son will be in his spacer in a few months as well.
If you have dental insurance, it can cover up to 50% of the costs. You may be able to get dental insurance through your employer or through the health insurance market if you sign up for an eligible health or dental insurance plan during the period Open registration period or special registration deadline. But even if the insurance pays 50% of the costs, the remaining balance remains your responsibility. You need to find a way to save money on braces and spacers.
HOW MUCH COST TO CHILDREN?
Depending on your child’s needs and the area you live in, the cost of braces can range from $ 3,000 to $ 7,000 or more !! While it may include the cost of the expander, it may not. Conventional metal braces tend to cost less than ceramic braces, lingual braces (braces behind the teeth), and clear aligners like Invisalign.
We recently visited our orthodontist for our oldest daughter. The total cost of the braces spacers, expanders, braces, retainer, and all visits is $ 3,300. That’s a lot of money !! And because we have to do this for three kids, it costs about $ 10,000 out of our pocket !! YIKES!
This is a situation that many parents are all too familiar with. How can you save money on braces when there is no sale or discount? It seems impossible. This need not be. There are a few ways you can reduce the cost of your child’s orthodontics.
How do you pay for braces and spacers?
1. COMPARE THE PRICE OF THE STRUT
Not all orthodontists charge the same amount for braces. You will find that costs vary widely between offices. Before you decide where to go, do your research. Most offices offer free orthodontic consultation so you can find out the costs, payment plans, and discount plans they might offer.
Make sure it’s the right office too and you like the doctor. While one doctor may be cheaper than another, he or she may not have the best reviews or do the best job. You certainly don’t want to use the wrong orthodontist. it could cost you more in the long run.
2. PAY FOR YOUR ENVIRONMENT WITH CASH IN FRONT
Many offices offer a discount if you prepay your entire bill. The office we go to gives a 5% discount if the bill is paid at the time of the first visit.
At your first consultation, ask the office manager about possible discounts for cash or siblings. We were able to save more than $ 100 by going back to the same office. Between the cash and the referral discount, we’ve saved hundreds of total costs.
In some offices, you may not initially be offered a discount. So be sure to ask. And while 5% doesn’t sound like much, there is still money in your pocket. In the case of our family with three kids going through this, we’re saving over $ 600 total !!! So every penny counts!
Connected: How the Cash Envelope System saves me money
3. START EARLY
For many diseases, early intervention is key. The same applies to braces. If you can get your child on an expander at the right age, the final costs and needs as they get older can be minimized.
When you know that your child will need braces in three to four years’ time, you can start saving now so that you are prepared for the bill (and then benefit from this discount). Reduce your monthly bills, e.g. Food and eat out. If you have to save up for a big expense like this, the sooner you start, the better!
Connected: Why you need to set financial goals;; How To Build Your Savings (i.e. How To Save Money On Braces)
4. GET LESS TAX RULES FROM A DENTAL SCHOOL
If you live in an area that has a dental school, this can save you money on braces. Students need to learn, and if you help them, you can save up to 50% or more on the cost of braces.
All work is done in conjunction with a dentist so you know that it is being done correctly. The only downsides to using a school are that visits can be longer and the number of office visits available per day is limited.
5. SEE IF YOU ARE QUALIFYING FREE STRUCTURES
Oh how I wish this program was there when I needed braces !! It would have helped my mother a lot because she couldn’t afford it. That’s why I had to do without it.
I don’t wish that to anyone. If your child needs braces but you are financially troubled, you may want to learn if you can qualify for free braces. Smiles change lives offers nearly free braces to families in all 50 states. You must complete an application and pay a registration fee of $ 30. If accepted, pay just $ 650 instead of $ 3,000 or more!
If you don’t qualify for Smiles Change Lives, there are other subsidy programs you can use to pay for braces. Check with your orthodontist about the American Association of Orthodontists’ program called Donated Orthodontic Services. It was originally introduced in select states but has recently expanded nationwide. This is another program that offers heavily discounted orthodontics to select low-income families who do not have dental insurance for their children. As this is only available through select offices, you will need to call 866-572-9390 to find a participating office near you.
Medicaid also often covers orthodontic care when braces are considered medically necessary for a child in a low-income family.
6. PAY FOR EARNING THROUGH YOUR FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT
If your employer offers a flexible expense account (FSA), make sure you use it! With a flexible expense account, the cost of braces or expanders is paid for before you have to pay income tax on the money. A similar plan is a health savings account (HSA) that is combined with high deductible health insurance. An FSA or HSA won’t save you money in the orthodontic practice, but at least you won’t pay Uncle Sam before you pay your orthodontist. (Note, however, that the money you contribute to an FSA must typically be used within a year or it will expire.)
7. Set up a payment plan
Orthodontists recognize that the cost of braces is a financial burden for many families. Most of them offer flexible payment options, such as: B. an installment plan. Instead of paying the full amount upfront, you can break the cost down into easy-to-manage monthly payments.
And most don’t charge interest, making it a better option than taking out a loan or paying the fee with your credit card. However, be careful about using a third party service provider as they may charge interest at a higher rate than you would be charged elsewhere.
First published in 2018. Updated in February 2021.