After discovering that you or your child needs braces, the immediate question may be: “How do I pay for them?” Braces are well-known for their expensive treatment plans. Of course, they are worth the price to fix serious dental and oral health issues, but you may still be worried.
Fortunately, braces are not as difficult to pay for as they used to be. Orthodontists work with patients to create a treatment plan that fits their situation. One way they do this is by helping patients use a health savings account or HSA to pay for braces.
Read on to learn the treatment expenses that are eligible for payment by HSA as well as other tips on how to pay for your braces.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
Health Savings Accounts help patients pay for healthcare by putting aside money specifically for medical expenses. This can be done by a worker or their employer. Either way, HSAs provide long-term savings that never expire. They can be used for health-related expenses, as determined by your bank or your HR representative at work.
They are similar to FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts), but those funds expire after a set time, usually by the end of the calendar year.
An HSA has rules for how the money can be spent. However, it is usually easy to apply funds in a Health Savings Account to expenses like new braces.
How to Use a Health Savings Account (HSA) to Pay for Braces
While you should always ask your employer, HR representative, and orthodontist about using HSA to pay for expenses, they can usually be used to pay for braces. Simply ask your orthodontist during your evaluation for the payment plans that you are eligible for.
The part of the cost that an HSA may cover is your out-of-pocket expense. You cannot use an HSA to pay for the part of the treatment covered by your dental insurance plan.
Even if you have established that HSAs are pre-tax savings accounts that can be used to mitigate the cost of braces, you may be wondering how much they can help.
How Much Will My Braces Cost?
Braces typically cost around $5,000 or $6,000. Sometimes, an HSA can cover your whole out-of-pocket treatment costs, but you would have to decide if that is the best use of this money. Some orthodontists may even offer a price cut if you are willing to pay for your treatment in full using these savings.
If you opt to pay for braces in staggered treatments, as most patients do, you will have to adjust your budget according to your schedule. In that case, you could set up an auto-draft from your HSA account and to your orthodontist’s office. Monthly payment plans are common in this case.
Just remember that an HSA account often contributes to other health expenses you may have, including vision and medical. These accounts, like savings accounts, can be over-drafted. If you pay for your braces with an HSA, make sure you do not incur fees by trying to pay for vision treatments with money you no longer have.
HSAs usually set an annual limit on how much can be drafted from them per year. Depending on how you are enrolled in the plan (as an individual or a family), your maximum amount may be different. If you opt for auto-draft payments, be sure that your schedule will not exceed your draft limit or empty your HSA.
Other Payment Options
If your HSA has certain payment restrictions that prevent you from using it to pay for your braces directly, you still may have other options.
For example, you can pay for your braces with a credit or debit card and then use your HSA money indirectly by transferring the money to your checking account later.
Be careful when doing this to keep digital receipts of all your transfers, since your bank or the IRS may ask for proof of these transactions.
As always, ask the administrator of your HSA plan about which payments are eligible before committing to a payment plan that involves your account.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
As an adult who is considering braces, it is important to seek your options on whether you can use a health savings account for braces or not. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.