Orthodontic treatment enhances your smile, but the costs associated with a perfect smile can seem intimidating. When it comes to paying for your braces or clear aligners, you have options you at your disposal. We’ve created this guide on the most common ways you can pay for orthodontic care services to help you choose the best method for obtaining your perfect smile.
Whether you’re scheduling an orthodontic consultation for yourself or your child, looking toward your insurance for help is a good first course of action. Although most insurance companies do not cover orthodontic care, there are some that offer partial coverage.
You will need to look at your coverage documents to see the types of care they cover and at what percent. Even a small discount is worth the time to file a claim — and your orthodontist office will be happy to file it for you.
Depending on your insurance requirements, you may need to have your orthodontist office file a pre-authorization for care before you have the procedure done. Allow time for that process to ensure you receive all the discounts allotted to you. The pre-authorization documents will also let you know what portion you will likely pay after insurance covers theirs.
Another popular payment option offered by most orthodontists is in-office payment plans. The typical rule of thumb for payment plans for orthodontic care is you will need to make a payment each month to continue to receive care. Some offices can offer flexibility for temporary financial difficulties as well.
You should also inquire about fee discounts that may be available to people with and without insurance. For those with partial insurance coverage, for example, you may be able to receive a discount on your portion of the charges. Other offices may offer a discount for paying for your treatment in full up-front. At Laster Orthodontics in Raleigh, NC, Dr. Laster offers discounts on orthodontic services for the following local heroes:
- Police officers
- Active duty military personnel
- First responders
In addition to offering discounts, you can also find an orthodontist in your area that offers the services that best fit your budget. When it comes to cost, not all services are created equal.
If you are looking toward clear aligners for example, but cannot budget for the cost, your orthodontist may suggest Laster Perfect Smile instead. Unlike Smile Direct Club, Laster Perfect Smile is a safe, effective, and cost-friendly alternative. They both are clear aligners that straighten your teeth, but the costs and treatment effectiveness are very different. Your orthodontist will go through the pros and cons of each option to help you make the best care decisions.
Flexible Spending Accounts
If you are paying into a flexible spending account, or FSA, you can tap into the balance to pay for your orthodontic care. This allows you to cover all your orthodontic care needs with pre-tax funds, saving you even more in the long run.
Whether you have partial insurance coverage or not, your FSA can cover all your out-of-pocket orthodontic costs — and the balance resets each year. So, you can use these funds to fulfill the terms of a payment plan or simply offset what you will pay on your total balance due.
Before authorizing payment through your flexible spending account, review the bill to ensure all charges are eligible. Depending on what type of care you need, you may need to have the charges authorized prior to receiving the service. If you need help understanding your bill for care, talk with the team at your orthodontist office for assistance.
CareCredit & Credit Cards
Most orthodontist offices accept most major credit cards, including American Express, Mastercard, and Discover. With their high interest rates, it is important to have a quick pay off plan for your cards. Never settle for just paying the minimums alone. Instead, calculate your base monthly payment using the minimum payment plus interest and fees. Ideally, you’d want to make much larger payments to minimize the total interest you have to pay.
If possible, look for a zero percent interest card you can use to pay off the balance without paying a penny more. CareCredit typically offers new cardholders no interest for 6, 12, or 24 months on their purchases when they make the minimum monthly payments and pay the full amount due by the end of the promotional period. However, if you do not, the interest is charged from the original purchase date. Just make sure to fully pay off the balance by the indicated date or they will apply all the interest you saved to your balance due.
Determining the Best Payment Option for Orthodontic Care
Only you can determine the best payment options for your orthodontic treatment. Most offices, like Laster Orthodontics, are there to serve you. At Laster Orthodontics we try hard to help you maximize your benefits and offer flexible payment options to fit your budget. They can help you understand your payment options, the reasons behind each step in the care process, and how the charges match the care you received. They can even help by running preauthorizations as needed to ensure your selected payment options work as intended. Our insurance team at Laster Orthodontics is very experienced at helping you understand your benefits and will help you maximize them, and file the claim for you. Whether you need braces or clear aligners, the right orthodontist will be able to offer you a payment method that best fits your needs.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to Propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster’s in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.