Ortho Blog

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All About Insurance Part 2

Orthodontics can be pricy, but fortunately, there are all kinds of financing options and insurance benefits that can help. We’re back to answer more of your most frequently asked questions regarding all things ortho financing, benefits, and orthodontic insurance!

What is a dental savings plan? 

Savings plans are not considered insurance, but for a fee, you get discounts on orthodontic services.  This is a good option to consider if you have dental insurance but no orthodontic coverage. It’s also a good option if you’ve used your lifetime max.  

How much will insurance cover? 

Orthodontic benefits aren’t like regular dental benefits. Most dental plans have an annual maximum that is renewed each year. Orthodontic benefits, on the other hand, are usually limited by lifetime maximums. Once you use these benefits, they’re gone and won’t be renewed. If you’re undergoing an orthodontic treatment that is completed in multiple phases, benefits used during the first phase will reduce the amount of coverage you can receive during the second phase. 

How do orthodontic benefits pay?  

Orthodontic benefits pay out over the course of treatment not in one lump sum payment. If your benefit is estimated at $3000, the Insurance Company generally pays an initial payment when the braces are placed and then monthly, quarterly, or annual installments for the remaining months of treatment. If the orthodontist estimates that you will be in braces for 2 years, you’ll want to make sure you keep your dental plan during those 2 years.  However, dropping your insurance before your benefit has finished paying this can result in more out of pocket expenses for you.

What is a waiting period? 

Some dental plans require a waiting period before they will pay for braces. They might cover general dentistry immediately, but sometimes will have you wait as long as 2 years before orthodontic coverage is active.

Still have questions? Check out our first installment, All About Insurance Part 1!