Invisalign is a popular alternative to braces, thanks in large part to its low profile. Chances are, few people will know you're straightening your teeth while you're using Invisalign. General health insurance typically won't cover Invisalign treatment, but through a combination of dental insurance and an HSA or FSA plan, you can reduce the cost.
What Is Invisalign?
For more than 20 years, consumers have been using Invisalign as an alternative to braces. Instead of metal brackets, Invisalign uses flexible thermoplastic clear aligners to gradually adjust the position of your teeth. You'll use a series of three aligners, changed over time, to achieve the desired result.
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Like braces, Invisalign is considered an orthodontic treatment. General dentists can administer the treatment, although you may be referred to an orthodontist. Studies have supported the effectiveness of Invisalign treatments in repairing dental misalignment and, in fact, they've even gotten better in recent years.
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Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?
The cost of Invisalign is similar to what you'd spend on braces, which means your treatment cost will probably be several thousand dollars. Does your insurance cover Invisalign? Chances are, your dental insurance may cover part of the cost.
Delta Dental, one of the most popular plans, has some plans that cover part of the cost, as does Humana. The amount of insurance coverage depends on the dental plan you chose during enrollment. You can have your dentist submit a pre-treatment estimate to find out how much you'll owe.
General health insurance typically won't cover Invisalign treatment, but through a combination of dental insurance and an HSA or FSA plan, you can reduce the cost.
As you're checking on how much Invisalign costs, keep in mind that you may not be on the hook for the full amount right away. Some dentists and orthodontists offer payment plans that split up your out-of-pocket costs into increments you can afford. Ask about this as you're getting your pre-treatment estimate.
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Tax-Deferred Accounts and Invisalign
If your insurance provider doesn't cover Invisalign, it's possible your employer offers an option that will. Many employer-provided health and dental insurance plans now come with an option to choose a high-deductible plan with a savings account attached. These come in two forms: health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.
Both HSAs and FSAs take funds from your paycheck, pretax, and set them aside for your medical expenses. You're typically given a card to use for medical spending, but you also have the option of paying out of pocket and applying for reimbursement. If you have extra money in your HSA or FSA, Invisalign can be a great way to spend it, especially if you have FSA funds with an end-of-year expiration.
Consider also: What Is a Health Savings Account?
Financing Your Dental Alignment
If you've asked your plan administrator if your dental insurance covers Invisalign and gotten a "no" answer, one last-resort option is to finance the cost. You can use your credit card or apply for a personal loan, depending on the deal you get on the APR and repayment terms.
As an alternative financing option, Invisalign has a partnership with LendingPoint to provide financing for Invisalign treatment costs. The interest rate on this loan ranges from 9.99 percent to 35.99 percent, which could bump up your monthly payment amount significantly. After you've checked with your insurance company and looked at other interest-free options, make sure you're getting the best interest rate if you opt for a loan for the uninsured dollar amount.
The average cost of Invisalign is similar to what you'd pay for braces, but like braces, sometimes insurance covers it. Look at your health coverage and see if your plan pays for some of your treatment cost. For the uncovered balance, you can divide it into payments or use your HSA or FSA funds.
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- Invisalign: How Much Does Invisalign® Treatment Cost?
- PubMed.gov: Has Invisalign Improved? A Prospective Follow-up Study on the Efficacy of Tooth Movement With Invisalign
- Delta Dental: Get the Facts Straight
- Humana: Different Types of Braces for Your Teeth
- SHRM: IRS Clarifies Relief for FSA Carryovers
- Healthline: What to Know About Invisalign and Its Effectiveness