Home Know Your Money Health Insurance Tips for Using Health Insurance to Cover Braces

Tips for Using Health Insurance to Cover Braces

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Many people may be hesitant to wear braces due to the expensive expenses. The good news is that health insurance can help cover some costs.

The need for wearing braces

People have a relentless pursuit of perfect appearance, which cannot do without a bright, stunning smile. Owing to this, lots of Canadians choose to wear braces. In fact, according to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, about one out of four brace-wearers is over 21. 

Types of braces available

Basically, there are four main types of braces on the market, and the cost of each can be anywhere from $3000 to $10000, depending on the patients’ needs.

TypesFeaturesCost*
Aligners
(Invisalign)
– customized plastic trays
– almost invisible
– wear at least 20 hours a day
– removable when eating or brushing
– available to adults and teens, not children
– take longer time
$4000 – $7400
Metal braces
(Traditional braces)
– include metal brackets and wires
– effective within a shorter period
– visible
– affordable cost
$3000 – $7000
Ceramic braces– the color of braces can blend with wearers’ teeth
– take longer time
– big braces
– installed on upper teeth only
– expensive cost
$4000 – $8000
Lingual braces
(Concealed braces)
– attach by brackets to the backs of wearers’ teeth
– virtually invisible
– expensive cost
– take longer time difficult to clean
$8000 – $10000

* Prices are for reference only

Hidden costs associated with braces

Like any other product nowadays, you don’t only pay for the braces and the service fees. There are additional costs that you may need to take into consideration:

  • Electronic toothbrush (optional)
  • Special floss or water flosser (optional)
  • Dental cleanings (recommended)
  • Permanent or removable retainer (recommended)
Health Insurance in Canada

Using insurance to reduce the cost

In Canada, orthodontic insurance options will help relieve the cost of your brace. The Canadian Association of Orthodontics (CAO) makes it clear that “Orthodontic coverage is often a particular benefit in a dental insurance contract. Coverages for orthodontic treatment usually are at the 50% level.” Following this, your brace expenses may be covered by your dental insurance.

To be more specific, depending on the plans and the providers, you may have your brace expenses partially reimbursed by your health or dental insurance. Thus, before making the purchase decision, you should ask your plan administrator or your insurance provider whether the insurance they offer includes the brace expenses or not. If yes, don’t forget to ask how many percent of your treatment gets covered, the age limitation, or any procedure limits/maximums.

Also, if you have your insurance provided by your employer or your spouse’s employer AND you have the Health Spending Account (HSA), you can claim the total amount under your insurance plan first and then use your HSA to pay for the remaining balance as a pre-tax cost.

On a final note, most insurance plans will not cover your brace expenses if you have started the treatment before buying the insurance. In this case, your treatment is actually seen as a pre-existing condition instead. Thus, it’s a good idea to plan the time you’ll get your braces in order to save money.

The bottom line

To sum up, the cost for brace treatment varies from $3000 to $10000, depending on the types of treatment you choose. You can use your dental insurance and the HSA to pay part of your brace expenses.

Explore more about Health Insurance in Canada.

1 COMMENT

  1. […] Many people may be hesitant to wear braces due to the expensive expenses. The good news is that health insurance can help cover some costs. People have a relentless pursuit of perfect appearance, which cannot do without a bright, stunning smile. Owing to this, lots of Canadians choose to wear braces. In fact, according to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, about one out of four brace-wearers is over 21.  […]

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