Braces can help you get the smile you deserve. They straighten teeth, correct over and underbites and even prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Let Benzinga help you determine your options for the best dental insurance that covers braces.
Best Dental Insurance for Braces:
- Best Overall for Braces: Ameritas
- Best for Discounts: Dentalplans.com
- Best for Comparing Plans: eHealthInsurance
- Best for Affordability: Delta Dental
- Best for Preventive Care: Cigna
- Best Dental Insurance for Braces:
- Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?
- Types of Dental Coverage
- Average Cost of Dental Insurance that Covers Braces
- What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Provider
- Best Dental Insurance Providers That Cover Braces
- Which Dental Provider is Right for You?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?
Coverage for braces varies by plan — and not all plans offer it. As you look at potential dental insurance plans, review the policy language for orthodontics or orthodontia — both terms refer to braces.
Watch out for any age limits, too. Some plans only cover orthodontics for dependents 18 or younger. Keep this in mind if you or your spouse need coverage for braces.
Types of Dental Coverage
The most common types of dental coverage include:
- PPO: A preferred provider organization (PPO) lists a provider network, and you typically pay less if you see an in-network dentist. You can see dentists outside the network, but you pay more.
- HMO: A dental health maintenance organization (HMO) also has a network. The insurance plan pays dentists a monthly fee to take care of your dental needs. This means you do need to see a network dentist, and you may have little to no copay for basic preventive services.
- Fee-for-service: Companies may also call these plans “traditional” dental insurance or indemnity plans. You can typically see any dentist and the insurance company pays based on the type of procedure — you pay the difference.
- Discount plans: Discount plans aren’t technically insurance. Instead of dealing with paperwork and claims, you pay a monthly or annual fee to receive a discount on dental services. You receive the discount upfront and pay the balance at the dentist’s office. All dentists should accept the discount plan.
Average Cost of Dental Insurance that Covers Braces
The average cost of dental insurance depends on several factors. A fee-for-service plan costs an average of $65 per month, but insurance and discount plans can cost much more or less than that. Plans that include coverage for braces may cost more, but it again, it varies from plan to plan.
What impacts the cost of dental insurance?
- The type of plan: Plans that cover out-of-network providers cost more than those that don’t. Discount plans typically cost less than insurance plans since the discount plan doesn’t pay for your dental care. Instead, it negotiates with providers to offer an upfront discount.
- Deductibles: A deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance starts to cover services. Let’s say your plan has a $500 deductible and you receive $700 in services from your dentist. You’re responsible for the first $500. After that, you’re responsible for your share of costs based on the terms of your plan. Plans with low deductibles often have higher premiums.
- Annual maximums: Dental plans often have an annual maximum, which is the most your dental plan will pay in benefits per year. If your dental insurance plan has a $2,000 annual maximum, it will pay your dentist up to $2,000 over the course of a year. After that, you’re responsible for the costs until the new plan year. If you want a lower premium, choose a plan with a lower annual maximum.
- Coinsurance: Coinsurance is the percentage your plan pays for a given dental service. The percentage your dental plan will pay usually depends on the type of service. A plan might pay 100% of preventive services like cleaning but only 50% for braces. Typically, plans that pay a higher percentage for services have a higher premium.
Why is Coverage for Braces Important?
Braces are expensive, and prices vary depending on where you live and the type of braces you choose. Traditional braces have brackets and wires. The average price of these braces is between $5,000 and $6,000. Ceramic braces, which are similar to traditional braces but less visible, cost about $500 more. Invisible aligners are an increasingly popular choice. These braces also cost $5,000 to $6,000.
Let’s say your plan covers braces at 50%. Your braces cost $6,000. Depending on your plan’s limits, this means you pay $3,000 out-of-pocket instead of $6,000.
What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Provider
Which dental insurance provider should you choose? Use these questions to consider your needs and personal preferences:
- Does it include coverage for braces?
- What percentage of the costs does it cover for braces?
- Are there specific types or brands you can or can’t use?
- Are there any age restrictions on braces coverage?
- Is your preferred dentist or orthodontist part of the plan’s network?
- Are there limitations or waiting periods for preexisting conditions?
- Are dental emergencies covered?
- Are you covered if you have a dental emergency while traveling?
Best Dental Insurance Providers That Cover Braces
We’ve already done the research to find the best dental insurance that covers braces. Here are our top 5 picks and what they have to offer.
1. Best Overall: Ameritas
Ameritas offers options for orthodontic coverage for both adults and children.
Ameritas also has a unique program that allows you to roll over your benefits from 1 year to the next so you can save up for more expensive services.
The company is also known for excellent customer service.
2. Best for Discounts: Dentalplans.com
Dentalplans.com is a search tool for finding affordable dental discount plans. These plans aren’t insurance, so you don’t have the hassle of dealing with claims. Usually, you pay a monthly fee to receive the discounts and choose a provider that accepts the discount plan.
You pay the discounted price when you receive your service. It’s easy for you and your dentist, and you can choose a plan that offers discounts on braces and other major dental services.
3. Best for Comparing Plans: eHealthInsurance
eHealthInsurance makes it simple to find a dental plan that meets your needs. Enter your information and you’ll receive a list of plans available in your area.
Check each plan’s details to see if braces are covered. Instead of going to several sites to compare plans, you can view it all from 1 convenient site. You can even sort plans by premium, deductible or company.
4. Best for Affordability: Delta Dental
Delta Dental has an extensive provider network and affordable plans that include coverage for braces.
Not all plans include that coverage, so look at each plan’s details to get the coverage you need.
5. Best for Preventive Care: Cigna
Braces or not, good preventive care is key to dental health. Cigna offers $0 preventive care, including cleanings and routine X-rays if you see an in-network dentist.
It offers an extensive dental network, and its customer service reps are available 24/7.
It also rates its dentists on affordability and patient experiences so you can choose a high-quality dentist. As with other dental providers, not all plans include coverage for braces, so review the plan terms carefully.
Which Dental Provider is Right for You?
You deserve that perfect grin, and dental insurance that covers braces can help you pay for it.
Consider the deductible and premium you’re comfortable with and consider annual plan limits to meet your needs.
One way to find affordable dental insurance is to compare plans by visiting our trusted partner for a quote. Review the details and make an informed decision that will keep you and your family smiling.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How does dental insurance work?
A dental insurance plan charges a premium in exchange for covered benefits. Unlike health insurance plans, dental insurance plans usually have a cap on benefits, which means your plan may stop providing coverage once you reach the annual cap, often between 1k and 3K. Like other types of healthcare insurance, dental insurance focuses coverage on essential services, like cleanings, fillings, etc. Many plans don’t cover braces or elective cosmetic procedures. Get the cheapest premium here.
2) Q: Is dental coverage part of health insurance?
Some health insurance plans bundle dental coverage as well but, in many cases, dental insurance is a separate plan. Healthcare plans that are ACA-compliant are required to offer dental coverage to children but there is no requirement that adults have dental insurance coverage. Choosing a separate dental insurance plan can be a cost-saving step and helps make dental health costs more predictable. Check out our best providers for the cheapest rate.
3) Q: What kinds of dental insurance are available?
Your choices for dental insurance plans are similar to health insurance choices. You can choose from a dental HMO, which helps to keep premium costs low by keeping services within controlled network. Dental PPOs give more freedom to choose your dentist and care but cost more than HMO plans. A third option is called a dental indemnity plan, which pays a fixed amount or percentage for covered services. Compare quotes from our top providers for the best price.