Though they can be a huge expense, braces are a great investment. They help correct misaligned teeth or jaw problems, which can improve your oral health and speech, enhance appearance, and prevent future dental problems. But the one barrier many people face is the cost. This is where dental insurance comes in.
Dental insurance can help offset the costs of braces so that you can get the treatment you need without breaking the bank. Choosing the right dental insurance can be a challenge and it’s important to do your research to make sure the plan fits your individual needs and preferences. The best plan will fit your budget, have a minimal waiting period, and offer comprehensive coverage. To help, here are the best dental insurance companies for braces plus a few tips to help you find the right plan!
Best Budget-Friendly: Aetna
While insurance providers can certainly help offset the costs of treatment, some plans have high premiums. If you’re on a budget, consider Aetna. They offer very affordable dental insurance plans that start at $22 (USD) per month. It’s important to do your research and review their plans because not all of them come with orthodontics coverage.
Individuals can purchase dental insurance plans or you can purchase a Dental Discount Card, which starts at $7.99 per month. Depending on your location, the Dental Discount Card can provide discounts of up to 50-percent off dental services, including braces.
Best Low Deductible: Cigna
Another drawback of many insurance plans is they have high deductibles. Luckily, Cigna offers great dental insurance plans with low deductibles.
One plan you should consider is the Cigna Dental 1500 which has an average monthly premium of $39 (USD). It also includes a $50 individual deductible and a $150 family deductible per calendar year for dental treatment, as well as a $50 lifetime deductible and a $1,000 lifetime maximum benefit for both in- and out-of-network providers for orthodontic treatment. Even after using up the maximum lifetime benefit, you’ll still benefit from the lower contracted fee for treatment compared to the list price.
Best for Adults: Aflac
Adults looking to straighten their smile should consider Aflac, also known as the American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. Aflac offers supplemental dental insurance coverage that works with your primary dental insurance provider to make oral care more affordable.
Additionally, Aflac also offers multiple policy and rider options. This can help provide a customizable insurance policy to meet your needs. You can obtain a quote by completing an online form or you can contact Aflac by phone.
Best Overall: Delta Dental
Delta Dental is one of the top players in the dental insurance industry. They’re rated as one of the best overall insurance providers for braces because they offer a wide range of plans and don’t require a referral. Some plans even have no waiting period.
There are various plans to choose from, including DeltaCare USA, Delta Dental PPO, Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier, Delta Dental Premier, and Delta Dental Patient Direct plans.
While coverage may differ based on the particular plan you have, most DeltaCare USA plans include pre-orthodontic treatment, planning, x-rays, orthodontic treatment, and retainers. You can collaborate with your orthodontist to obtain an estimate of the entire treatment cost, including all discounts and coverage offered by Delta Dental.
Best Place to Shop for Plans: DentalPlans.com
DentalPlans.com is a marketplace that allows you to compare various insurance and discount plan providers in one convenient location. It offers savings plans from well-known insurers and businesses, such as Aetna, Humana, and Delta Dental.
According to DentalPlans.com, many plans offer orthodontic savings of up to 60-percent of the treatment cost, with coverage beginning in as little as 72-hours and no lifetime cap on coverage. Though they offer many dental plans, not all have coverage for orthodontics so it’s important to review the plan carefully to ensure you choose the right one for you and your family.
How to Choose the Best Dental Insurance for Braces
It’s important to do your research to find the best dental insurance plan for you. There are many dental insurance companies in the United States that offer coverage for braces, and the “best” one will depend on your individual needs and preferences. When selecting the right insurance plan for braces, there are several factors to consider, including:
- Coverage: Ensure the plan covers the specific orthodontic treatment you require.
- In-network: Check that your preferred orthodontist is within the plan’s network.
- Coverage limits: Most plans have an annual cap on coverage.
- Waiting periods: Many plans have waiting periods, so sign up in advance to avoid delays.
How to Save More Money on Braces
Though dental insurance plans can help offset the costs of braces, there are other ways you can save money. Here are a few suggestions to lower the cost of braces, regardless of whether you have dental insurance:
- Dental schools: They offer discounted fees and provide students with real-life experience.
- Payment plans: Dentists may allow you to pay in installments.
- Discount plans: You pay a yearly fee and receive discounted care in return.
- Dental loans: You may qualify for a loan to pay for your dental work upfront.
Several non-profit organizations are also available and they can provide assistance for paying for braces, including some that are nationwide and others that are specific to certain states. To find out more about these organizations, you can contact your local health center or reach out to Smile for a Lifetime or Smiles Change Lives.