For many parents, one of the most significant expenses that they will face as their children grow up is the cost of braces or other forms of orthodontic treatment. Such treatment can easily cost thousands of dollars, and finding a way to afford this cost can be difficult. Fortunately, there are some things that can be done to make braces more affordable.
As soon as your children are born, it can be a good idea to open a special savings account dedicated to children's orthodontics costs. Try to put aside a little money each month into this account. You do not have to deposit a lot of money, but even $25 a month will add up quickly.
At that rate, by the time your child is 15, you will have already saved up $4500, in addition to any interest that you earn. This will be enough to pay for a significant percentage of the cost of braces. Should your child be so fortunate as not to need orthodontic treatment, this savings account can be put towards other needs, such as a college education.
If you have dental insurance, you might think that your policy will simply cover most of the cost of braces. However, many parents are unpleasantly surprised to discover that their insurance actually does not provide a great deal of coverage for such treatment. Many policies are not very generous when it comes to orthodontia.
It is not uncommon, for example, for insurance policies to have a lifetime limit on benefits for braces and similar procedures. This is not just an annual limit, but a lifetime one. If the limit is $1000, for example, this means that the insurance company will only pay a total of $1000 for care for your child's whole life.
While many types of dental procedures have maximum benefits limits, these are often annual ones rather than lifetime ones. Be sure to read your policy carefully to find out what the limits are for various types of dental procedures and how long the limit is in effect.
In addition, your policy's deductible may apply before your insurer will start to pay any benefits. If you have a sizable deductible, it is possible that it may exceed the cost of braces. For example, if your child needs $3500 worth of treatment, but your plan has a $5000 deductible, then you will have to pay for the entire cost out of your own pocket.
By working with the orthodontist, you may be able to find a way to make care more affordable. Many offices are willing to set up payment plans so that you do not have to pay the entire amount at one time. They may not even charge you any additional interest or fees for spreading out the payments over several years.
Finding a way to make children's orthodontics costs more affordable is important if you want your child to have straight, healthy teeth. Plan ahead and start saving as soon as you can so that you can have enough on hand to pay for the treatment.