Paying out of pocket expenses for dental work can cause major financial strain to the average American household. While fillings and a basic cleaning at the dentists can be under $200 the cost of braces or Invisalign can be closer to $5000. American households can withstand an extra $200 or $300 being spent to ease tooth pain but five grand is not something that most have just lying around.
The New York Times recently published an article explaining how Flexible Spending Accounts could help cover the costs of orthodontic treatment. Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA are used to cover out of pocket medical costs. These accounts are set aside as tax free money throughout the year. If an employee wants to set aside a specific amount from each and every paycheck it can go towards a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
Most people recognize these acronyms because pharmacy retailers like CVS and Walgreens advertise that accounts must be spent by the end of the year. In mid to late December those that have an HSA or FSA will likely look for items that are covered by these accounts. Pharmacy retailers will have a special section in the store to display products that are covered.
One “product” that you may not think about when it comes to these types of accounts is orthodontic treatment. Whether you are looking for Invisalign in Miami, Florida or metal braces in Houston, Texas there are options. Throughout the United States orthodontists offer specialized treatment to straighten teeth. Invisible braces are known as Invisalign while metal braces are the more traditional way to straighten teeth over a 18 to 24 month period. Unfortunately, families that do not have disposable income are going to find it quite difficult to cover the cost of braces.
On average, braces and/or Invisalign can cost between $4000 and $6000. For adults, the cost is even higher. If you want to offset a portion of this investment it would be smart to look into options through an FSA. Remember that laws are changing every year so you will want to do your research before assuming the entire cost of braces will be covered. Also recognize that some insurance plans cover Invisalign and braces as well.