Financial Information | Afforable Orthodontic Treatment | Elara Orthodontics

Financial Information

Our highly-trained treatment coordinators work with you and your budget to ensure that your orthodontic treatment is affordable. They can help you verify your insurance coverage, help you pay from your flex spending accounts, provide you with 0%-interest in-house financing, or help you with Care Credit or various other healthcare loan applications. Taking their time to explain your choices and opportunities, they are always here for you to ensure that you are well-informed and stress-free in all your financial decision makings.

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When you step into an orthodontist office, probably one of your primary fears is that braces or aligners will cost a lot of money. Now, this is not true when you consider all the long term benefits and the problems that orthodontic treatment can help avoid. However, paying for braces or aligners, which in Sugarland, Richmond and Aliana usually cost anywhere from $3000 to $7000, remains a significant economic concern for many families.

Elara Orthodontics is on a mission to make orthodontic treatment affordable and accessible without sacrificing care and service quality. To keep this promise, we have taken several measures to expand our financing options for insured and uninsured patients.

First of all, we are in-network with the vast majority of dental insurance providers, which means that we have agreed with the insurance companies to provide orthodontic services at contracted rates. That means less total price, maximum insurance coverage, and less out-of-pocket fee compared to out-of-network providers. Therefore, if you have dental insurance, rest assured that Elara Orthodontics will maximize your benefit.

Moreover, if you do not have dental insurance or your dental insurance does not have good orthodontic coverage, we still have you covered. We offer a wide variety of dental financing options to ensure that you never have to postpone the necessary orthodontic treatment needed for your child or yourself.

Our highly-trained treatment coordinators work with you and your budget to ensure that your orthodontic treatment is affordable. They can help you verify your insurance coverage, help you pay from your flex spending accounts, provide you with 0%-interest in-house financing, or help you with Care Credit or various other healthcare loan applications. Taking their time to explain your choices and opportunities, they are always here for you to ensure that you are well-informed and stress-free in all your financial decision makings.

Payment Options for Braces

Like any other major dental or medical procedure, braces cost thousands of dollars. If you have the right dental insurance with orthodontic treatment coverage, the price of braces for you or your child may be cut in half. However, still, you will have some out of pocket spending that you need to manage. Here we review several ways you can pay for braces, and we will also show you the potential ways you can save on your braces cost.

In-house Financing

A typical and highly popular way of financing for braces or Invisalign is to space out the payments over the length of treatment. This can be an excellent option, as there is usually no credit check involved and you are not paying any interest on the amount you owe. In this type of financing, you are typically required to pay something upfront as a downpayment. You will pay the remaining balance every month until you pay off before you remove the braces or aligners. Obviously, if you pay a larger down payment, you will have smaller monthly payments in the future. 

At Elara Orthodontics, we offer flexible “in-house” financing, with no credit check, low down-payment requirements, and zero percent interest.

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Care Credit and Other Healthcare Lenders

While in-house financing has its advantages, some patients may prefer even smaller monthly fees and a more extended payment period. Care Credit and other approved health care lenders enable patients to extend their payments up to 60 months to minimize their monthly payments. There is usually no interest if you pay the amount you owe to these lenders in less than 24 months. But if you stretch your payments beyond 24 months, there will be a finance fee at an annual percentage rate (APR). One good thing about Care Credit is that you can use your card in other healthcare facilities for different healthcare needs.
At Elara, we accept Care Credit, Lending Club, and United Medical Credit applications.

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Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

A Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) is a particular type of saving account that is set up by employers as an employee benefit. These tax-exempt accounts enable the employee to pay for their insurance copayments, deductibles, and other eligible out-of-pocket medical or dental expenses with tax-free dollars. Sometimes employers contribute to these accounts as well.

 

 Now, here is the tricky part: You may lose the money you save in flexible spending accounts if you don’t use it by the end of the calendar year. (Some FSA plans give you a short grace period and allow you to claim all eligible expenses no later than two and a half months after the year ends. Some plans allow a small rollover of $500.) Because of this use-it-or-lose-it rule, you must plan in advance and decide how much money you need to save in your flexible spending to maximize your benefits. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows the employee to contribute up to $2750 to their flexible spending accounts in 2020. 

If you are considering to use your FSA to pay for braces or Invisalign, the Elara Orthodontics treatment coordinators can assist you. Contact our office today and speak with your treatment coordinator to determine how much you need to save in your FSA account. FSA accounts are set up differently by different employers. So, you should also consult the FSA administrator at your place of employment to understand the specific arrangements and terms. This way, you can budget adequately throughout the calendar year and maximize your FSA benefits.

Health Saving Accounts (HSA)

Health Saving Account is another type of tax-favored saving account that allows individuals to save and use pre-tax money on their medical or dental spendings. While Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are owned and controlled by an employer, Health Saving Accounts (HSA) are owned and managed by the individual. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), people can contribute up to $3550 pre-tax dollars to their HSA accounts for individual coverage in 2020. The yearly contribution limit for family coverage is up to $7100. To contribute to an HSA account, you need to have a high deductible health plan (HDHP). You can let your savings grow tax-free in this type of saving account and use the funds for your health needs tax-free anytime you need. You can keep your HSA account even if you quit your job.

 

For assistance with using your HSA to pay for braces or Invisalign, please contact your treatment coordinator at Elara Orthodontics for a free consultation. 

How to Save Money on Braces Choose the Right Orthodontist

You want to do braces only once in life. So, do it with the right orthodontist in the first place. Don’t let the temptation of choosing the cheapest alternative influence your decision. By cutting off the corners, you put your child or yourself at risk for treatment failure and future complications. Bargain braces may end up being remarkably more expensive if you need to deal with the damages caused by improper treatment. Going with a skilled and reputable orthodontist in the first place can save you a lot of time and money. You can visit the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) Orthodontist Locator website to research and find an experienced orthodontist in your neighborhood. If you have dental insurance, you can search their site for a list of in-network orthodontists in your area.

Get the Right Dental Insurance If You Can

When you decide to get braces for your child and your self, having dental insurance with orthodontic coverage can save you a significant amount. Some dental insurances can even cut your costs in half, which is a relief. However, dental insurance plans are not created equal, and not all of them are worth it when it comes to braces. When selecting your dental insurance, you must pay your attention to four key areas. First, you need to examine the type and size of the network. See if the plan you are signing up is HMO or PPO and how many orthodontists participate in it. HMO plans are more affordable, but they may be more limiting when it comes to choosing an orthodontist. Second, find out what is the percentage coverage. Some dental plans don’t cover braces at all. Some only cover 25%. A desirable coverage percentage is 50%. Third, consider the annual maximum limit of the dental plan. This limit defines the maximum yearly amount the insurance company pays for all your dental treatments. Of course, the more, the better. Last but not least, ascertain the lifetime maximum of your dental plan.

At Elara Orthodontics we are in-network with all major dental insurances. That means if you have orthodontic coverage, by getting your braces or Invisalign at Elara Orthodontics, you can have a lower total price, higher insurance coverage, and lower out-of-pocket fee and as such, save a lot of money.

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Ask About Pay In Full Discount

If you think you can afford to pay the total amount you owe at once, you may not need payment plans. Instead, ask your orthodontist and see if you can get a discount for paying cash upfront.

Consider Using Your Tax-Exempt Saving Accounts to Pay for Braces

As mentioned above, if your employer provides a flexible spending account, you should consider it to pay for braces. Prepare and work with your treatment coordinator and the FSA administrator at your place of employment to budget and adequately fund your FSA account. This way, you can save money tax-free and use these tax-free dollars to pay your orthodontist.

Wear Your Retainers

Many patients have to do braces for the second or third times in their life just because they are not good at wearing retainers. This is, of course, unfortunate. A beautiful, healthy smile is a remarkable investment and should be treated as such. When you don’t feel like wearing your retainers, remember how much time and money you have invested in your braces. You don’t want to do braces again and again. Properly maintaining and wearing your retainers will save you from a lot of trouble and overspending in the future.

Programs For Low-Income Families

Several charitable programs nationwide help children in low-income families to get braces. If your child suffers from crooked teeth or abnormal bite and your financial constraints have made it impossible to afford braces, do not despair. Apply for assistance through Smile Changes Lives, Smile For a Lifetime, or American Association of Orthodontists’ Donated Orthodontic Services. These non-profit organizations match children in low-income families with participating philanthropic orthodontists who have volunteered to provide pro bono braces. Depending on the number of applicants and participating orthodontists in your specific area, there may be a long waiting list, so apply as early as you can.

Elara Orthodontics is a proud participant in the Smiles Change Lives program.

Each year our board-certified orthodontists offer hope to tens of children whose most profound desire is to receive braces but may not have access to adequate financial resources.

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