Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

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Invisalign is a popular brand of clear aligners that are used to straighten teeth. Invisalign can treat complex alignment and bite issues, which include crowded teeth, gaps and spaces between teeth, open bites, crossbites, and overbites.

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces, because it offers more flexibility (in that aligners are removable) and because visually they are hardly noticeable. They are also able to treat more complex bite and alignment cases than many other clear aligner brands.

However, because of the fact that Invisalign can treat such complex orthodontic cases, Invisalign treatment is highly individualized and can last many months depending on the complexity. Therefore, the cost of Invisalign can go up to as much as $10,000. However, on average, the cost of Invisalign is between $3000 to $5000.

Many customers interested in Invisalign, who want to transform their teeth and smiles, are keen to know: does insurance cover Invisalign? They are also interested to know what their options are for covering any shortfall, when insurance doesn’t cover the full amount.

There are a few options in terms of how to pay for Invisalign, which we will outline in more detail below. These include making use of your dental insurance cover, paying with tax-free dollars from your health or flexible savings accounts, or taking advantage of monthly payment plans. If you don’t have an insurance policy, then you can look at getting a discount for an upfront payment, or opting for the flexibility of monthly payments.

How much does Invisalign cost?

One of the first things you will need to find out from your dentist, is what Invisalign will cost. Invisalign doesn’t come with fixed prices, unlike many clear aligner companies. Rather, individual dentists set their own prices. 

Once you know the Invisalign cost, you can then figure out how to pay for it. On average, Invisalign ranges from between $3000 and $5,000, but it can be much less or much more, depending on the complexity of the issue. For example, you may be an eligible candidate for Invisalign Express if your alignment issue is mild, which is a shorter treatment and less expensive. 

When you are looking at the cost of Invisalign, don’t forget to include the price of any dental exams, x-rays, and retainers which you’ll need to wear for the rest of your life to maintain your smile. 

Once you’ve established a budget for your teeth straightening, then you can look at the alternative ways to make payment. 

How much does Invisalign cost with insurance?

Many people ask the question: does insurance cover Invisalign and how do I know if I have dental insurance? If you are a patient who does have health insurance, then you will need to check with your insurance provider whether orthodontic cover is included.

Even if you do have dental insurance, you’ll have to check with your insurer if they will cover the Invisalign cost and what percentage they will be prepared to pay for. Typically, providers only cover up to 50% of the costs of Invisalign. That means you will still need to figure how to pay for any out of pocket expenses – and that may be done using your health or flexible savings accounts if you have either of those. You may also like to take advantage of a monthly instalment plan, to make payment more affordable.

How much does Invisalign cost with no insurance?

If you don’t have any insurance, then you have the choice of paying either upfront as a once-off payment or paying in monthly instalments. Discuss these options with your dentists and see whether you could get any discount for paying upfront. The exact Invisalign cost will depend on the duration and complexity of your orthodontic needs. You can expect to pay at least $100 a month if you pay in instalments.

If you only have a mild alignment issue, then you may be eligible for the Invisalign Express treatment, which is much less expensive and faster. You should also factor in the cost of retainers and your initial scan into the overall Invisalign cost. 

Alternative ways to pay for Invisalign

There are a couple of options in terms of how to pay for aligners – these include paying a once-off amount (which often receives a discount), paying in monthly instalments, using insurance cover to pay for part of the costs, using your health or flexible savings accounts to pay for part of the costs, using discount memberships to help bring down the overall costs you pay, or taking out an interest-free credit card to help finance monthly payments. Sometimes a combination of these options will be used.

We have provided more detail about each of these options below.

Insurance coverage for Invisalign

Not all health insurance plans include orthodontic care. And no insurance providers cover all the costs of orthodontics – they usually only cover a percentage of the total amount. If you have a dental insurance plan, then that may cover some of the costs of Invisalign. Your insurance provider may pay a percentage of the total Invisalign treatment amount, or they may stipulate a set amount of insurance coverage that they will pay. Insurance providers usually only cover up to 50% of the costs. Your insurance plan may also prescribe a lifetime limit to how much orthodontic work they will cover.

The first step, if you’re contemplating Invisalign, is to check with your benefits manager to see if your particular plan’s benefits include orthodontics. Sometimes it is covered under general health cover rather than dental insurance – and sometimes you need to specifically buy separate orthodontic cover. 

You will then also need to check with your dentist to find out what kinds of insurance plans they accept. You may also need to compare prices of Invisalign treatment between a couple of doctors to see which ones are the most affordable for you. 

Monthly payment plans for Invisalign

If you don’t have health insurance or a health or flexible savings account, then you can ask your dentist if they have monthly payment plan options. Many doctors do, and that helps to spread the costs monthly to make it more affordable. With this option, you will usually be required to make an initial deposit payment. 

Even if you do have insurance, you won’t be able to cover the Invisalign cost with dental insurance alone. You may be able to combine your insurance coverage with a monthly payment plan so that the out of pocket expenses are spread over several months, to make Invisalign more affordable. 

Paying for Invisalign from your FSA or HSA

You may be able to use your FSA to pay for particular medical, dental, and orthodontic treatment, including teeth straightening with Invisalign. Your employer manages your FSA and you contribute funds into the account during each year, usually through deductions from your paycheck. Not all employers offer an FSA, but if they do you are able to put up to $2600 a year into it. 

A HSA is a type of savings account that people usually opt for if they have a high-deductible health insurance plan – and you’ll need to meet IRS eligibility requirements before opening one. You can contribute funds to the account and use the money to cover certain types of medial, dental and orthodontic treatment including Invisalign.

You may be able to use your HSA or FSA to pay for some of your Invisalign treatment.It can also be used to supplement the costs that your insurance will pay, as insurance may not cover all the costs. 

You’ll need to ask your dentist and your benefits manager for advice before you sign up for treatment, about what amounts may be covered and how much you have in your savings accounts. You typically will need to pay your dentist for treatment and then claim a reimbursement from your savings accounts. Sometimes your benefits provider can pay your dentist directly. 

No-interest credit cards

No interest credit cards can be a good option if you’re looking to finance treatment costs. Some companies like CareCredit lend money to people who need it to pay for medical procedures. These interest-free loans can help to cover the out of pocket costs that aren’t covered by your insurance policy. 

Usually lenders will give the interest-free loan only for a limited time, like 12 months. You’ll need to pay off your loan within the specified timeframe, otherwise you will be charged interest retrospectively, which could be quite costly. It’s therefore good to first assess whether you will be able to repay your interest-free loan on time or not, and to get proper advice about the implications of late payments.

Discount plans

Dental discount plans are not a type of insurance, but rather a subscription or membership option that gives discounts. They are often charged as a monthly membership fee in exchange for discounts on specific types of procedures and treatment. Sometimes they include orthodontic treatment. It’s worth thoroughly investigating these options and whether their benefits include treatment with Invisalign. 

Upfront payment

Depending on the doctor that you go to for your treatment, you may be able to reduce your overall cost of Invisalign by paying a once-off, upfront fee. It’s worth asking your dentist or orthodontist for a quote, to see whether the cost savings makes it more affordable. If you do decide to pay upfront for treatment, then you should consider paying by credit card if your bank offers rewards for payments. 

FAQs

What insurance plans cover Invisalign?

Cigna, Delta Dental, Humana, Aetna, and USAA Dental often cover a portion of the costs of Invisalign.

If I’m a candidate for Invisalign, what’s the process to get treatment?

Once you’re approved for Invisalign, then you’ll receive a quote for the cost of treatment. Once you have accepted your treatment plan, you will receive your custom-made aligners which you’ll need to wear for at least 22 hours a day. You will have regular check-ups with your dentist or orthodontist so that they can measure your progress, make any alterations, and advise on when you’re ready to progress to the next set of aligners.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

One of the most distinguishing features of Invisalign is its ability to treat a more diverse and complex range of dental issues than other aligner brands. Invisalign has also invested heavily over the years in research and development, to create aligners that are more comfortable, durable and safe to wear.

They have also created and patented 3D imaging software that is used to make a model of your mouth and personalize your treatment. Furthermore, they have various SmartForce attachments that can be used to create very precise tooth movements, in a similar way to traditional braces. 

While the costs of Invisalign treatment may be higher than with other brands, that is often because Invisalign can treat more complicated alignment and bite issues that require much longer treatment times. And in comparison with some of the newer remote monitoring aligner brands, which don’t allow for in-person check-ups, Invisalign prides itself on face-to-face consultations with qualified professionals. 

Invisalign also has a long history of treating people using their aligners and has a large network of almost 100,000 orthodontists and general practitioner dentists (GP dentists) located in over 90 countries. This represents a wealth of experience and expertise in treating teeth with invisible aligners.

How much do retainers cost?

Once you have completed your teeth straightening therapy, you will need to wear retainers every night to keep your teeth in their new positions and to prevent them from shifting.

Retainers can vary in cost considerably, depending on which brand you select. Invisalign have their own brand of retainers called Vivera, which are made from a more durable material which means they won’t need to be replaced as often as with other brands. This can translate into significant cost savings over time. Invisalign retainer costs vary between $100 and $500 – depending on the dentist or orthodontist you go to.

Dr Fabin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Fabin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.

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