Payment plans for braces help families without insurance to spread costs out over time. This helps the many families unable to save the typical cost of $5,000 for orthodontia per person.
A monthly cost of $200 is much easier to fit into the family budget. A down payment of $1,000 is less of a drain on savings and emergency cash.
Choose between four different installment plan options. Some actually save you money!
Every situation is unique. Estimate your specific periodic expenses based on several key factors such as the appliance choices, third-party contributions, and others.
Different Payment Plan Options for Braces
Payment plans for braces without insurance make the treatments more affordable. Orthodontia can be very expensive – especially for families with multiple children with crooked teeth. Spreading the costs over time helps with budgeting.
Review four different options for paying the orthodontist in installments.
Bad Credit Options
Bad credit borrowers need approval from a third party specialist in order to get a payment plan for braces without insurance. Most orthodontia practices pull a copy of your consumer report and score before accepting a new patient wanting to pay for services in installments.
These practices do not want the headaches associated with delinquencies. Imagine the negative press in the local paper if the orthodontist had to remove braces from a teenager because the parents fell behind. It would not be good for business.
Third-party finance companies specialize in lending to bad credit borrowers. They can approve a higher percentage of applicants. The family pays the orthodontist upfront and their teenager(s) get straight teeth and a retainer – even if the parents fall behind. The consequences of delinquency are different.
Orthodontia insurance is the ideal monthly payment plan option for braces. Having a third party cover a significant portion of the expense makes the process most affordable. The need to straighten crooked teeth rarely comes as a surprise. Therefore, planning and timely action make this alternative work.
- Plans without waiting periods do not exist: include an additional 24 months of premiums into the projections
- Patients with bad credit qualify: the company does not pull a copy of your consumer report and accepts all applicants
- Large families benefit most: a single premium covers all adults and multiple children needing a better smile
Cheapest Most Affordable
Your employer’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) offers the cheapest payment plan for braces without insurance. The first interest-free loan and dollar tax savings make your orthodontia far more affordable than any other option. Elect to contribute pre-tax money into your FSA each plan year and realize several key benefits.
- Get an interest-free loan from your employer to negotiate a discount from the orthodontist for up-front money. Your employer must reimburse any qualifying expense immediately. You have up to 52 weeks to repay your employer via payroll deduction.
- Enjoy first-dollar tax savings on all your orthodontic expenses with each time you use your FSA debit card. Pre-tax dollars lower your reportable W2 income. This means that you avoid paying federal, FICA, and (sometimes) state income taxes without having to meet a spending threshold first. The savings range from (16% to 35%) depending on your tax bracket.
Orthodontist Accepting Payments
Looking for an orthodontist near you that accepts payment plans does not help every patient. Many practices bill over time as they perform services over the span of 6 to 36 months. However, they typically perform a credit check first and approve only a fraction of the families wanting to straighten their children’s teeth.
People with bad to fair credit must work with a third party finance company. Those with good to excellent ratings can pay directly in installments matching the three phases of treatment.
- Phase 1 – During the first stage, your orthodontist evaluates the condition of the patient’s mouth and teeth in order to recommend a treatment protocol. They may utilize several tests in the initial visits.
- Medical and dental evaluations
- Bite impression study models
- Panoramic X-rays
- Computer generated images
- Before photographs
- Phase 2 – During the second stage, your orthodontist affixes the chosen treatment option. He or she then adjusts the pressures on the teeth during periodic office visits over the next 1 to 3 years.
- Phase 3 – During the final stage, the orthodontist removes the braces and fits the patient for a custom retainer using a mold. The retainer ensures that the teeth do not migrate back to their original position. The after photographs complete the picture.
How Much Do Braces Cost Per Month
Determining how much braces cost per month is tricky – but very important for families living on a budget. Many factors go into the calculation. The answer will be unique to each patient. These five elements will determine the amount to forecast.
- Appliance pricing
- Ceramic ($4,000 – $8,000)
- Metal ($3,000 – $6,000)
- Lingual ($8,000 – $10,000)
- Invisalign ($3,000 – $8,000)
- The amount of the initial deposit
- Third-party contributions
- With insurance
- Without insurance
- With Medicaid
- Access to free programs
Average Down Payment
An average down payment figure for braces ($5,000 X 20% = $1,000) gives families a cash-flow forecasting starting point. However, averages do not provide enough precision. Families should look at their combination of factors (appliance pricing, third-party contributions, and creditworthiness) to estimate the deposit size they will need to make.
An orthodontist incurs most of his or her expenses (scans, appliances, and installation) in the early stages of the process. They are experts in straightening teeth – not in evaluating credit risks. Therefore, expect most practices to request a large sum in advance to align their cash flows.
- A down payment with insurance: is smaller because most plans front load claims to match early expenses
- The money down without insurance: is much larger for families paying 100% of the expense out-of-pocket
- A down payment with Medicaid: is typically larger because Medicaid only pays for medically necessary orthodontia
- No money down: families with strong borrowing credentials qualify to spread costs evenly over time
Average Monthly Payment
The average monthly payment figure for braces ($5,000/24 months = $208) follows the same pattern. The range of outcomes is far too broad. Averages are not precise enough to forecast how much a given family needs to budget each period for orthodontia.
Parents should bake their five unique factors into a personal estimate.
- Cost per month with insurance: is impossible to predict as many plans do not include orthodontia and premiums affect the calculation
- Monthly cost without insurance: depends on the applicance price, deposit size, and number of installments
- Cost per month with Medicaid: is zero for medically necessary orthodontia and much higher for cosmetic treatments