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Should I Get Health Insurance For Braces?

By Anthony November 21, 2015

Getting braces is a big commitment. For those who weren't born with perfect teeth (and let's be honest — few of us are), braces can mean a significant investment of both time and money. But what many patients don't realise is how affordable braces really are — especially given the range of treatment and financing options out there.

If you have private health insurance, you might already be partly covered for the cost of your braces treatment. But if you don’t currently have any cover, it might be worth asking yourself - should I get health insurance for braces? Here are some thinking points:

What is covered by private health insurance?

In Australia, you can claim back part of the costs of standard dental work through most basic hospital and extras insurance policies. This will typically cover dental work such as cleaning, x-rays and minor fillings. The exact amount you can claim, however, will depend on the terms of your policy.

To claim for major dental work such as orthodontics, you'll need a premium 'extras' policy that covers you for procedures such as getting braces, wisdom teeth removal, crowns and dentures.

Be aware that for most major funds (such as Bupa, Medibank and HBF), you'll need to wait 12 months before you're able to claim health insurance for braces. That said, many private health insurers offer much shorter or zero waiting periods for basic dental. This can be handy if you have other work such as professional cleaning or fillings which need to be completed prior to getting braces.

Do I have to get private health insurance for braces?

You certainly don't need private health insurance for braces, but for some patients it's the most affordable option. Whether or not it's right for you depends on individual circumstances, the level of cover you choose, and the overall cost of your policy compared to likely future claims. For instance: long run costs could work out more affordable for those who commonly claim for other health benefits, such as those who utilise a chiropractor, physio, wear glasses or wish to claim subsidies on non-PBS prescribed medications.

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Check out a comparison website such as iSelect or Choice to work out which insurance plans suit your circumstances best. Don't forget that orthodontics are not categorised as basic dental care — so be sure to look for policies that offer extras and ancillary benefits.

Planning ahead

The earlier in life that you get your braces the easier it is to realign your teeth — meaning shorter treatment times and less financial burden. In the case of children, we advise parents to bring their youngsters in for their first check up around the age of 7 — when the bones are still supple and more responsive to treatment. This allows your orthodontist to identify any developmental issues early.

If your child does have an issue with their teeth or bite, in most cases you will be advised to monitor their development until they are a bit older and ready for braces (typically around the age of 12-13). This gives you plenty of time to plan ahead and decide whether you’d like to pay upfront your child’s orthodontic treatment, save up, or get private health insurance for orthodontics in advance.

If you’re an adult who’s considering getting braces — only you’re not sure whether it’s financially feasible — relax. Even without private health cover, braces are within your reach. At Inner West Orthodontics we can create a tailored payment plan to spread out the cost of treatment. To make things even easier on your wallet, we provide:

  • Interest-free payment terms;
  • Customer discounts when you pay upfront;
  • Zero fees on credit card payments; and,
  • The guarantee that you will never incur any hidden costs.

 The first step in working out which option is best for you is to obtain a treatment plan which lists the item numbers for the work you'd like done. To get yours, book a consultation at Inner West Orthodontics — and start your journey to a healthier smile today.

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