A lot of people are asking themselves if they can use the Health Savings Account as the means to pay for orthodontics or braces. The short answer here is that yes, you can do that. But you should not rush right away because you need to know a few things. Most of the Health Savings Account providers have an adherence to the IRS Publication 502. Simply put, this is a publication focused on the dental and medical expense explanation. Braces can be covered by the Health Savings Account if they are used to either alleviate or prevent the gum diseases. But in order to take advantage of the HAS you need to visit a dentist that’s fully licensed. You can’t get the results you want if you work with an orthodontist, something that is very important to keep in mind. This document also states that any cosmetic changes will not be eligible in any form.
If you want to use the Health Savings Account, then you need to make your dentist say that the braces are placed with the idea of preventing gum disease. This can be of great help for people that actually need to cover major medical costs and which don’t have money to do so. The Health Savings Accounts can easily cover all the necessary orthodontic work, so they can be amazing if you are facing any dental costs and want to deal with them without shelling money from your own pocket.
An important thing to note here is that the Health Savings Account does have many similarities to the Flexible Spending Account. Booth of them allow you to bank the money without taxes into an account that you can later use as you see fit. There is a difference here, which comes from the idea that the money will be kept in your account for many years, whereas the FAS cash will disappear if you don’t use it by the end of the year. The Health Savings Accounts are better this way because you don’t have to worry about any funds that might expire in case you do not use them. Plus, with the HAS you can pay for most braces, something that does make the experience better and simpler right from the start. Cosmetic braces aren’t covered, just as we said!
What is the HSA?
The Health Savings Account is basically an account created for emergency situations. It can be compared to the IRA. Money are withdrawn from your pay check each month and a specific sum will be kept in your Health Savings Account. You can use this for a wide array of situations, such as orthodontic costs or braces replacement for example. With its help you will have no problem covering the health expenses and saving money for the future expenses will not be hard either.
Maybe the main benefit of an HSA is that the patient has all the control he wants over the money found in his account. You can even have the ability to sign up to an Health Savings Account via your bank or employer if you want.
Can you use insurance with your Health Savings Account?
Although the HSA is basically an insurance alternative, lots of people go to the insurance companies in order to get a Health Savings Account. But even if you can’t get it from there, you can talk with your bank and other similar institutions as they might be able to help you right from the start. A thing to note here is that you will need to ask for an application that has to be submitted at your company.
However, the expenses which aren’t included in the health plan aren’t exactly deductible, something that lots of people tend to forget pretty often!
The medical expenses are covered, and the IRS Publication 502 actually says the following, that the treatments that are designed to lower the damage created by any type of dental disease integrates only a certain set of procedures. This includes dental ailments, dentures, extractions and filings or braces. As a result, whenever the orthodontist tells you that you might have gum disease, you will be able to actually use the Health Savings Account for covering this procedure. Not only that, but you can also claim that when you file your taxes.
The same document also states that you will be unable to add cosmetic surgery related tasks on the list of stuff covered by the Health Savings Account. As long as the procedure does not treat any illness, it will not be covered by the Health Savings Account. Basically, if your gums are healthy and you just want something like teeth straightening, your Health Savings Account will not cover that.
Getting a quote for braces
Once you do that, you will need to get quote for the braces. Some models are less expensive and they cost around $2000, but there are some that are 4 times that price or even more than that. Since the Health Savings Account does come with a deposit limit, you might not have the necessary money to cover this type of investment. That’s ok, but you have to note the fact that it might take a little bit until you manage to cover all these costs. It will not be easy at first but results can be very well worth it.
Can you use the Health Savings Account to pay for expenses?
Yes, as we mentioned you can easily pay for expenses, something that makes this unique and very helpful. All money is deducted from your earnings and you can choose to get the money via check or debit card at the end of the year. You can accumulate money for the next year, which is quite handy to be honest. In case you want to pay on a monthly basis for the braces, opting for the debit card option can be a very good idea.
There are situations when some pay on their own and want the payout from the Health Savings Account at the end of the year. If that’s how you want to tackle the situation, just keep the receipts and bills. These Health Savings Accounts are great if you want to cover all the dental bill costs. They are great for a wide array of expenses which can appear out of nowhere and they can protect yourself from any major medical costs that would place a dent in your finances!
Will your Health Savings Account provider cover braces?
Each provider comes with his own type of coverage. Here you can find a quick list with the most important providers, the coverage they can give you and a copy of their resources that pertain to orthodontics and braces!
Below is a list of providers, a small explanation of their coverage, and a chunk of copy from the HSA provider’s online resource on the subject of braces and orthodontics.