Everyone wants a beautiful smile, but few are born with perfectly aligned teeth. People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment, both aesthetically and when it comes to eating and speaking comfortably. Treatments include braces, Invisalign®, and surgical procedures designed to align teeth properly. However, if the cost of your orthodontic treatment isn’t fully covered by insurance, an HSA or FSA may help with the rest. Here’s a guide to these options. 

What Are HSA & FSA?

HSA stands for a health savings account, a pre-tax account you can use for any qualified medical expenses. Those with high-deductible health plans may qualify for this type of account, or employers sometimes offer them. When you deposit money, you can deduct it from your taxes that year or simply put money from each paycheck in before taxes are taken. If you use the money for healthcare expenses deemed medically necessary, you won’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw the money.

FSA stands for flexible spending account. These can only be offered by employers as part of a benefits package. They cover the same qualified medical expenses as HSAs and are taken out of paychecks pre-tax. However, the money in these accounts generally must be used by the end of each year unless employers specify that your balance can roll over.

How Can They Help With Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatments qualify as medical expenses that can be covered by HSAs and FSAs, as long as a dentist or orthodontist has recommended treatment. You can use these funds to pay directly for treatment or cover deductibles, co-pays, or coinsurance.

Since this money is untaxed, you get more value from these accounts than you would using money from a traditional savings or checking account. Additionally, any money in an FSA toward the end of the year may expire, so it’s often beneficial to schedule treatment or pay for braces or Invisalign while you still have access to it. This applies to your orthodontic care or for any covered family members.