Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

FSA: Flexible Spending for Fixing Smiles


FSA and Orthodontics in BrookingsHere’s a big question: Can you use your FSA money to pay for braces?

Let’s cut to the chase — yes. You can.

At Meyer Orthodontics, we want you to be informed and confident about every detail of your orthodontic care. So let’s learn more.

FSA? What’s that?

A Flexible Spending Account is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs not covered by your health insurance. If you have a health care plan through your employer, you have access to an FSA.

This reduces your taxes because you don’t pay them on this money.

A Few Facts

  • FSAs are limited to $2,600 per year per employer. Your spouse can also contribute $2,600 into an FSA through their employer.
  • You can use your FSA for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents.
  • You can spend FSA funds to pay deductibles and co-payments, but not for insurance premiums.
  • At the end of the year, you lose any money left over in your FSA. Plan carefully, and don’t put more money in your FSA than you think you’ll spend within a year on things like co-payments, co-insurance, prescriptions, and other allowed health care costs.
    • However, your employer may offer one of two options, but neither are required: It can allow you to carry over up to $500 per year to use in the following year, or it can provide a “grace period” of up to 2½ extra months to use the money in your FSA.
    • Here’s a tip – if you have some leftover FSA money to spend at the end of the year, get creative!

FSA and Orthodontics

According to FSAFEDS and the IRS, orthodontic care is covered by your FSA:

You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease include services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments. (IRS) 

How it Works

Orthodontic treatment takes place over an extended period of time, so there’s a few things to keep in mind in regards to your FSA benefit period.

Some of our patients pay for their orthodontic treatment in full, while others make monthly payments. Your FSA allows reimbursement for pre-paid orthodontic expenses, up to the elected amount, regardless of the date of service, as long as the payment was made during the benefit period.

Orthodontic care differs from other dental procedures that require the actual service to be performed and paid for within the benefit period.

How To Do It

First, you need to enroll in a plan.

Once you’ve done that, know what amount is covered by your insurance, and how much you are responsible for. Once you’ve done that, file a claim on the FSAFEDS website.

There are several reimbursement options depending on your preferences, including a paperless auto-reimbursement.

Take Advantage of FSA

If you’re eligible, enrolling in a Flexible Savings Plan is a great option to help with the costs of your orthodontic care.

At Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings, your initial consultation is always free. We’ll discuss the fees of treatment based on the severity or complexity of your orthodontic problem and help you figure out the best way to pay for your treatment—whether that’s with your FSA, using our own financing or an orthodontic credit firm.