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How to Use Insurance to Pay for Clear Aligners

Ellie Swain Headshot
Written by
Ellie Swain
Medically Reviewed by 
Dr. Erica Anand
7 Sources Cited

Does Dental Insurance Cover Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners gradually straighten crooked teeth and fix bite issues.

Unlike braces, you can’t see clear aligners. You can also remove them whenever you need to.

Dental insurance may cover the fees of invisible aligners in some cases. However, coverage depends on the following:

  • Brand of aligners
  • Type of aligners
  • Orthodontist you choose

To find out if your insurance covers aligners, do the following:

  • Ask your benefits manager at work
  • Call your insurance plan’s customer service line
  • Check your benefits package for ‘orthodontic treatment’

Orthodontic treatment can be covered by medical insurance if the case is considered severe and medically necessary. This usually occurs for facial deformities, tooth impactions, and severe bite problems.

What Does Insurance Typically Cover?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to what insurance covers for orthodontic treatment like clear aligners.

Every insurance question comes down to your specific plan. Some plans cover clear aligners, while others won’t.

Insurers typically provide partial dental coverage plans for orthodontics, including braces or clear aligners

Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.

Clear Aligner Insurance Coverage (By Brand)

Not all aligners are covered equally. Here’s how coverage varies by brand: 

Invisalign

Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign aligners the same way they cover braces.

Your insurance may cover a certain percentage of your Invisalign. Or, it may pay for a specific amount.1 

Typically, there is a lifetime cap on the amount insurance will pay for orthodontic treatment like Invisalign. 

ClearCorrect

If your dental insurance provider includes orthodontic benefits, they’ll likely cover some of your ClearCorrect treatment. 

Like with most brands, insurance coverage varies on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes an insurer will consider ClearCorrect cosmetic and refuse to cover it.

You shouldn’t assume that ClearCorrect will be covered just because your dentist recommends it. Always check with your insurance provider first.

Candid

Candid is in-network with the following insurers:

  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Aetna Anthem Blue Cross
  • Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
  • Empire BlueCross
  • Empire BlueCross BlueShield
  • Aetna

If Candid is in-network with your insurance provider, and you have orthodontic coverage, you can be covered for an average of $1,000 at checkout. You don’t have to wait for a reimbursement.2

If you don’t see your insurance provider on Candid’s in-network list, you can send your information to them. Then, they’ll submit the claim on your behalf. 

However, Candid can’t guarantee whether or not you’ll be reimbursed. Candid strongly recommends that you check your insurance coverage ahead of time.

Ask your insurer if you have orthodontic benefits and if it covers remote treatments billed with the code D8090.

Byte

It’s possible to save money on Byte aligners if your insurance plan covers orthodontics. Speak with a Byte insurance expert for help and advice on the matter.

With Byte, it’s possible to receive 50 percent coverage, depending on your insurance plan.3

Consider that costs vary depending on various factors, including:

  • Insurance eligibility
  • Current promotions
  • Availability of FSA/HSA funds

NewSmile

Most dental insurance plans cover customers for a portion of the cost of NewSmile aligners.

NewSmile costs 75 percent less than many other clear aligner brands, so it already provides impressive savings.4 

Contact NewSmile to see if you’re qualified for coverage. However, know that NewSmile impression kits are typically not covered by insurance.

AlignerCo

With AlignerCo, a qualified dentist or orthodontist in your state will approve and assess your care remotely instead of in person.

Some insurers consider AlignerCo like other orthodontic treatments and offer coverage accordingly. 

However, AlignerCo does not include regular, in-person checkups. As such, some insurers consider Aligner a do-it-yourself treatment and decline to provide coverage.

AlignerCo doesn’t have any partnerships with insurers that make them in-network to streamline the process. You may still receive coverage from your insurer, but you’ll need to see if they provide reimbursement first.

6 Month Smiles

Some dental and healthcare insurance plans may cover some of 6 Month Smiles treatment. 

Like most brands, it’s best to contact your insurance provider to check if your policy covers it.5

How to Use Insurance to Pay for Aligners 

The process of submitting insurance claims for aligners is similar to that of other types of orthodontic treatment.

There are many ways to help maximize coverage. It’s even possible to obtain some coverage for those with no orthodontic benefits.

Before filing any claims, find out more information about your eligibility and coverage. Get a pre-estimate or pre-determination of what your out-of–pocket costs would be. Benefits vary significantly from policy to policy. 

Once you’re familiar with the plan, it’s easier to determine how the case should be filed. You usually need to submit the correct paperwork to your insurer. Then the aligner company helps with the rest. 

However, the process differs depending on the insurance company and the aligner brand.

Some insurance companies ask for monthly or quarterly claim submissions for the continuation of treatment. In those cases, there will be more than five claims submitted. Other insurance companies only pay for a maximum amount of 24 months of treatment. 

Separating the claims allows the insurance company to pay some of the fees from the person’s annual maximum. This is opposed to their lifetime maximum.

This method also allows some patients to receive benefits from their insurance toward treatment. These are the people who may not otherwise have orthodontic coverage.

Filing the claims separately can also help quicken the payment process. It can give you an idea of how the insurance company may handle future claims and payments.

We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.

Can You Pay for Aligners With an HSA/FSA? 

An HSA or FSA may help pay for clear aligners. But there are limits on what types of medical care are covered. 

The basic guidelines are: if treatment is essential medical care, it’s covered. If it’s cosmetic, it isn’t.

Regarding dental treatment, anything that treats or prevents disease or related health concerns qualifies for reimbursement. If treatment addresses aesthetic concerns, it won’t be covered. 

Summary

  • Dental insurance may cover the fees of invisible aligners in some cases. 
  • Coverage depends on the brand and type of aligners and the orthodontist used
  • It’s important to check directly with the clear aligner brand to see if insurance can help pay for the procedure
  • To receive reimbursement, you usually need to submit the correct paperwork to your insurer. Then the aligner company helps with the rest
  • It’s possible to pay for aligners with an HSA/FSA. However, there are limits on what is covered.

What’s Next?

The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:

Learn about the different brands and what they offer.

Last updated on April 4, 2022
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 4, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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