What is invisalign covered by insurance

Invisalign, a popular and effective alternative to traditional braces, has revolutionized the field of orthodontics by offering a discreet and comfortable way to straighten teeth. However, one of the most common questions prospective patients have is whether Invisalign is covered by insurance.

This article will explore the intricacies of insurance coverage for Invisalign, including what types of plans typically offer coverage, factors that influence coverage, and tips for maximizing insurance benefits.

Understanding Invisalign and Its Costs

Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move teeth into their desired positions. The aligners are custom-made and must be changed every one to two weeks. The treatment duration typically ranges from 12 to 18 months, but can vary depending on the complexity of the case.

The cost of Invisalign treatment can range from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on various factors such as the length of treatment, the number of aligners required, and the geographic location of the provider. Given the significant investment, understanding insurance coverage options is crucial for many patients.

Insurance Coverage for Invisalign

Orthodontic coverage is not as common as dental coverage, and not all dental insurance plans include orthodontic benefits. However, many plans that do offer orthodontic coverage will provide at least partial coverage for Invisalign treatment.

Types of Insurance Plans

Employer-Sponsored Dental Plans

Many employer-sponsored dental plans include orthodontic benefits that may cover a portion of the cost of Invisalign. The level of coverage can vary significantly between plans, so it’s essential to review your specific policy.

Individual and Family Dental Plans

These plans can also include orthodontic coverage, though the extent of coverage might be less comprehensive compared to employer-sponsored plans. It’s important to check the specifics of the plan before purchasing.

Discount Dental Plans

While not insurance, some discount dental plans offer reduced rates for orthodontic treatments, including Invisalign. These plans require a membership fee and provide discounts on various dental services.

Medicaid and CHIP

In some states, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may cover orthodontic treatment for children if deemed medically necessary. However, coverage for Invisalign specifically is rare and often limited to traditional braces.

Factors Influencing Insurance Coverage

Several factors can influence whether Invisalign is covered by your insurance plan and to what extent:

1. Medical Necessity

  • Insurance companies are more likely to cover orthodontic treatments if they are deemed medically necessary rather than purely cosmetic. For example, treatments for significant bite issues, overcrowding, or jaw alignment problems may qualify for coverage.

2. Age Limits

  • Some dental insurance plans have age restrictions on orthodontic coverage, often limiting benefits to children and adolescents. Adults seeking Invisalign may find fewer plans offering coverage.

3. Lifetime Maximums

  • Many dental insurance plans have a lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontic treatment. This means there is a cap on the total amount the insurance will pay for orthodontic services over the lifetime of the policy.

4. Waiting Periods

  • Some plans require a waiting period before orthodontic coverage kicks in. This can range from a few months to over a year after the policy starts.

5. Network Providers

  • Using an in-network orthodontist may be required to receive full benefits. Out-of-network providers might result in reduced coverage or no coverage at all.

Maximizing Insurance Benefits for Invisalign

To make the most of your insurance benefits for Invisalign, consider the following steps:

1. Review Your Policy

  • Carefully read your dental insurance policy to understand the specifics of your orthodontic coverage. Look for details about covered services, exclusions, waiting periods, and lifetime maximums.

2. Consult with Your Provider

  • Before beginning treatment, consult with your insurance provider and your orthodontist to confirm coverage. Request a pre-treatment estimate or pre-authorization to understand what portion of the treatment will be covered.

3. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

  • If your insurance coverage is limited, consider using an FSA or HSA to pay for Invisalign. These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, effectively reducing your out-of-pocket costs.

4. Payment Plans

  • Many orthodontists offer payment plans to spread the cost of Invisalign over several months or years. These plans can make the treatment more affordable, even if insurance coverage is limited.

5. Look for Discounts

  • Some orthodontists offer discounts for upfront payment or for treatment during certain times of the year. It’s worth asking about any available discounts or promotions.

6. Consider Alternative Plans

  • If your current insurance plan does not cover Invisalign, you might consider switching to a plan that offers better orthodontic benefits during your next open enrollment period.


Invisalign is a highly effective and popular orthodontic treatment, but its cost can be a barrier for many people. Understanding the nuances of insurance coverage is essential for those considering this treatment. While not all dental insurance plans cover Invisalign, many do offer partial coverage, especially if the treatment is deemed medically necessary. By thoroughly reviewing your insurance policy, consulting with your provider, and exploring alternative payment options, you can make Invisalign more affordable and accessible.

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