There you are, scanning the byte website, admiring their treatment times and innovative features. If there’s one thing that could potentially give you pause, it’s the price. byte treatment is more affordable than traditional orthodontics like braces and Invisalign, but it’s still not cheap. And this often causes potential customers to hope for insurance coverage.
Aetna’s dental plans may or may not cover byte aligners. It all depends on the specific plan and every plan is different. If you have an Aetna plan, you might be able to get coverage for part of your byte treatment, and byte will handle all the particulars. How? Read on. This guide contains all the information you need.
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How Much Does byte Cost?
If traditional orthodontics take a bite out of your bank account, home aligners take a nibble. But that nibble is still significant. byte’s standard, all-day aligner treatment, for example, is $1,895. And if you choose their At-Night aligners (which you only need to wear for 10 hours a day), it’s $2,295. Those prices include all of your clear aligners, one set of aftercare retainers, and the HyperByte device (which empowers byte’s fast treatment times).
Do those prices look a little steep? You can spread them out over 29 months by enrolling in a bytepay financing plan. Since bytepay is an in-house payment plan, you don’t need a credit check to qualify. Here’s how they look:
- All-day treatment: $349 down payment, then $83 a month
- At-Night treatment: $449 down payments, then $99 a month
Add it all up and you’ll notice that these payment plans end up being more expensive than the sticker prices. That’s primarily because they include a subscription to byte’s Smile Protection Plan, which provides new aftercare retainers every six months (for five years) and will replace lost or stolen retainers twice. On their own, byte’s retainers cost $129, so it will save you money in the long run.
How Do Orthodontic Benefits Work?
Just because you have dental insurance, however, doesn’t mean your orthodontia is automatically covered. That’s where orthodontic benefits come in. The problem is, not every plan includes them. If you plan on getting orthodontic treatment at some point, you’ll want to enroll in a plan with orthodontic benefits when you choose one.
But as we’ve already mentioned, every insurance plan is different and their orthodontic benefits can vary too. They’ll typically cover traditional, in-office treatments like braces and Invisalign and some will cover remote treatment like byte too. Even so, orthodontic benefits aren’t all-inclusive. Most times, they’ll only cover a certain percentage of treatment. And they also often have restrictions like age limits, lifetime spending limits, and waiting periods.
Let’s say your treatment costs $3,000 and your orthodontic benefits cover 50%. If they have an age limit, it’ll probably only cover costs for patients up to age 19. And if they have a lifetime spending limit of $2,000, you’ll still have $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. That’s why it’s important to understand the particulars of your dental plan before you begin your treatment.
Does Aetna Cover Orthodontics?
Some of Aetna’s dental plans include orthodontic benefits and others don’t. If you have orthodontic benefits as part of your plan, you’ll most likely receive coverage for comprehensive orthodontic treatment, including braces, Invisalign, or potentially at-home aligners. Be aware though, that orthodontic benefits rarely cover 100% of your treatment costs, and they often come with certain restrictions.
For example, some plans only cover orthodontics for dependents up to age 19, not adults. And others have a lifetime spending maximum (usually somewhere around $1,000 or $2,000). You can find Aetna DMO and PPO plans that each include orthodontic benefits, but they can vary based on your location, employer, family size, and more. And most Aetna plans require you to get treatment from an in-network orthodontist to receive your coverage.
Does Aetna Cover byte?
If you have a plan with orthodontic benefits, there’s a good chance that it might also cover your byte treatment. byte has recently announced a partnership that makes them a covered benefit with Aetna, so coverage is a lot more accessible. According to one of byte’s recent social media posts, “your Aetna discount is applied up-front [and] you just pay the amount you’re responsible for.” So, if you have Aetna coverage, you’ll see it subtracted from your initial bill. You won’t need to pay up front and file a claim for reimbursement later.
But remember that not every plan includes orthodontic benefits. Before starting your treatment, enter your information on byte’s insurance page to see if your aligners are covered.
Will byte Help Me With Insurance?
They’ll do more than help you. They’ll take care of everything. At the outset, they’ll do a preliminary check to determine whether you might have coverage. Then, after you proceed with treatment, they’ll complete and submit your claim paperwork. And if your claim is denied, they’ll find out why and look for ways to correct it, whether that means contacting the provider directly or filing an appeal.
byte is the only at-home aligner company that goes this far to help you navigate your insurance processes. Some competitors, like Candid and SmileDirectClub, will do a preliminary check for you, but they won’t handle any paperwork or communications after that.
How Do I Use My Orthodontic Benefits?
Thanks to byte’s partnership with Aetna, accessing your benefits is pretty simple. Because they now include byte as an in-network treatment provider, Aetna will apply their discount right away and you’ll pay the remainder. Other insurance companies require you to pay upfront, then file for reimbursement later on. No matter how the discount is applied, byte will handle the entire process for you. And if there are any unforeseen complications, they’ll work with Aetna to get them smoothed over.
Just contact your byte advisor. They will put you in touch with the insurance team, who will walk you through the whole process. They’ll even fill out any necessary paperwork for you to ensure accuracy and timeliness. All you’ll need to do is sign.
What If I’m Not Covered?
Aetna and byte might have a partnership, but that doesn’t mean every Aetna plan covers at-home aligners. If your plan doesn’t include orthodontic benefits, your byte treatment probably won’t be covered. But don’t worry, there are still ways to manage your expenses. You could switch providers and/or plans, but you can only do that during open enrollment periods or if you have a qualifying life event. And if you have insurance through your employer, they might not offer plans from other providers.
If so, you could enroll in an individual plan to supplement your employer-provided one. But that means you’ll be paying more in premiums, so you’ll have to make sure the savings are worth it.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are also options. These accounts allow you to use your pre-tax income to pay for medical and dental expenses, and byte accepts HSA/FSA payments, which can save some money. You’ll just need to make sure that your HSA or FSA considers at-home clear aligners a qualifying expense.
And if $1,895 or $2,295 is looking like too much for a lump-sum payment, you can break it up into more manageable chunks by enrolling in bytepay, byte’s in-house financing plan. These plans require a $349 or $449 down payment, followed by 29 monthly payments of $83 or $99. The best part is that there’s no credit check involved, so everyone qualifies.
At-home aligner companies like byte have made teeth-straightening treatment more affordable than ever. And as Aetna and other insurance providers continue modifying and extending their orthodontic coverage, clear aligners are only getting more accessible.
byte treatment and Aetna dental insurance is an ideal combination, but as we’ve mentioned, every insurance plan is different, so be sure to talk with byte—their insurance team will help you navigate the details of your plan and facilitate a smooth process every step of the way.