While researching teeth-straightening treatment costs, you might be sitting there wondering how to manage the high prices. Then you remember: you’ve been withholding income every month in a health savings account (HSA). These pre-tax funds can be a reserve of payments for your dental and orthodontic expenses, easing the potential stress of a high price tag.
Considering byte at-home aligners? You can likely use an HSA to pay for those too. Each HSA has different policies and qualifying expenses, but they often cover online aligner services. And byte’s insurance team will help answer questions and complete necessary paperwork along the way. This guide will give you all the info you need about using your HSA to pay for byte treatment.
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What Is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
A health savings account is an account that holds pre-tax funds you can use to pay for eligible medical and dental expenses. You can put money in an HSA via a payroll deduction (taken out of your monthly paychecks) or by simply depositing funds like you would a regular savings account.
To qualify for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This means a plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. It doesn’t matter if your HDHP is through your employer or you’ve enrolled on your own, HSAs are still available.
You can use your HSA funds to pay for a wide scope of medical and dental treatments. You can even withdraw money for non-medical reasons, although it will incur a 20% penalty. The HSA contribution limit is $3,550 for an individual and $7,100 for a family, and these funds will roll over from year to year, so you can hold onto them as long as you’d like.
Once your HSA reaches a certain amount, you can also choose to invest those funds in mutual funds or other options, depending on your account’s policies.
How to get an HSA
The most common way to start an HSA is through your employer. Many companies that offer an HDHP also offer an HSA, and you can enroll in both during an open or special enrollment period. Your employer will walk you through the enrollment process and provide any necessary forms.
But you can get an HSA if you’re self-employed too. Banks, brokers, credit unions, and insurance companies offer accounts to individuals. But you still need to have a high-deductible health plan to qualify. If you’re self-employed or your employer doesn’t offer HSAs, contact other financial institutions to see if they have HSA options.
Do HSA Funds Cover Dental/Orthodontics?
You can use your HSA to pay for a wide range of treatments and procedures, including preventative care, basic dental care, and orthodontics. So your semi-annual cleanings, fillings, root canals, braces, and clear aligners are typically fair game.
Still, you can’t use them for everything. Certain elective cosmetic procedures (like teeth whitening) and health insurance premiums aren’t normally included in HSA qualifying expenses.
What Types of Orthodontic Treatment Can an HSA Cover?
Lucky for you, HSAs typically cover most orthodontic treatments, including braces, Invisalign, and even at-home aligners. That said, every HSA plan is different, so some might have a more comprehensive list of qualifying expenses than others. You should check your HSA’s policy before beginning treatment to make sure that you can use it.
Many HSAs won’t let you use your fund for elective cosmetic procedures like whitening, bonding, and veneers. They each classify treatments differently, but most don’t consider adult orthodontic procedures to be cosmetic.
Can I Use My HSA for byte Clear Aligners?
Most HSAs include clear aligners as a qualifying expense, and this often includes home aligners like byte. Some HSAs don’t include elective cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and veneers. Occasionally, they’ll lump at-home aligners in with these cosmetic procedures, so you’ll need to check your account’s qualifying expense list to be sure.
byte’s website says that all their impression kits, aligners, and retainers “are a covered expense for almost all flexible spending and health savings accounts.” So, chances are, you’ll be able to use your HSA to pay for all or part of your treatment.
Will byte Help Me Use My HSA?
byte goes above and beyond to help customers take advantage of their HSA funds and dental insurance benefits. Their insurance team will handle every part of the process for you and answer any questions you might have about using your HSA funds. And if there’s any paperwork involved, they will provide and complete it for you.
byte is the only at-home aligner company that handles the entire insurance process. Other companies might check to see if your plan covers their treatment, but leave you to handle the specifics on your own.
How To Use HSA Funds for byte Treatment
There are a few different ways to access your HSA funds. Some accounts issue a linked card that you can use just like a debit or credit card. As long as you use it for a qualifying expense, you’ll have no issue. If you use it for an unqualified expense, however, those funds will incur a 20% penalty and you’ll need to pay income taxes on them. You can simply enter your card information at checkout or contact your byte advisor for assistance.
Some accounts will issue checks that are specifically linked to your account. Others will let you use an online account to pay bills. You might also be able to reimburse yourself by writing an HSA check to yourself or transferring money directly into a personal account. You can only reimburse yourself, however, for expenses that occurred after you established your HSA.
What If I Have Dental Insurance, Too?
Numerous dental insurance plans provide coverage for byte treatment too. They have partnerships that bring them in-network with Anthem and Guardian. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, insurance might cover your byte aligners.
But orthodontic benefits often come with age limits, lifetime spending limits, and/or waiting periods. On top of that, they often only cover a certain percentage of treatment. This means that you’ll still have out-of-pocket expenses, and you can cover these expenses with your HSA. The best part is that byte will handle the whole process. Their website says: “Just utilize your major credit/debit card associated with your FSA to pay for your treatment. Then, if you have qualifying orthodontic coverage included in your dental plan, we’ll help you with your insurance claim form to get the proper reimbursement.”
Flexible Spending Accounts vs. Health Savings Accounts
They’re similar in name, but not always similar in function. Here are some of the differences you should know.
|Who qualifies||Only people with a qualifying high deductible health plan (HDHP)||Anyone whose employer offers them as a benefit|
|2020 contribution limit||$3,550 for an individual, $7,100 for a family||$2,650 for an individual|
|Contribution adjustments||Anytime||Only during open or special enrollment periods|
|Expiration||None, unused funds will roll over||Dec. 31 every year|
|Account ownership||Owned by the individual and follows you during employment changes.||Owned by the employer. You lose it if you change jobs.|
|Using funds||Can withdraw funds for non-medical expenses, but must pay a 20% penalty||Might not have access to funds for non-medical expenses|
Just like HSAs, you can usually use FSA funds to pay for byte treatment. However, it depends on the details of your specific account and its qualifying expenses.
Byte treatment is already a great value, and if you have a health savings account, it can be even more accessible. Get in touch with your byte advisor if you’re interested in using your HSA to pay for treatment. Their team will take care of all the details for you, so you can kick back and wait for your aligners to arrive.