byte gives you a lot of value for your money: fast treatment times, personalized customer support, a lifetime guarantee, and more. And while their prices are pretty reasonable, you still might be looking to your insurance provider for help. But insurance coverage for at-home aligners isn’t always black and white. There are many different plans with many different outcomes.
If you have MetLife, there’s a chance you could receive coverage for your byte treatment. It depends on your specific plan. Fortunately, byte will walk you through the entire insurance process, taking care of all the necessary paperwork along the way. And this guide will give you an overview of MetLife’s coverage for orthodontic treatments.
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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 MetLife Cover Orthodontics?
Yes, but it depends on your plan. MetLife’s basic PPO plans don’t often include coverage for orthodontics, but their more comprehensive, expensive PPO plans sometimes do. However, the orthodontic benefits often come with a lifetime spending limit of around $1,000 – $3,000. So, for example, if you got Invisalign and it cost $4,500, you’d still have some out-of-pocket expenses. Some MetLife TakeAlong plans might cover orthodontics, but it’s often restricted to dependents under age 19.
When a plan includes orthodontic benefits, it typically means braces, Invisalign, or other comparable, in-office treatments like ClearCorrect.
Does MetLife Cover byte?
It’s hard to say because MetLife doesn’t explicitly state whether their orthodontic benefits include online aligner services. However, their website says “MetLife’s dental plans may cover clear aligners, provided a licensed dentist is providing the care or monitoring the care,” and some of their plans say they cover teledentistry. byte adheres to the ADA’s requirements for teledentistry service but not every insurance provider labels them as a teledentistry provider.
This seems to indicate that certain MetLife plans might cover byte treatment, but you’ll need to check on your specific plan to find out. Just reach out to byte and their insurance team will check on your coverage for you, then let you know what you’re eligible for. Certain customers have reported receiving coverage for their aligners, while others say that their claim was denied.
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?
Normally, a dentist or orthodontist’s office will bill your insurance provider directly (as long as that dentist is in-network), but most MetLife plans consider at-home aligner companies out of network, so you’ll need to pay for your treatment, then file a claim for reimbursement. Most home aligner companies leave you to download a MetLife claim form and complete it on your own. If you’re unfamiliar with insurance procedures, the claim process can be confusing. Fortunately, byte will do it all for you.
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 your claim paperwork for you to ensure accuracy and timeliness. They’ll tell you where to sign on the dotted line, then you can sit back and wait for your reimbursement.
What If I’m Not Covered?
Even though some MetLife plans cover byte treatment, plenty of others don’t cover orthodontics at all. 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.
If you’re interested in byte, you have an eye for good value. Their industry-topping treatment times, reasonable prices, and individualized customer support make them a fantastic and affordable option. MetLife doesn’t have a partnership with byte like other providers do, but some of their plans still cover at-home aligner treatment. If you’re unsure about your orthodontic benefits, need help submitting a claim, or just have some preliminary questions, contact byte. Their experienced support team will handle every aspect of your insurance process so you can kick back and wait for your aligners.