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.
If you’re looking at SnapCorrect home aligner treatment, you might be drawn to its affordable price tag. And you can make that cost even more accessible by using your HSA. Every HSA is different, but many will allow you to use your funds for online aligner services like SnapCorrect. Maybe you’ve used your HSA for plenty of expenses already, or maybe you don’t know what an HSA is. Either way, this guide will give you the info you need to use your HSA effectively.
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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 SnapCorrect Clear Aligners?
Most of the time, yes. HSAs are fairly inclusive when it comes to orthodontic treatments, so they usually include at-home aligners. Sometimes, however, an HSA will consider this type of treatment “cosmetic” and, therefore, not a qualifying expense. While most HSAs cover home aligners, you don’t want to simply assume that yours will. Check the list of qualifying expenses before you pay for your SnapCorrect treatment.
According to SnapCorrect’s FAQ page, their “aligners are an FDA-approved way to straighten your teeth. Therefore, you can generally use funds from flex spending accounts and health savings accounts for orthodontic appliances, such as invisible aligners. However, different accounts have different rules and regulations. Please be sure to check with your provider.”
Will SnapCorrect Help Me Use My HSA?
Accessing HSA funds is normally an easy process and you likely won’t need much help. Some HSAs require itemized receipts or other purchase confirmation, and SnapCorrect will provide it for you. They won’t communicate with your HSA administrator or fill out paperwork for you. They won’t take care of your dental insurance procedures either.
If you’re looking for a home aligner company that will take care of all your insurance and HSA procedures for you, check out byte. Their insurance team knows the process inside and out and will handle any necessary paperwork and communication.
How To Use HSA Funds for SnapCorrect Treatment
You have options for your HSA payment. Many accounts will issue a linked card that functions like any other debit or credit card. Just enter your card information at checkout and your funds will be automatically dispersed, as long as home aligners are a qualifying expense. You can use your HSA card for non-qualified expenses too, but the amount you withdraw will incur a 20% penalty and you’ll have to pay taxes on that amount.
Some HSAs also offer linked checks you can use on qualifying purchases. Others will allow you to pay bills directly from your online account. You can use a check or online transfer to reimburse yourself for qualifying purchases too. Go ahead and pay for treatment on your own, then write yourself a check or transfer funds from your HSA to a personal account. You can only reimburse yourself for expenses incurred after you established your HSA.
What If I Have Dental Insurance, Too?
Remember that dental insurance plans and HSAs are two different things. Dental insurance comes out of the provider’s pockets, while HSA funds come out of your pre-tax income. But if you have both, you can use them both to pay for your SnapCorrect treatment.
First, you’ll want to determine whether your insurance plan covers SnapCorrect. Speak with your employer or insurance provider to find out if your plan includes orthodontic benefits, which can cover home aligners as well. But even if you do have orthodontic benefits, they don’t always cover online aligner services. And when they do, the coverage doesn’t normally cover the entire cost. You’ll need to consult your insurance provider to find out.
Either way, you’ll likely have some out-of-pocket costs after your insurance coverage takes effect. And you can use your HSA to pay these remaining costs. If you have both, you might be able to pay for your entire SnapCorrect treatment without touching your personal checking or savings account.
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 SnapCorrect treatment. However, it depends on the details of your specific account and its qualifying expenses.
SnapCorrect is already much more affordable than traditional orthodontics but it’s still a significant expense. However, an HSA can make that expense a whole lot more manageable. If you have an HSA and want to use it for your at-home aligners, contact your employer or HSA administrator to utilize your pre-tax funds. It’ll help you start your smile journey comfortably and confidently.