Coverage for dental work is separate from traditional health insurance coverage, which leaves a large number of adults without proper access to dental care. In fact, nearly 50% of dentate Americans are without dental coverage, leaving them without the ability to afford life-changing and necessary dental procedures that are essential for oral health.
While this is a fundamental problem with healthcare in the United States, there are alternative solutions so that you can still afford dental without proper insurance coverage. One of these options is a flexible spending account or FSA, a close relative of the health savings account (HSA).
Let’s talk more about enrollment in FSAs, including if dental implants, oral surgery, orthodontic work, and more are eligible expenses.
What Is a Flexible Spending Account?
If you have a health insurance plan through your employer, you can use something called a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for charges regarding services. FSA funds can cover copayments, deductibles, medications, and other health care costs at the dental office. Additionally, FSA accounts may be used to cover certain dental expenses that might otherwise not be covered under your health insurance plan.
An FSA is essentially a special account that you can put money into to use for out-of-pocket insurance costs. These funds are not taxed, meaning you’ll save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid if you just decided to set the money aside in a different savings account.
Your employer might even make contributions to your FSA account as a part of your plan. However, they are not obligated.
If you pay for a service, you’ll first make the payment out of pocket. However, you’ll submit a claim to your FSA through the employer with proof of the medical expense that has not been covered by your plan. Then, you’ll receive reimbursement for your costs.
FSA Limits and Carry-Overs
Your FSA account cannot hold more than $2,850 per year, per employer. If you’re married, your spouse can put up to $2,850 in the same account through their own employer.
In most cases, you need to use all of the money in an FSA within a calendar year, as the funds do not transfer over. However, if you have leftover funds at the end of the year, an employer may offer you one of two options.
For one, they can provide a “grace period” of up to two and a half extra months so that you can use the money in your FSA. The other option is that they can carry over up to $570 per year to use in the following year on FSA-eligible expenses. An employer can offer one, but not both options.
This makes it important for you to plan carefully and not put more money into your FSA than you’ll need to cover dental care and medical care expenses.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small posts that act as a substitute for the root of a tooth. They are usually made of titanium, which is then covered by a veneer replacement to replace the missing tooth. Implants are sometimes used for cosmetic purposes, but they’re often functional as well.
This procedure is often completed following a tooth extraction procedure in order to close the gap and restore the appearance and function of the lost tooth. Tooth extractions are often necessary if a tooth becomes severely decayed and infected, or if a tooth has experienced severe irreparable trauma.
The titanium “root” of a dental implant fuses to your jawbone, meaning that it won’t slip or make noise. Additionally, it doesn’t cause any damage to the bone in the same way that dentures might. These materials also cannot decay like your own teeth that might be supporting bridgework or alternative tooth replacement options.
For that reason, dentists tend to advocate for this procedure after tooth extraction. The only problem is that it can be expensive.
Can an FSA Be Used for Dental Implants?
Since dental implants are considered a protective and restorative procedure that can be used to treat potentially life-threatening infections, you are able to use an FSA to cover a dental implant procedure. This includes placement of the titanium posts as well as the restorative process of placing the abutment tooth.
What Else Is Covered by an FSA?
There are plenty of other healthcare expenses that can be paid for using your FSA outside of just dental implants. These include:
- Deductibles and copayments
- Medical equipment like crutches
- Supplies like bandages or gauze
- Laboratory tests, as well as devices used to diagnose disease, like glucose monitors
- Prescription medications
- Over the counter medications
- Insulin reimbursements
- Dental fillings, sealants, root canals, and periodontal therapies
- Routine dental exams and cleanings
In general, the only procedures that are not covered by an FSA are those that are cosmetic in nature. For instance, a teeth whitening procedure is not able to be covered by an FSA because it is a cosmetic treatment without clear benefits to your overall health.
With that said, you don’t need to go without the dental care you want or need just because of cost. Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that only has you pay for the procedures you receive. There are no annual premiums or membership fees.
We can save you up to 50% on the dental procedures you’ve been waiting for, even without insurance. This includes cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening, which we’re happy to offer for over half off the national average. Find a dentist near you to get started today.
An Alternative Option
Dental implants are procedures that replace the root of your tooth with a titanium post, followed by an abutment tooth to replicate the appearance of the extracted tooth. They are common procedures that are among the most effective methods of replacing an extracted tooth that had to be removed due to tooth decay or trauma.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-free account created through your employer’s health care plan that allows you to use funds towards copayments, deductibles, and other medical expenses that may not be covered by your insurance provider. This includes dental coverage.
Dental implants are among the dental procedures that can be funded by an FSA plan. However, you can also use an FSA to fund co-payments, deductibles, medications, crutches, and other products that will aid your overall health. The main exception is that they cannot be used to fund cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening.
But an FSA isn’t your only option when it comes to finding affordable dental coverage. Flossy is for patients without dental insurance. Through our pay-as-you-go model, you can save up to 50% on dental treatments from top-rated, vigorously vetted dentists. Not to mention, membership is free, and there are no monthly or annual premiums like traditional insurance.
Find a dentist near you to get started.