About 4 in 10 children receive braces. Does it make sense to take out additional insurance for this? And what should you look for when choosing the best policy?
Sales of brackets have increased in recent years. Because braces are not cheap, it is wise to think carefully about the financing before you let your child do the plaster. If the bracket is intended for an adult, then you will have to pay the bracket almost entirely from your own pocket.
What are the global costs? And what can you expect from your health insurer? Ten questions about the reimbursement of braces.
1. What does a bracket cost?
To start with the good news: the rates for orthodontics have fallen by around 32 percent in recent years. Nevertheless, orthodontists have not seen their turnover fall. That is because the sale of more expensive brackets, which are more comfortable and less visible, has increased.
How much you lose depends on the type of braces and the duration of treatment. On average you have to count on between 2,000 and 3,000 euros. Every orthodontist charges the same rates, because these are set nationally.
2. Is there a choice?
The fact that the rates are the same does not mean that you have no influence on the final price. Annelies van Dijk, spokesperson for the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) advises not to agree with the orthodontist’s proposal in advance. “Always be aware that as a consumer you have a choice. Have the orthodontist explain why he thinks this brace is needed and ask about cheaper alternatives. Then make a trade-off between costs and benefits. ”
According to Van Dijk, it is not strange to consult more orthodontists, so that you can compare the options. “If you have a bathroom installed, you will also visit various sanitary stores. Why would you not do that with something as important as braces? ”
3. Is a quote required?
An orthodontist is obliged to provide a quote for treatments that are more expensive than 250 euros. But in practice that does not always happen. The temporary report point Ortho costs that the Consumer Association, the NZa and TV program De Monitor rigged last spring, showed that more than a quarter of the respondents had never received an offer.
If your orthodontist is not prepared to do so, ask yourself for a specified quotation, with a step-by-step plan, so that you know what you will receive and how long the treatment will last. The quotation also offers the possibility to check afterwards whether the treatment and invoice correspond to the agreements made.
“Bear in mind that the final costs may differ slightly from the quotation,” warns Van Dijk. “The treatment progresses faster with one patient than with another. The orthodontist must also discuss this with you. ”
4. Is orthodontics covered by the basic insurance?
In contrast to dental costs, the costs for orthodontics are not included in the basic package. You can only claim a benefit if there is a very serious growth or developmental disorder of the jaw, teeth or mouth.
For reimbursement for a brace you therefore almost always need supplementary insurance. You can co-insure your child with the parent. This is often free.
5. When should I start?
Orthodontics for adults is hardly reimbursed. Because a treatment often lasts a few years and the reimbursement falls sharply or even stops as soon as your child turns eighteen, it is important to start treatment on time.
Also keep in mind that most insurers use a one-year waiting period to prevent abuse. This means that you must be insured for some time before you are eligible for reimbursement.
6. Which of the two flavors do I have?
For some insurers, orthodontics is covered by dental insurance. With other insurers, it is included in the regular supplementary insurance, which also includes matters such as physiotherapy, glasses, alternative medicine and contraception. View which policy best suits your situation and the care you need.
7. How much does the insurance cost?
Orthodontics is usually covered by the most expensive supplementary insurance. The costs vary from 10 to 60 euros per month.
8. What will I be reimbursed?
You must of course compare this premium with the cover offered. A tour of insurers shows that the reimbursement varies from 500 to 2,500 euros for children up to the age of 18. If the coverage is below 2,000 euros, then there is a good chance that you will have to pay part of it yourself at the end of the ride. There are also insurers that reimburse a percentage of the costs. This varies from 75 to 100 percent.
9. Which is more sensible: fixed amount or per year?
Most parties apply a maximum reimbursement for the total insurance term. Some insurers apply a maximum amount per year. Because the costs of the treatment are usually not evenly distributed, this is often unfavorable in practice. You then run the risk of staying below the maximum one year, but having to pay extra the next.
10. Does insurance make sense?
With a simple calculation you can calculate whether an insurance pays off. If you opt for a policy with a premium of 30 euros per month, then you pay 1,080 euros for three years (one year waiting period plus two years bracket) to be eligible for a reimbursement of 2,000 euros. Insuring will then turn out favorably on balance; especially if you also use other treatments that are reimbursed under this policy.
If you pay 60 euros per month, you will lose 2,160 euros over a three-year period and it remains to be seen whether it is worth the effort.
For adults it almost never makes sense to insure you separately for orthodontics, because the coverage is usually much lower (at most 500 euros). With some insurer you are not even reimbursed anything.