If you want to keep your smile beautiful and healthy, dental care is a necessity. Your oral health also impacts your overall wellbeing, so taking care of your teeth is essential for this reason. Unfortunately, navigating the financial side of dentistry can be overwhelming and confusing. Dental insurance is often not the best fit and this leaves many patients looking for other options. At Skyline Dental, we are committed to providing you with access to many different methods for payment. One option, if you qualify, is combining a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) with our in-office dental savings plan.
Here is how this works:
HSA: What It Is and Who Qualifies
An HSA is a type of savings account that you can use to pay for health care costs tax-free. You do not need to pay taxes on your contributions up to the yearly maximum. This applies both when you deposit funds and when you use them to pay for qualified medical expenses. In many cases, you can invest a portion of your HSA to further grow your savings. An HSA makes it possible to save up for procedures you need while taking advantage of tax benefits.
In order to qualify for an HSA, you need to have a high deductible health plan (HDHP). This applies to most health insurance plans where the deductible is over $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. If you are not sure whether you have an HDHP, you can reach out to your insurance provider for clarification. If you qualify, you can set up an HSA through any financial institution that offers these types of accounts.
Many forms of dental care are classified as qualified medical expenses. In some cases, a letter of medical necessity may be required to get reimbursement for procedures such as dental implants, crowns, or bridges. Most types of preventive and restorative dentistry are eligible, whereas purely cosmetic procedures are not. A full list of qualified expenses is available on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
What About an FSA?
Like an HSA, an FSA allows you to use pre-tax income to save for medical expenses and can be used for dental care. However, there are many differences between the two types of plans. An employer will need to set up an FSA and as a result, funds generally do not transfer if you leave your job. Unlike an HSA, FSA funds have a time limit for when you can use them. This is usually within a year unless your employer has set up the FSA with a grace period or allows you to carry over a portion of unused funds to the next year. You forfeit any money that you do not use during the allowed time to your employer. The maximum contribution is also lower for most FSAs.
In general, an HSA is the best option if you qualify since you control this plan yourself and can save long-term. However, if you do not have an HDHP and your employer offers an FSA, this still can be helpful depending on your situation.
In-Office Membership Plan
Another option for saving money on dental care, in addition to or separate from an HSA or FSA, is our Smile Easy Membership Plan. For a fraction of what many dental insurance plans will cost you, you will receive two exams, two cleanings, one oral cancer screening, as well as routine X-rays and an emergency exam if needed. The membership also includes up to 15% off treatments.
Since the membership fee covers preventive dentistry, it is often a qualified medical expense under an HSA or FSA. If you are not sure if this is the case for you, check your contract details. You can also use the discount for treatments in combination with HSA or FSA funds to make procedures such as tooth replacement more financially manageable.
For many patients, an HSA or FSA combined with a savings plan such as our Smile Easy Membership can help you cover the cost of treatments. However, if you need extensive restorative dentistry and do not already have the full funds available, you may want to consider third-party financing. This splits up the cost of treatment into smaller monthly payments and may allow you to get the treatment you need sooner. At Skyline Dental, we work with DOCPAY and Proceed Finance.
When using an HSA with a financing option, you can continue to make pre-tax contributions to the HSA up to the yearly maximum. Monthly payments can come out of this account. It’s important to note that while the cost of the treatment itself may be HSA-eligible, the finance charges (e.g. interest) are not, so these are not tax-deductible.
Financial Options at Our Dental Office
Skyline Dental is committed to helping you improve and maintain your oral health and we accept a wide range of payment options. If you don’t have dental insurance, an HSA/FSA and our in-office savings plan can be a great option.