Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No idea how to plan for THIS one

The kids' both had dental visits last week (which is why the dental balance is now up.  Once we see what insurance pays, it will be adjusted, but we are still paying off their sealants earlier this year, and Sassy's broken tooth).  Nice teeth...clean.  No cavities.

But they did start talking to us about B-R-A-C-E-S for Bossy.  We knew it was coming at some point.  Not a surprise.  He has a cross-bite (an underbite and it is mis-aligned).  And teeth crowding (one tooth is already starting to be pushed behind the others).  Again...we knew about this.

They said once his eye teeth start falling out, it will be time for a consult.  They feel his is a fairly involved case, so they will refer us elsewhere for this.  I asked about a timeline for this....and they said maybe a year.

Then I asked the dreaded question.....what kind of money are we talking here.....and they said probably $6-8,000.  *sigh*

That would be another $6-8k on top of where we are now.  Talk about a backslide!!

We already max out our FSA on our CURRENT medical bills, and that doesn't include braces!  We are really hoping that Bossy will not need a feeding tube by then, which will cut back on some of the expense.  Plus, I am anticipating that our counselors will be gone by then "hopefully" we will be able to swing it.

I am going to try and not us our reimbursement money (much) from next year's FSA and just keep it aside.  At least that will give us a start...and maybe if we are able to pay some cash upfront, we can get a discount.

I know braces are common.  Not saying that we are special in this expense.  But after the amount we have already would have been nice to NOT have this particular expense.


  1. So far, two of my seven kids have had braces and it looks as though two more will need them. I'd encourage you to SHOP AROUND. Both of our experiences so far involve treatment that has lasted about two years and we've never paid more than $2000 per child. I'm not far from you (Boston area) and I doubt prices would be so much higher in CT. I'd talk to other parents you know and search for an orthodontist who won't push you back into quite so much debt.

  2. Thanks for the tip. $2000 is a far cry from $8000!!!

  3. When we did the braces for Princess Penleope, our orthodontist set up an automatic payment plan. We put 20% down and then they debited the monthly payments out of the account. If I recall correctly there was a small administrative fee for this option (I think it was $25), but it became just a normal bill instead of debt with interest attached to it. It wasn't easy to squeeze in at the time, but for the three years she had braces, I was able to plan my FSA to include that monthly payment. That helped me not max it out just on the braces!

    I would suggest getting a couple of consults before you plan this year's withholding - I know down here the consults are usually free. And you can usually get a basic idea of what costs will actually be incurred.

    Also, ask around for recommendations from people who have gone the braces route.

  4. I would suggest looking around and pricing also. Braces where I live are around $3,000.

  5. Check around. I used two different orthos with my three kids braces. The second one offered me a greater discount for the third so I stayed there. I also was able to do a monthly payment that wasn't to bad.

    Good luck


  6. Hello Mysti,

    I don't know what state you live in (& I totally see the need for some privacy with blogs) but in PA we are able to use Medical Assistance as secondary coverage for our son with Autism. Please check with your state -- here if a child meets the Social Security standard (see bluebook child disability) then he can be eligible for MA which is more robust than our private coverage. Our primary insurance is billed first and then MA picks up the co-pay for covered services. This includes dental and vision. It is the child's income that counts, not the parents.

  7. @Elizabeth - we don't qualify for SSI (when we called, we were told it was based on our income, not our son's), and our state doesn't do much to help. If there was any coverage out there, I would like to think we would have found it. Between his feeding tube, OT, etc...we pay out a ton.

    My only "saving grace" if we really had that we have some money in a trust for him. Braces would qualify as an expense.

  8. Braces are in our future too. We meet with the orhtodontist in a couple of weeks. I'm scared of what the damage will be.