Treatment in Progress — What You Should Know Before Changing Policies
Treatment in progress is a term that should be top of mind if you wear braces and are considering changing insurance during open enrollment.
Open enrollment and braces can get a bit tricky if you are making a change to your insurance policy. Please pay close attention if you or your children currently wear braces. It is particularly important that you avoid changing your insurance until you do your research.
Check for “Treatment in Progress” as a Policy Feature
Changing your policy can make a significant difference in the financing of your ongoing orthodontic treatment. Be sure that your new medical/dental policy has an “orthodontics in progress” or “treatment in progress” feature. This ensures that any current orthodontic treatments that are underway will continue under the new policy you are considering.
Far too often, patients undergoing orthodontic treatment get quite a shock when they rewrite their insurance policy during open enrollment. After their first appointment in the new year, they learn their braces are no longer covered under the new insurance policy. Don’t expect your new insurer to magically know that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Speak up and ask the right questions to ensure your “treatment in progress” is covered.
Age Restrictions and Waiting Periods
Other surprises that many patients get from new policies are age restrictions and waiting periods. Keep an eye out for age restrictions for children. They often cut off at 19. Any days or months over the age of 19 are older than 19. Be sure to check that out.
Why is this even more important when it comes to waiting periods? If your child turns 19 in a few months and you are in a six-month or one-year waiting period, your insurance may not cover braces for this child.
Waiting periods are also an issue to be aware of if you think you may have a pressing orthodontic issue and you already have an insurance policy. This is where you may not want to change insurance. In some cases, it makes more sense to stick with a policy until the treatment is complete. Be sure to ask your insurer what the waiting period will be if you are considering changing policies.
Ask Questions And Do Your Research
Protect yourself and your family by asking the right questions and doing your research. If you are a current patient at Sky Ortho or considering orthodontic treatment, we would be happy to answer what we can or guide you to someone who can help.