Night guards aren’t cheap—some dental offices charge close to $1,000 for them. When you’re experiencing jaw pain from teeth clenching and grinding, finding a way to afford that dental appliance and thus get pain relief is crucial. While many insurance plans don’t cover the night guard cost, these dental appliances are considered an eligible expense on most flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA). How you’ll purchase your night guard with your FSA or HSA depends on your employer and type of account, but in most cases, it’s pretty simple.
Dental Night Guard FSA and HSA Eligibility
Part of health care packages, FSAs and HSAs are similar savings accounts. In many cases, they can help you pay for a night guard and other dental appliances. These accounts allow you to pay for certain medical and dental expenses for yourself, your spouse, and any dependents. You can also use these accounts to help cover deductibles.
Typically, TMJ, bruxism, and related issues are included under dental expenses. This means you can use your FSA or HSA to pay for dentures, occlusal guards, over-the-counter dental night guards for teeth grinding, and custom night guards. While most plans will allow you to use your account to cover the cost of night guards, check your account details to be sure. Your account will have a list of eligible expenses that you are typically able to access online.
How to Use Your FSA or HSA
Once you’ve determined a dental mouth guard is an eligible expense under your FSA or HSA, using those funds to pay for it is pretty easy. In many cases, you’ll have a debit card that allows you to purchase eligible items. If this is the case, be sure to save any receipts or other expense documentation should your employer or insurance provider ask for them later. You might also need documentation from your dentist.
Some accounts don’t provide you with a debit card and instead require you to submit a claim to get reimbursed for your night guard. In this case, you’ll pay for the night guard out of pocket and then submit a claim with proof of the expense. You may be required to include a statement that shows the night guard was not covered by your insurance plan. Then, you’ll receive reimbursement out of your account for the night guard.
Because plans function differently and may require different documentation, talk to your employer if you’re not sure how your plan works. Always err on the side of over-documentation.
What is the Difference Between an FSA and an HSA?
Both accounts allow you to save your own money to later cover eligible medical and dental expenses. The most significant difference between an FSA and an HSA is who owns the account. With an HSA, you are the owner of the account and your contributions can roll over into the next year.
With an FSA, your employer owns the account and contributions typically do not roll over. This means you’ll want to be sure to use your balance before the year is over so you don’t lose it. If you’ve been hesitant to invest in a mouth guard and you have unused funds lying around in your FSA, a night guard for bruxism is an excellent investment to make.
Source: FSA vs. HSA