Navigating the complexities of insurance billing for clear aligner treatments can be as intricate as the treatment itself.
This article is a comprehensive guide to help you understand the nuances of orthodontic insurance claims, ensuring you can secure the proper coverage for your patient’s orthodontic care. This includes:
- The lifecycle of ortho claims
- Considerations for lifetime eligibility
- Variations in coverage by major carriers
- Specifics on claim filing to avoid processing delays.
Our hope is that this will empower your practice with the knowledge needed to navigate the intricacies of insurance billing for orthodontic care, maximizing the benefits for your patients while maintaining efficient operations.
Insurance Billing Nuances
Keep the following factors in mind when billing clear aligner treatment to your patient’s insurance.
- Ortho claims are determined and paid over the course of treatment. If eligibility is terminated during the course of treatment, ortho payments stop!
- Ortho is considered a separate benefit and has a once per lifetime eligibility.
- Most carriers pay a percentage of the total fee up to the ortho lifetime max.
- Many carriers are providing adult ortho coverage. Some may or may not have age limits,
- I.e., 19, 26, or no limit.
- Carriers will pay a portion of the submitted charges upfront, and the remainder is paid either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
- Most major carriers require only an initial claim and will pay automatically based on a schedule. ݴ Some carriers will require continuous claim filing by the provider (i.e. monthly/quarterly).
Claim Filing Information
When filing a claim, be sure to include the information below to avoid delays in claim processing.
- Description of the malocclusion Class I, II, III
- Procedure date (actual date of aligner delivery must match the date in box 41)
- Total treatment fee
- Down payment
- Monthly payment
- Estimated total months of treatment
- Clear aligner upgrade charge
Example of an Ortho Coverage Max
The ortho max is $1500, ortho benefit is 50%
Insurance will pay 50% of UCR (usual, customary, and reasonable charge) or contracted rate (depending on out of network/ in network status) up to the lifetime max of $1500.
Orthodontic Billing Codes
Orthodontic Exam & Evaluation (Separate from D0150 or D0120)
|D0350||2D Oral/ Facial Photo Images|
Panoramic Image (Once Every 2-5 Years, Depending on Plan)
|D0470||Diagnostic Casts / Study Models (Scans Count)|
|D8090||Comprehensive Tx of The Adult Dentition|
Limited Orthodontic treatment: adult dentition (use for single arch cases)
Periodic orthodontic treatment visit (Code for monthly/quarterly billing)
Miscellaneous code - Clear Aligners (Allowable upcharge from your contracted rate on some plans)
Limited occlusal adjustment (occ. equilibration, Incisal edge reshaping) Most major carriers could cover up to 50-80% (plans may vary). Bill separately once the occlusal adjustment is done.
We recommend adding the following questions to your insurance verification process/form.
- Ortho lifetime max
- Coverage percentage
- Age limitations
- If records codes are covered and considered part of the preventative, basic or orthodontic benefit
- Claim submission frequency (i.e. monthly, quarterly, etc)
- Percentage paid at placement