Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score

Free

Health insurance for orthodontics and braces

Get some money back for your orthodontic treatment

Updated

Fact checked

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .

Creating that perfect smile is a great investment, but wouldn't it be nice if you had a little help? Luckily, many health insurers will cover braces, aligners, retainers and other orthodontic treatments.

With the right policy, you can get up to $3,000 to help with the costs. A new policy will come with a 12-month waiting period, so you better get searching if orthodontics are on your horizon.

Compare health insurance for orthodontics and braces

Below you'll find a few options from Finder partners who offer orthodontic treatment as part of extras cover. All include a 12 month waiting period and all prices are based on a single living in Sydney.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Teeth Alignment Braces Annual Limit Price Per Month Hide CompareBox
Medibank Growing Family Extras Only 60
$100
$48.90
health.com.au Extras 50
$500
$50.68
ahm lifestyle Extras
$600
$52.05
Qantas Family Extras
$600
$54.29
HCF Vital Extras
$700
$57.70
AAMI Everyday Active Extras
$500
$62.64
Suncorp Mid Extras
$500
$64.26
Peoplecare High Extras
$800
$88.10
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

*Quotes are based on single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.

Compare more options for orthodontics health cover

Just make sure to select comprehensive dental cover when asked 'what's most important to you?' below.

Guide to Orthodontics

What type of health insurance do I need to claim for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics isn’t usually covered under your health care insurance, so it's vital you understand what extra policy options you will need to take out.

Orthodontic insurance may be included in your dental insurance, but it’s usually an add-on cost.

There are two types of dental insurance cover:

  • General dental. This includes cleaning, plaque removal, X-rays and small fillings.
  • Major dental. This covers orthodontic treatment and procedures, wisdom teeth extraction, crowns, bridges and dentures.

Does dental insurance cover braces?

How much do braces cost in Australia?

The fee you will have to pay for braces varies greatly depending on the type of braces you require and the scope of the dental issues they are used to correct. However, as a general rule you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 up to around $9,000 for braces in Australia.

How does health insurance cover braces?

If you want health insurance cover for the cost of braces, you’ll typically need a high-level extras policy that includes cover for orthodontic treatment. The exact level of cover provided varies depending on the health fund and policy you choose, as annual limits and also lifetime limits apply to the cover available.

How much does Invisalign cost in Australia?

Invisalign is a hygienic and almost invisible way to straighten teeth. However, it tends to be more expensive than conventional braces. While costs vary depending on the complexity of your dental problems and your orthodontist’s consultation fees, the price generally ranges from $6,000 up to $9,000.

How does health insurance cover Invisalign?

If you have an extras cover private health insurance policy that includes orthodontics, your Invisalign treatment may be covered to the same level as traditional braces. However, it’s best to confirm the extent of cover available with your fund and check any annual or lifetime limits that may apply.

What should I do if I need to claim orthodontic treatment?

Before you can start reaping the benefits from your orthodontic insurance, you’ll need to make a claim. To do this you’ll need to ask your specialist for a “treatment plan”. This will determine how long the procedure could take and how you intend to pay for the cost of the treatment.

Once you have this information you can send it to your fund to see what benefits, if any, you’re eligible for. There are two options to start claiming benefits through your health fund. You can either pay by instalments or up-front.

  • Paying by instalments. Here your dentist or orthodontist can process your claim on the spot by swiping your HICAPS (Australia's leading health claims and payments service) card.
  • Paying up-front. If you choose to do this, you’ll need to provide your fund with a tax invoice to claim benefits for the procedure.

Teeth

What types of treatments are performed by orthodontists?

An orthodontist offers a range of procedures inside the mouth to help straighten your teeth or jaw. Problems are often found in young patients under the age of 10 but issues can also appear much later in life.

These procedures can include the following:

  • Treatment assessment. Here your orthodontist or specialist will talk about what treatment is needed before making arrangements to begin.
  • Extractions and teeth removal. This is a preliminary procedure where your orthodontist will remove teeth to gain sufficient space to align remaining teeth.
  • Braces. This is the most efficient and accurate way of moving teeth and includes bands, brackets and wires, which are usually made of stainless steel.
  • Rubber bands and headgear. This accompanies your braces and gives important extra forces for the correction of the bite.
  • Length of treatment. Usually takes 18–24 months. Some cases may be finished earlier and others may take longer.
  • Check-ups. This is an ongoing cost and will see your specialist regularly inspecting how the treatment is going and whether it has worked.
  • Retainers. This is when your braces are removed and retainers are fitted to hold your teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth.

Why is orthodontic treatment expensive?

Orthodontic treatment can impose a major financial burden, because problems and procedures can be extremely complex. They also require expensive equipment to get the job done, like the cost of having an X-ray and imaging equipment, along with regular check-ups and orthodontic adjustments.

What information do I need to ask my dentist or orthodontist for?

You should ask your dentist or orthodontist the following questions before you begin treatment to straighten your teeth or align your jaw. Here are some questions to think about.

  • What is the total cost of your treatment? You must be aware of the full cost and how you will pay for it.
  • Is there a timeframe for your active treatment procedure? This is when your teeth are still being moved as opposed to them being retained (kept in place).
  • What item numbers will apply? This will give some insight into the cost and what procedures will take place. It will also include your dentist or orthodontist’s provider number.

How do limits and waiting periods apply to my policy?

Benefits differ between private health funds. Before they start you will in most cases have to serve a 12-month waiting period before you see any financial benefits returned. There are a number of private funds that will maximise your benefits the longer you are with them. This gives you an incentive to stay with that fund.

Here’s an example of an accrued benefit based on a policy with a starting limit of $500, which then increases by $200 every year after you have served the initial 12-month waiting period.

  • 1st year – $500
  • 2nd year – $700
  • 3rd year – $900
  • 4th year – $1,100

Under this arrangement, your annual benefit will continue to increase until you reach the maximum benefit, or what is known as a “Lifetime Limit”. It is important to note that not all health funds have accrued benefits. Instead, some pay a fixed benefit each year.

What if my orthodontic treatment is provided by a general dentist?

Normally your fund will give the same amount of benefit back whether you see an orthodontic specialist or a general dentist. However, in some cases your fund may pay a lower benefit if you see a dentist, so it’s important you speak to your fund about this.

Can I claim orthodontic treatment on my tax?

You can claim orthodontic dental work on your tax return but you must prove that it is more than just "cosmetic".

For example, if you have your teeth extracted and braces put on to help with crowded teeth, or your jaw aligned to help you chew or swallow properly, you can claim this on your tax return. You won’t qualify if you have your teeth whitened because of smoking stains.

The Australian Taxation Office lumps dental expenses together with other medical expenses, so you can’t claim back every dollar you spend, but there are certain rebates to be mindful of.

If you have more than $2,060 in total medical expenses (your total medical expenses minus Medicare and private health rebates) within one tax year, you can claim 20% of the amount above the total as a deductible expense.

Learn more about how private health insurance is taxed

What happens to loyalty limits when I change health funds?

If you change health funds, your accrued benefits may not be carried over unless your fund agrees, but this is rare. In most cases, your benefit is not transferable and it could be lost if you switch funds. This could see you forced to start at the base benefit with your newly chosen health fund.

Other health funds that cover orthodontics

Health fundWhich policies include cover for orthodontics and what are the benefit limits*?Find out more
AHM health insurance logo

AHM

  • Super Extras. Annual limit of $900 with a lifetime limit of $2,900.
  • Family Extras. Annual limit of $700 with a lifetime limit of $2,200.
  • Lifestyle Extras. Annual limit of $600 for singles with no lifetime limit. No annual limit is applied to families; instead they have a lifetime limit of $1,800.
More info
Australian Unity Health Insurance Logo

Australian Unity

  • Advanced 80% Extras. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2400
  • Classic Extras. Annual limit $600 with a lifetime maximum of $2400
  • Comprehensive Extras. Up to 100% back with a lifetime maximum of $2400
More info

Bupa Health Insurance logo

Bupa

  • Top Extras 90. Annual limit of $900 with a lifetime limit of $2800.
  • Top Extras 75. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2600.
  • Top Extras 60. Annual limit of $700 with a lifetime limit of $2000.
  • Your Choice Extras 60. Annual limit starts at $450 for first two years and increases each year after, capping at $900. Lifetime limit of $1300.
More info
cua health insurance logo

CUA

  • Total Extras. Annual limit of $900 with a lifetime limit of $2500.
  • 75% Extras. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2000.
  • Classic Extras. Annual limit of $500 with a lifetime limit of $1500.
More info
GMHBA health fund logo

GMHBA

  • Top Extras 75% & Top Extras Set Benefits. Annual limit starts at $700 and caps at $1,000. Lifetime limit is $3,200.
  • Mid Extras 65% & MID EXTRAS Set Benefits. Annual limit starts at $400 and caps at $700. Lifetime limit is $2400.
More info
Frank health insurance logo

Frank Health Insurance

  • More Extras. Annual limit of 600 with a lifetime limit of $1800.
  • Lots extras (80% & 50% back) Annual limit starts at $700 and caps at $900 after 5 years. A lifetime limit of $2,900 applies for orthodontic services if more than one course of treatment is needed.
More info
HBF Health Insurance

HBF

  • Top 70. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2400.
  • Complete 60. Annual limit of $600 with a lifetime limit of $1800.
More info
HCF health insurance

HCF

  • HCF TOP EXTRAS. HCF Top Extras. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2400.
  • HCF VITAL EXTRAS. Annual limit of $700 with a lifetime limit of $2100.
More info
health.com.au health insurance logo

Health.com.au

  • Active 60. Annual limit of $600 with a lifetime limit of $1800.
  • Extras 50%. Annual limit of $500 with a lifetime limit of $1000.
More info
health care insurance logo

Healthcare

  • Premier Extras. Annual limit of $900 with a lifetime limit of $2,700.
  • Healthy Extras. Annual limit of $600 with a lifetime limit of $1800.
More info
health partners insurance logo

Health Partners

  • Freedom Max Extras. Annual limit starts at $900 and caps at $2000 after 4 years. Maximum yearly amount, less previous amounts claimed. Lifetime limit is $2,000.
More info
HIF Health Insurance logo

HIF

The orthodontic benefit limit in HIF policies is a lifetime limit that forms part of the overall annual limit. The limit also increases annually and caps after 5 years.
  • Premium Options. Annual limit starts at $1,500 and caps at $3,000.
  • Super Options. Annual limit starts at $1,300 and caps at $2,500.
  • Special Options. Annual limit starts at $1,000 and caps at $2,000.
More info
Hunter Health Logo

Hunter

  • Elite Extras. Annual limit of $600 with a lifetime limit of $2500
  • Optimum Extras. Annual limit of $400 with a lifetime limit of $1800.
  • Classic / Healthy Extras. Annual limit of $200 with $2400 lifetime limit.
More info
latrobe health insurance logo

Latrobe

  • Premier Extras. Annual limit of $900 after 2 years which increases each rolling year until it caps at $3,000 after 10 years.
  • Premier Singles and Couples. Annual limit of $750 with a lifetime limit of $2,400.
  • Premier Families Extras. Annual limit of $750 with a lifetime limit of $2400.
  • Core Extras. Annual limit of $900 after 2 years which increases each following year until it caps at $1800 after 10 years.
More info
medibank health insurance logo

Medibank

  • Top Extras. Annual limit of $400 with a lifetime limit up to $1,200.
  • Growing Family Extras. Annual limit of $100 with a lifetime limit up to $1,200.
More info
mildura health fund logo

Mildura Health Fund

  • Five Star Extras. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2400.
More info
onemedifund health insurance logo

onemedifund

  • Comprehensive Extras. Lifetime limit of $2100.
More info
nib health insurance logo

nib

  • Top Extras. The annual limit starts at $800 and increases by $100 per person per calendar year. Lifetime limit of $2600.
More info
Peoplecare health insurance logo

Peoplecare

  • Premium Extras. Annual limit of $1,000 with a lifetime limit of $3,000.
  • High Extras. Annual limit of $800 with a lifetime limit of $2,400.
More info
Queensland country health fund logo

Queensland Country Health Fund

  • Premium Extras. Annual limit of $1,000 which increases each year until it caps at $3,000 after three years of holding cover. Lifetime limit is $3,000.
  • Essential Extras. Annual limit of $500 which increases each year until it caps at $1,500 after three years of holding cover. Lifetime limit is $1,500.
More info
St. Lukes Health insurance Logo

stlukeshealth

  • Super Extras. Annual sub-limit of $1,000 which is deducted from an overall dental benefit limit of $1,500. Overall lifetime limit is $2,800.
More info
Transport Health Logo logo

Transport Health

  • Top Extras. Annual limit of $500 which increases to a maximum of $1,000 after five years. Lifetime limit is $2,500.
More info
westfund health insurance logo

Westfund health insurance

  • Ultimate Extras. Limit builds up to $650 per member per policy year, to use on orthodontics with a maximum accrued lifetime benefit of $3250.
  • Advantage Pro Extras. Limit builds up to $500 per member per policy year, to use on orthodontics with a maximum accrued lifetime benefit of $2500.
More info
CBHS Health Fund Logo

CBHS Health Fund

Restricted fund**

  • Top Extras. Lifetime limit of $2,800.
  • Intermediate Extras. Annual limit of $700 with a lifetime limit of $1400.
More info
defence health logo

Defence Health

Restricted fund**

  • Premier Extras. Annual limit of $1,000 with no lifetime limit.
  • Value Extras. Annual limit of $800 with no lifetime limit.
More info
navy health insurance logo

Navy Health

Restricted fund**

  • Premium Extras. Annual limit of $2,500.
  • Healthy Living Extras. Annual limit of $2,000.
More info
doctors health fund logo

Doctors Health Fund

Restricted fund**

  • Total Extras. Annual limit of $600 with a lifetime limit of $3,000.
  • Essential Extras. Annual sub-limit of $250 which is deducted from an overall dental benefit limit of $800. Lifetime limit is $1,250.
More info
police health insurance logo

Police Health

Restricted fund**

  • Rolling Extras. Annual limit of $1500 with lifetime limit of $3,000.
More info
rt health insurance logo

rt health

Restricted fund**

  • Premium Extras Cover. Annual limit of $1,000 with a lifetime limit of $3,000.
More info
rbhs health insurance logo

rbhs

Restricted fund**

  • Extras Cover. Annual limit of $890 which increases every year until it caps at the lifetime limit of $4,450 after 5 years.
More info
tuh health insurance logo

TUH

Restricted fund**

  • Comprehensive Extras. Annual limit of $1,000 with a lifetime limit of $2,800.
  • Healthy Options Extras. Annual limit of $700 with a lifetime limit of $2,100.
  • Mid Range Extras. Annual limit of $550 with a lifetime limit of $1,650.
  • Family Extras. Annual limit of $850 with a lifetime limit of $2550.
  • Everyday Extras. Annual limit of $700 with a lifetime limit of $2100.00
More info

*Unless otherwise stated, all benefit limits are per person.
**Restricted funds only provide cover to members of specific industries, groups and organisations. In some cases family members may also be eligible to join.

Picture: Shutterstock

More guides on Finder

You might like these...

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    TheaJanuary 1, 2018

    Health insurance policy with maximum orthodontic cover

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Thea,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      As we can’t recommend a specific insurance company to our users, you’d be best to compare your options by filling out the form above with your details then click on ‘Search Policies’. The maximum Orthodontic treatment and insurance benefits offered by private health insurers differ from one another depending on the level of cover you get. Typically, if you stay longer with your insurer, they will also maximise the benefits for you.

      Cheers,
      May

Go to site