Medicaid may cover braces if they are deemed medically necessary and if the recipient already receives Medicare or qualifies for it and enrolls before getting braces. Examples of cases in which braces may be medically necessary include when teeth cause problems with talking, eating and/or swallowing.
Medicare programs and criteria for braces vary from state to state, as do lifetime maximums and percentage of coverage. People should check with their state for specific details. Other ways to get coverage or funding for braces include a program called Smiles Change Lives, dental or orthodontic schools and community-based organizations. Many orthodontists also allow patients to pay in installments.