Health insurance often neglects oral and eye health. After all, people need mouths to eat, drink and talk. Their eyes do almost everything else.
This article explains:
- Why are dental and vision coverage essential for health?
- Dentist plans
- Planned vision
- Vision/dental insurance
The Importance of Vision and Dental Insurance
Oral and eye health are vital. An eye exam can detect diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension early. 1 Oral exams can also reveal: Over 90% of common diseases have oral symptoms. 2 Oral health matters beyond detection: Guardian and other studies show that good oral health can help adults avoid or manage serious health issues.
Diabetes. Periodontal infections compromise diabetics’ glycemic control.
Heart disease. Periodontal inflammation can cause coronary artery disease. Oral health reduces risk.
Pregnancy. Mothers with high levels of oral bacteria had children with high grades and a higher risk of tooth decay.
Self-esteem. Studies show that healthy teeth and gums boost self-esteem.
It’s expected. When your eyesight is terrible, your mouth hurts, or you’re worried about your teeth, it’s hard to be healthy and happy.
Dental Insurance Basics
Basic and complete dental plans are standard. A basic dental plan typically includes checkups, cleanings, x-rays, and cavity fillings.
Full-coverage plans cover more and cost less. They may cover fluoride treatments, sealants, and other preventive procedures in full or with a small copay. Guardian’s complete coverage plans also cover different methods:
Recovery: fillings, extractions, and non-routine X-rays
Bridges, crowns, dentures, etc.
Braces: aligners and braces
Most Programs have Provider Networks
HMOs and PPOs are dental provider networks. (Indemnity plans reimburse a portion of your dental expenses without a network.) DHMOs require you to see an in-network dentist, so you may need help to see your current dentist. The trade-off is lower costs and a more straightforward fee structure.
DPPOs allow you to see dentists outside their network. Your dentist may be “in-network” if you choose a large insurer with a comprehensive provider network. Because the insurance company negotiates discounted fees, seeing a DPPO dentist in-network is usually worth it. Even if you still need to meet your deductible, your in-network dentist may charge you $60 to $70 for a filling instead of $100.
Even full coverage only covers some things
Your out-of-pocket dental treatment cost depends on your insurance company and plan. A plan should clearly state the following:
- Premiums. Monthly plan cost. The FAQ has a dental premium cost chart.
- Deductible. The amount you must pay before the plan covers treatments. DHMO plans rarely have deductibles, but DPPO plans do.
- Coinsurance. After meeting your deductible, your share of a visit or treatment DHMOs have no deductible and charge a flat fee or copay for services.
- Maximum. Your annual plan payment If you go in-network, you can still get the plan’s discounted rates for treatments over that amount.
Check the Details because Every Plan is Different
To understand the plan’s costs, you should also look at the following:
Treatments and services The longer the list, the better.
- Waiting. Crowns usually require a 12-month wait before coverage.
- Essential dentist. DHMOs and some DPPOs need this. Your dentist must refer you to a specialist.
- Guardian Direct displays all that information. New York family: Guardian Dental Advantage Gold Pro Plan.
Vision Insurance Basics
Vision insurance differs from dental insurance. Vision plans, like dental plans, offer discounts on eyeglasses and contacts and cover routine exams not protected by most medical procedures. Your major medical plan usually only covers serious treatments like non-elective eye surgery. Vision insurance is inexpensive (the FAQ shows a typical range of vision plan premiums).
Vision Plans: Why?
Regardless of your vision, preventive eye care is essential.83% of Americans use digital devices for more than 2 hours per day, and 60% report digital eye strain. Poor eyesight can misdiagnose learning and psychiatric disorders in children, causing behavioral issues.
75% of us need vision correction, so you probably will even if you have 20/20 vision now. Adults and children should have annual eye exams to check for sharpness, color blindness, glaucoma, eye coordination, peripheral vision, and more. The exam can detect diabetes, glaucoma, and eye disease early.
A vision plan can make annual eye exams and other eye care cheaper for just a few monthly dollars.
Eyewear. Vision insurance usually covers at least part of the cost of glasses and contact lenses. Prescription sunglasses are sometimes hidden.
Lens coatings. Some vision insurance plans cover lens coatings that reduce scratching, fog, moisture, reflections, and UV exposure.
Corrective surgery. A health insurance plan may cover medically necessary eye surgery. However, health insurance does not cover elective or “cosmetic” surgery like LASIK. Some vision plans partially cover these procedures.
Sources of Vision and Dental Insurance
Work-related dental and vision benefits are usually the best. The employer or employee may pay the premium. Companies get lower group rates, so you may pay less than if you bought the same insurance as an individual.
If not, buy from a dental plan insurance carrier. Guardian offers affordable vision and dental DHMO/DPPO plans with an extensive provider network. Guardian offers industry-leading savings and a strong network.
- The Guardian DPPO network has over 114,000 dentists.
- In-network dentists can save you up to 35% on dental fees.
- Guardian offers VSP and Davis Vision.
Choose an insurance company with multiple plan options. Compare plans, keeping in mind that the project with the lowest premium may not be the best value for your family.
Lastly, Medicare Advantage plans give seniors benefits for their eyes and teeth that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Dental and Vision Insurance FAQs
Vision and Dental Insurance for Kids?
Your medical plan covers pediatric vision and dental care because the Affordable Care Act requires it. However, ACA pediatric vision coverage typically excludes corrective lenses and frames, and dental coverage is limited. That’s why many young parents value dental and vision coverage.
Senior Medicare Vision and Dental Insurance
Medicare Parts A and B do not cover vision or dental. Many Medicare Advantage plans, but not Guardian, offer them. Guardian sells affordable senior vision and dental insurance.
Dental and Vision Insurance: Where?
Individuals can buy employer-provided dental and vision plans. Start at Guardian Direct.
Do Vision Plans Cover Corrective Surgery?
These procedures are discounted or partially covered by some vision insurance companies.