Why You Need Dental and Vision Coverage
Posted: April 08, 2021
Do you need supplemental insurance? The short answer is yes. Supplemental insurance is used to complement insurance plans that provide basic medical coverage. Supplemental coverage often refers to supplemental dental insurance and supplemental vision insurance. It can also cover expenses that your primary plan doesn’t cover, like coinsurance, copayments or deductibles.
If you have health insurance through your employer, you may think you don’t need to purchase supplemental insurance plans. Most people don’t realize their insurance is lacking until they receive a medical bill and find that a health care service isn’t covered.
Though many medical insurance plans leave much to be desired in the adequacy of their coverage, supplemental health plans like dental insurance and vision insurance can fill the gaps in your current coverage.
Importance of Dental Coverage
Why is having dental coverage important? Maybe you see dental insurance as just another bill to pay, but in truth, dental insurance is worth the small price because it can save you so much money in the long term.
The following are a few reasons why having dental coverage is so important:
1. You’re More Likely to Visit the Dentist When You’re Insured
When we’re worried about what the out-of-pocket expense will be for a visit to the dentist, we’re more likely to avoid going. By obtaining affordable dental insurance, you’ll be motivated to head to the dentist and take charge of your dental health.
You should see your dentist at least every six months. Though this doesn’t seem very frequent, there are several costs associated with dental care, such as:
These costs can add up quickly, even if you only need to receive dental services twice a year. Therefore, even when people are experiencing symptoms, they put off making a visit to the dentist. Delaying treatment can allow your dental issue to progressively worsen, creating an even more expensive problem for you later on.
Dental insurance helps cover cleanings and preventive care, so you can afford to visit the dentist. A dentist can spot minor problems before the onset of symptoms and take measures to relieve you of these dental issues in their early stages. If you’re already dealing with symptoms, you can make an appointment right away and receive treatment with the peace of mind of knowing the dental care service won’t break the bank.
Beyond preventive care, dental insurance can also cover expensive services like dental implants and fillings. These services tend to be costly, especially if you need repeated treatment.
Even a dental plan that covers only a portion of your expenses will motivate you to make your regular dental appointments, which means you’ll be taking care of your dental health, and you’ll be able to prevent small dental problems from becoming bigger ones.
2. You Can Get Dental Treatment in an Emergency
You can find yourself dealing with a dental emergency at any time. You might lose a tooth while playing a sport or chip a tooth when you eat hard food, all of which makes it crucial to be able to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
When you have dental coverage, you’ll be able to remain calm in an emergency, knowing you won’t have to worry about the financial fallout of addressing the problem. With dental insurance, you’ll receive emergency dental treatment at a more affordable rate than if you had to pay for all the costs yourself. You won’t have to delay treatment until you can afford it; instead, you can get the treatment when you need it.
3. Your Dental Health and General Health Are Linked
When you receive dental services, your dentist can learn about more than just your dental health. An examination of your mouth can also tell your dentist something about your general health and wellbeing.
Symptoms like dry mouth, loose teeth and dry gyms may indicate diabetes. Symptoms like receding gums coupled with loose teeth may indicate the presence of osteoporosis. If left untreated, dental problems can even lead to heart problems. Gum disease, for example, is a serious dental problem that can lead to adverse effects on your health.
Since dental insurance enables you to visit your dentist regularly, you can discuss these symptoms with your dentist when they arise, and you can seek a diagnosis and treatment for these health problems right away.
Dental insurance is an important part of health care coverage that you won’t want to go without.
Importance of Vision Coverage
Because of the costs of maintaining our health, many Americans skip receiving the care they need for their vision, including making regular appointments with an eye doctor and purchasing corrective lenses. Without vision insurance, we become even less likely to take care of our vision. Like dental insurance, purchasing vision insurance is a small price to pay for a healthier, happier life.
The following are a few reasons why having vision coverage is so important:
1. You Can Maintain the Health of Your Vision With Insurance
Like dental insurance, vision insurance can motivate you to take control of the health of your vision and seek preventive care. Preventive care includes eye exams, which are mostly, if not entirely, covered under the typical vision insurance plan.
Four out of five people need lens correction in the U.S. By visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis for eye exams, you’ll find out if your vision needs correction, if there have been any changes inside your eyes or if you have any early signs of eye diseases, such as:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
When you visit your eye doctor regularly, they can detect these diseases in their earliest stages, allowing you to seek treatment before the disease can progress and worsen.
Vision coverage is especially important for children, as eye exams early in life can detect problems that can be corrected before the problem worsens or becomes unable to be corrected. Problems with vision can interfere with a child’s daily life and academic performance, so regular eye exams are crucial for a child’s overall health and wellbeing.
2. The Health of Your Vision and Your Overall Health Are Linked
Similar to your dental health, the health of your vision can be linked to your overall health and wellbeing. While performing an eye exam, an eye doctor may be able to detect serious health issues. These health issues include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Some cancers
- Thyroid issues
When these medical problems are caught early on, you may be able to reduce the time and costs associated with treatment and avoid allowing the problem to worsen.
3. You Can Save Money With Insurance
Having vision insurance can save you money in the long term. What vision care do you anticipate needing over the next year? Do you need coverage for regular eye exams or corrective lenses? Do you want to have LASIK surgery? Do you have dependents who need vision coverage?
When choosing your plan, keep in mind the services you need. Do you want a basic plan that covers only eye exams and offers discounts on prescription glasses? Or do you want a comprehensive plan that covers all of the basic necessities, along with extra pairs of glasses and discounts toward LASIK surgery?
If you have dependents, vision insurance can really save you money, especially if you need to schedule eye exams and purchase corrective lenses for multiple people.
If you want to maintain your vision health and your overall health without breaking the bank, then you won’t want to go without vision insurance.
Do I Need Dental and Vision Coverage?
Dental insurance and vision insurance are supplemental plans and aren’t included in other insurance plans. This often means you have to opt in to a supplemental plan offered at your workplace or purchase a plan on your own.
By purchasing dental coverage and vision coverage, you are ensuring that you and your dependents are protected and healthy.
Do I Need Dental Insurance?
Yes, you should have dental insurance to ensure you are protected financially in the event of a dental emergency. Dental insurance will also cover your preventive care, such as biannual cleanings, and save you money in the long run.
By keeping up with regular dental appointments, you may also find out about other health problems before they progress or worsen. This will allow you to save money as well, as you can begin treating your health issue before it becomes a bigger, more difficult problem.
In California, you can choose from two basic dental coverage plans:
- DMO: This stands for Dental Maintenance Organization plan and works similarly to an HMO. You’ll receive services mostly from your primary dentist, and they will refer you to specialists as necessary.
- PPO: This stands for Preferred Provider Organization plan. With a PPO, you can choose the dentist you want, and your coverage will follow them.
What services are covered in a dental plan? The services covered depends on what type of plan you get. Basic care is covered by most dental insurance plans, while advanced care is covered by fewer dental insurance plans.
The following are examples of covered care that are typically included in dental plans:
- Preventive care: Preventive care refers to dental exams and cleanings, which are typically biannual and covered entirely by most dental plans.
- Restorative care: Restorative care refers to minor procedures for treating decayed or damaged teeth. A filling, for example, falls under restorative care.
The following are examples of care that are less commonly covered:
- Orthodontics: Orthodontics refers to braces and retainers, including the processes of installing, maintaining and removing them.
- Endodontics: Endodontics refers to procedures for more advanced decay or damage, such as root canals.
- Periodontics: Periodontics refers to treating lesions, infections and gum disease.
- Oral surgery: Gum tissue biopsies, drainage of infections and teeth removal are all common types of oral surgeries.
- Prosthodontics: Prosthodontics refers to fitting and installing dentures and bridges. A more advanced insurance plan may help alleviate the costs of these expensive procedures.
A basic health insurance plan also typically covers dental care for dependents until they turn 18. If you don’t have health insurance, however, you’ll want to purchase dental insurance to ensure your children are covered as well.
Do I Need Vision Insurance?
Yes, you should have vision insurance to ensure you maintain the health and wellness of your vision. Vision insurance is for more than eyeglass wearers — everyone should be scheduling regular eye exams to ensure all is well with their vision and overall health.
Though you’ll have to pay a premium each month for vision insurance, the amount of money this insurance will save you in the long term makes purchasing a policy well worth it. With VSP Vision Care, for example, the estimated cost of an eye exam without insurance is more than $160, while the cost with the $120 VSP Plan is only $15.
What services are covered in a vision insurance policy? Examples of some of the most commonly covered services in vision insurance policies include:
- Eye exams: Yearly eye exams are covered by many vision insurance plans. During an eye exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests to measure your eye health. Eye exams are key to identifying a need for glasses, the presence of eye disease or the development of any vision problems.
- Corrective lenses: Glasses and contacts can be expensive, especially without insurance. Many vision insurance policies will at least partially cover the cost of corrective lenses.
- Surgery: Health insurance plans generally cover treating an eye disease or infection, but corrective surgeries are generally considered cosmetic surgeries, and therefore, are not covered by most medical insurance plans. Vision insurance plans can address this gap in coverage and help cover these surgeries, such as LASIK.
- Lens enhancements: Your vision insurance plan may also help cover the cost of a lens enhancement or coating. Coatings can be applied to lenses to decrease scratching, reflections or exposure to UV rays.
Vision insurance will help you maintain eye wellness, save you money and aid in maintaining your overall health.
Where Can I Get Dental and Vision Coverage?
Health plans through Covered California Health Exchange include dental benefits for dependents up to the age of 18. For adults, dental plans can be purchased as a stand-alone policy or as a supplement to an existing medical insurance plan. Stand-alone vision insurance policies cannot be purchased for children only, but family vision plans can include children.
At Health for California, we can help you find the right supplemental insurance for your needs. Get a quote for dental and vision coverage from us at Health for California.