Many employees get health insurance coverage through an employer, including dental and vision care. But not all workers qualify for these plans. This usually includes employees who are age 26 and no longer covered under their parents’ plans, part-time workers, contract employees or retirees. If you fit in any of these groups, you may decide to get individual medical coverage for unexpected health problems. But you may wonder, are individual dental and vision insurance benefits worth the cost? Here are five things to consider.
1. Protects wellnessHealth insurance plans typically cover only dental and vision costs associated with accidents and diseases. Often the member has to meet an annual medical deductible before the health plan covers these expenses. That’s why individual, stand-alone dental and vision insurance coverage is essential. Here’s what you should know:
- Dental – Take a quick assessment of your oral health. If your teeth and gums are healthy, a basic plan could be the best option. If you have several crowns and/or gum problems, a plan with more coverage is a better choice. An individual dental plan can provide the level of care you need. Most plans cover the cost of one or two checkups and cleanings a year. Having this coverage could save you a lot of money on tooth and gum repair. Learn more tips on purchasing individual dental insurance.
- Vision – You may think your eyes are healthy and that vision insurance isn’t necessary. However, in addition to checking your eyesight, regular eye exams can reveal signs of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, glaucoma and macular degeneration. So if your eyes develop optic problems or you need prescription eyewear, you’ll want vision coverage to help cover the costs. Learn why vision care is so important, especially if you are stressed out.
2. Day-one accessMany employer-sponsored dental plans have a waiting periodon major procedures before you can use them (vision usually does not). But with Ameritas individual dental and vision plans, members have day-one benefits. That means you can visit the dentist (or your eye doctor) the same day you sign up and pay for coverage.
3. Take it with youAnother benefit of individual dental or vision insurance is that it’s portable. This means you always have coverage wherever you work or travel.
4. Save moneyThe cost of individual dental or vision insurance is relatively small, and it provides benefits for the annual exams and preventive visits that help keep you healthy. Often, dental and vision problems develop when least expected. However, if you have dental and vision insurance when procedures are needed, you won’t have to put them off until you can afford them. And you won’t have to dip into savings (or use a credit card) to pay the full cost of the bill. An individual dental or vision plan covers most, if not all, of an annual preventive exam. Here’s how most plans work:
- Dental – During a dental exam, you’ll receive a professional teeth cleaning. The dentist also will look closely at your teeth and gums for signs of cavities, oral problems or symptoms of medical conditions. Dental benefits can help pay for fillings, root canals and crowns. Some plans also include a child orthodontia benefit for straightening teeth.
- Vision – As part of your eye exam, the doctor will test your eyes and look for signs of vision correction needs and changes in your eye health. Eyesight changes could indicate signs of medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
5. Peace of mindIndividual dental and vision insurance offers you the security of knowing that your smile and eyesight are protected. You can be confident that the plan will help you take care of your dental and vision health by providing benefits toward the professional care you need. With individual, stand-alone dental and vision insurance, you can see the doctor regularly and enjoy the long-term benefits of healthy teeth and eyes. Reviewing dental and vision insurance plans can be confusing. Learn four tips for purchasing individual dental insurance. And find out more about the value of investing in vision coverage.
Choose from dental and vision insurance plans with provider network savings and day-one benefits on most plans.
Not sure how much dental coverage you need? Find out the average cost of a dental procedure in your area with our dental cost estimator.