Do I Need Dental and Vision Coverage?
Dental and vision coverage can be valuable additions to an individual or family health insurance policy. Whether you're buying insurance for yourself, yourself and a spouse or a family with children, dental and vision benefits will support your health physically and financially. Affordable access to dentists, opticians and ophthalmologists will not only reduce the costs of dental and vision care considerably; these benefits may improve your overall wellbeing.
The condition of your teeth, gums and eyes can say a lot about your general health. Keeping your teeth and gums clean and having them examined regularly can help you avoid tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Proper oral care has been linked to better cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive health. Comprehensive eye care may help you avoid serious visual disorders as you age and may help your health care providers detect signs of diabetes, glaucoma or other serious conditions which can increase the cost of coverage.
Standard Health Insurance Benefits
Most individual and family health insurance policies do not include dental or vision coverage. A comprehensive health insurance plan will cover benefits like doctor visits, outpatient procedures, diagnostic tests, inpatient treatment and hospitalization for medical conditions. While your policy will probably cover evaluation or treatment for a disease or disorder of the mouth, gums or eyes, standard health insurance does not cover routine dental exams or visits to an optician or or ophthalmologist to have your vision tested.
If you wear contact lenses or glasses, adding vision coverage to your health insurance policy is a wise investment. A vision plan can cover routine eye exams and vision tests, as well as the cost of new contact lenses or glasses. Because new contacts or glasses can cost hundreds of dollars, these benefits alone may make the cost of vision insurance worthwhile. While some health insurance policies will cover one eye exam per year, a medical policy will not cover the cost of corrective eye wear.
Your health insurance policy may cover treatment if you have signs of gum disease, but most insurance policies do not cover regular cleanings or preventive examinations by a dentist. Health insurance also will not cover dental treatments like fillings, extractions or root canals. If you have a history of frequent cavities or problems with your teeth, a comprehensive dental plan can protect you against painful complications and expensive procedures.
Adding Dental and Vision Plans
Most health insurance providers offer affordable dental and vision plans that will increase your monthly premium by a minimal amount. You may have the opportunity to choose from several types of dental or vision coverage that offer varying levels of service. You may be charged a co-payment for the specific services you receive as well as a premium and a deductible. Compare the costs and benefits of several plans to find coverage that fits your needs as well as your budget.
If you have growing children, having dental and vision insurance is especially important. Children need regular dental cleanings and exams to keep their teeth healthy and prevent complications from tooth decay and cavities. Young children and teens may have visual changes that need to be evaluated by a professional and corrected by glasses or contacts.
To protect your family's health and safety and give your kids the care they need for success, invest in competitively priced dental and vision coverage. Most providers will allow you to add dental or vision plans to your main policy at any time. Even if you've been covered by a health insurance plan for years, it's never too late to extend your benefits to protect your teeth, gums and eyes.
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