Dental and Vision Insurance Could Be The Key to Your Overall Health

Dental and Vision Insurance could be the key to your overall health plan at any age.  Regular dental and vision checkups can help with the early detection of serious conditions.   Good dental and vision care can also have an impact on your overall health throughout your life.  It’s important to have the best coverage to meet the needs of each stage of your life.   There are three general categories of dental care usually contained in most individual dental policies. Specific Dental plan formations vary by insurance carrier but in general, they include the Preventative, Basic and Major care. Check your plan closely for Exclusions because they vary greatly by company and their specific coverages. The following information does not constitute a guarantee that all these benefits will be included in your specific selected plan. Vision coverages are often added as an option to the base dental plans, however, there are some carriers which sell stand-alone vision plans.  Hearing coverage is  valuable to Seniors and can be added in some cases.  Check with your agent for hearing coverage availability.

Preventative CareDental staff cleaning patient teeth

Preventative care is the practice of caring for your teeth and keeping them healthy.  You can then prevent more serious and costly dental problems. It may also help you with early detection of other general health problems such as gum disease, heart disease, diabetes and many more serious illnesses. Most preventative dental services are covered immediately (No waiting Period for  some).  Again, please check your individual plan Benefit Summary because there could be some differences waiting periods, benefits or plan design.  However, benefits may generally include:

  1. Check-ups including X-rays- annually
  2. Cleanings-annually & number varies by plan
  3. Emergency palliative treatment
  4. Fluoride treatments and sealants

Basic and Diagnostic Care

A lead cavity filling on one molar in a set of false human teeth set in gums with on an isolated background

Basic and diagnostic services generally involve a waiting period before you can access these coverages.  Coverage levels may range from 50-65% which means you’d only be responsible for the difference.   Some plans have increasing levels for loyalty to the insurance carrier and will increase coverage levels incrementally for a certain number of years.  The waiting period and coverage levels vary by plan so review your coverage closely.  The standard is  a 3-6 month waiting period.   The services covered at this level again vary by plan but commonly include:

  1. Fillings
  2. Non-Surgical Extractions (usually limited to specific number)
  3. Diagnostic X-rays
  4. Diagnostic exams
  5. Emergency palliative treatment (short term measure for relieving pain without dealing with underlying problem)

Major ServicesHealth Tooth and Teeth with Golden Dental Crown

Most plans have a waiting period of 12 months for the coverage of Major Services but again whether or not there is a waiting period varies by plan and situation.  Some plans have increasing levels for loyalty to the insurance carrier and will increase coverage levels incrementally for a certain number of years. Check you plan closely.  Major services might include:

  1. Bridges, Crowns
  2. Root Canals
  3. Endodontic, Periodontic
  4. Full or Partial Dentures ( In some Plans)

In some plans, there may even be some minimal orthodontic coverage for children.  If you are interested in these plans ask your insurance agent about these individual plans.

Vision, Hearing and Misc Services

Eye Glasses

Finally, many of these plans may also allow you to add on Vision and Hearing Coverages.  Vision coverages most often cover examination, glasses or contact lenses at varying coverage levels.  They may even include discounts for lasic surgery.   Note that most of these plans include these coverage levels in the overall annual policy limit for both dental and vision.  For example, $1,000 annual policy limit for both dental and vision services together.  There are also plans which offer hearing coverage which might be useful specifically for Seniors.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuotno of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The above are just some general examples of the type of services, coverage levels and conditions of some individual dental policies.  Waiting periods are also varying by plan and some may waive waiting periods based on prior coverage or have none at all for increased premiums or further deductibles.   Make sure of the specifics or your chosen plan.    This is an important coverage for all.  Taking care of your teeth, eyes and hearing can improve the quality of your overall physical health.  Be sure to ask HF Insurance Professionals for the plan the fits your specific needs and goals.