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Worth of Mouth - The latest on business, wellness and more

Word of Mouth

The latest on business, wellness and more 

Does health insurance include dental and vision?

Great employers know that providing a safety net for medical spending is a critical part of any employee benefits package. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of confusion about exactly what’s included in employer-sponsored health care plans.

Often, employees assume that most basic health insurance plans cover dental and vision care. However, while dental and vision care both play a crucial role in maintaining overall health, that’s not always the case.

In this guide, we’ll break down all the essential details to answer one of the most common questions from employers and their employees: Does health insurance cover dental and vision care?

Employer-sponsored health care 101

You already know that your people are your greatest asset, and taking care of their needs is your top priority. That’s where employer-sponsored health care comes in.

The primary purpose of employer-sponsored health care is to ensure staff can access the services they need without shouldering the full financial burden. This is a win for both parties, as research has shown again and again that offering comprehensive health care as part of employee benefit packages can:

  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Boost retention
  • Increase employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Help with recruitment

But with so many types of employer-sponsored packages out there, knowing what’s covered and what’s not can be confusing. You probably already know that general medical coverage is included, but is dental insurance included in health insurance? And what about vision care?

Typically, these are not included in standard health care plans unless specifically stated. So why are these two critical health care services excluded? Because neither falls under the three key components of a standard health insurance plan:

  1. Medical coverage (doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, etc.)
  2. Prescription drugs
  3. Preventive care (check-ups, vaccinations, screenings, etc.)

Is dental included in health insurance?

The short answer? It depends.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) classifies dental coverage as an essential health benefit for anyone under 18, but not an essential health benefit for adults. Therefore, employer-sponsored health plans don’t have to offer adult dental coverage. Even though dental coverage for children under 18 must be available, there’s no federal requirement for employers to buy it.

Another essential factor is the specific treatment in question. Dental health is often inseparable from overall well-being. For example, aside from causing common oral issues like cavities and gum disease, neglecting dental care can lead to a host of other issues, including systemic health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

Is dental considered health insurance in this instance? Possibly, but there’s a snag. For broader health concerns, physicians usually send patients to a specialist. This is where a health plan with dental coverage or a stand-alone dental policy can come in handy. When dental insurance is provided in employer-sponsored plans, coverage usually includes:

  • Routine check-ups
  • Cleaning
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Root canals
  • Extractions

Some plans even cover periodontics (the structures that support and surround the tooth) and prosthodontics (dentures and bridges).

Thinking of offering dental coverage to your employees? The beauty of stand-alone dental care policies is that, unlike health insurance, there's no special enrollment period. So you can add dental insurance to your benefits package at any time.

Is vision included in health insurance?

When it comes to vision coverage, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that applies to every situation. Regular eye exams and vision care are essential for preserving good eyesight and detecting issues early. Yet, similar to dental coverage, vision insurance typically isn’t included in health benefits packages — unless in specific relation to another medical condition. For example, vision problems caused by diabetes or high blood pressure will likely be covered, whereas stand-alone issues like cataracts and glaucoma probably won’t.

Any vision problem can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and ability to work productively, making vision care a crucial consideration for employees and employers alike. For this reason, some companies offer vision plans that cover essential services such as eye exams, prescription glasses or contact lenses and perhaps even discounts on corrective surgeries like LASIK.

Can you add vision insurance at any time? Yes. Just like with dental, enrollment periods don’t apply to stand-alone policies. So if you’re thinking of adding vision benefits to your employee packages, you can get the ball rolling whenever it works best for you.

Why offer dental and vision coverage?

Offering both dental and vision insurance benefits isn't just a box to check off on your HR to-do list — it's a strategic move that can boost employee satisfaction, attract top talent and keep your workforce healthy and productive. How can it benefit you and your team?

Benefits for employees

Is dental insurance considered health insurance? If you ask your employees, chances are they’ll say yes. In addition to providing them with comprehensive health care, here’s how your team can benefit from both dental and vision coverage.

  • Wallet-friendly health: Having vision and dental coverage means fewer surprise bills for check-ups and cleanings, putting more cash back into your employees’ wallets.
  • Stay ahead of the game: Vision and dental insurance plans typically cover preventive care and routine check-ups. Routine dental and vision exams can catch underlying health issues early.
  • All-around wellness: Good oral and visual health contributes to overall well-being. Employees with access to these benefits are more likely to address and maintain their dental and vision health, which can positively impact their quality of life.
  • Productivity boost: Vision and dental problems can affect an employee's ability to work efficiently. When your team can see clearly and flash their pearly whites without hesitation, they're more likely to be on their A-game at work.
  • Happy and loyal crew: Offering additional benefits such as dental and vision insurance can enhance job satisfaction and increase retention rates. Your team will feel valued and taken care of, boosting job satisfaction and keeping your top talent feeling good.

Benefits for employers

Your employees aren’t the only ones who reap a whole of benefits from comprehensive coverage. You’ll get to enjoy some serious perks, too.

  • Stand out from the crowd: Today’s job market is ultra-competitive. Offering dental and vision insurance makes your company shine in a crowded market, attracting the best and brightest talent.
  • Productivity power-up: Healthy employees are more likely to be productive. Preventive care also means fewer sick days and more employees who are always ready to perform at their best.
  • Tax perks: Did you know that the cost of providing dental and vision insurance is tax deductible for employers? This means dental and vision insurance expenses can score you some tax savings.
  • Employee satisfaction: Offering these benefits can boost morale and foster a sense of loyalty among your workforce. When you show you care, your employees feel the love. And happy, engaged employees may stick around for the long haul.
  • Savings on health care costs: Early detection through dental and vision benefits can be a budget-saver in the long run, avoiding the need for pricier treatments.
  • Easy administration: Managing these benefits doesn't have to be a headache. Dental and vision plans are a breeze to handle, saving you time and effort on boring admin duties.
  • Complete health package: With medical, dental and vision coverage, you're giving your employees a total health package. It's like offering a one-stop shop for their well-being.

Hooking up your team with employer-sponsored vision and dental insurance isn't just good for their health — it's a smart move that keeps everyone smiling inside and outside the office.

DeltaVision®: The Best of Both Worlds

When you pair dental and vision together with DeltaVision, you're sending a clear message: your employees’ well-being matters. Say goodbye to complex administration and hello to a world where you can cut paperwork with one application and one invoice. Contact our team today to learn more about DeltaVision.