Should you buy dental, vision, and hearing insurance?
This form of coverage is typically not included in medical plans, and there are plenty of reasons to purchase protection for your teeth, eyes, and ears.
Consider the following statistics from the National Institutes of Health:
- 92% of U.S. adults have experienced dental disease.
- By 2050, visual impairment and blindness is expected to double.
- 1 in 8 people, 12 years or older, has hearing loss in both ears.
You will be happy to learn that plenty of dental, vision, and hearing insurance options exist, so that you can continue to eat good food, read those can’t-put-down books, and listen to your favorite music.
Everything you need to know about this form of coverage is found here, including frequently asked questions and the purchasing process.
Table Of Contents
To start, let’s examine the basics – reasons why you may choose to purchase dental, vision, and hearing insurance.
- Dental, vision, and hearing problems are commonplace, especially as we age.
- Your quality of life is drastically affected by the health of your teeth, eyes, and ears.
- Insurance coverage provides financial protection for routine care and expensive medical emergencies.
- If you are enrolled in Medicare, you likely do not have dental, vision, or hearing coverage, and will need to purchase a separate policy for protection.
Fortunately, comprehensive and affordable options are available. While specific features to plans vary, you can generally expect the following.
Policies Are Guaranteed
Your dental, vision, and hearing policy is guaranteed to be issued.
What does this mean?
No one is denied coverage.
Regardless of the state of your physical well-being, you can buy coverage without health questions. Everyone qualifies for this form of insurance.
Usually, guaranteed issue policies are pricey, but because benefits are limited in this form of coverage, your premiums are affordable.
Available To All Ages
For most carriers, anyone between the ages of 18 – 99 years qualifies to purchase a dental, vision, and hearing insurance policy.
Further, you may add children onto your policy, so that coverage is extended to the whole family.
Dental And Orthodontia Services
Dental and orthodontia coverage is often comprehensive.
Policy particulars differ depending on the carrier, but most include benefits similar to the following.
Preventative services on a biannual basis:
- Dental exams
- Bitewing x-rays
- Fluoride treatments
Basic services on an as-needed basis:
- Oral evaluation
- Diagnostic consult
- Emergency palliative treatment
- Panoramic or periapical x-ray
- Periodontal non-surgical service
- Basic restorative service
- Basic oral surgery
- Non-surgical extraction
- Major restorative service
- Endodontic service
- Periodontal service
- Prosthodontic service
- Other medically necessary services
- Straightening of teeth for all ages
- Maximum benefit amounts apply (and a waiting period may apply)
You have the option to add vision coverage onto your policy.
- Eye exam
- Single lenses
- Bifocal lenses
- Trifocal lenses
- Progressive lenses
- Eyeglass frame (waiting period may apply)
- Anti-reflective lenses
- Polycarbonate lenses
- Contact lenses
You also have the option to add hearing coverage onto your policy.
- Hearing exam
- Hearing aid and necessary repairs or supplies (waiting period may apply)
Note – You should know that most policies include in-network and out-of-network options. Generally-speaking, the cost difference between in-network and out-of-network dentists and physicians is not substantial.
Renewable For Life
You may keep your dental, vision, and hearing insurance for as long as you like. In other words, the policy is renewable on an annual basis.
Keep in mind, however, your insurance policy may be subject to small premium increases as you age. Increases are typically negligible.
Dental Vision and Hearing Insurance Options
Customarily, you have the option to determine what types of coverage you would like your policy to include.
- Dental only
- Dental and vision
- Dental and hearing
- Dental, vision, and hearing
Your medical needs and coverage options elsewhere, should you have them, will determine the best choice for what your dental, vision, and/or hearing policy should include.
As you know, maintaining the health of your teeth, eyes, and ears is crucial to your well-being.
Once thought of as negligible aspects of aging, poor oral health, vision loss, and hearing loss have been independently linked to numerous negative health outcomes.National Library of Medicine
Unsurprisingly, a lack of dental, vision, and hearing insurance is directly linked to an absence of preventative care and higher rates of emergency care.
Consider the following examples of dental, vision, and hearing services and how a typical insurance plan covers the care of dentists and physicians. Dental examples are for in-network.
Keep in mind the examples below are just that – examples only. Plans and costs vary.
- Service: Dental exam. Provider charge: $150. In-network cost: $35. Insurance pays $35 (100%). You pay $0.
- Service: Filling. Provider charge: $275. In-network cost: $99. Insurance pays $64 (65%). You pay $35.
- Service: Eye exam. Cost: $60. Insurance pays $42 (70%). You pay $18.
- Service: Contact lenses. Cost: $115. Insurance pays $81 (70%). You pay $34.
- Service: Hearing exam. Cost: $90. Insurance pays Insurance pays $90 (100%). You pay $0.
- Service: Hearing aids. Cost $1,600. Insurance pays $1,410*. You pay $190. *Typically, insurance pays a maximum amount per ear, yearly.
Note – waiting periods do apply for some services, especially for, orthodontia, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here, you will find frequently asked questions about dental, vision, and hearing insurance and their answers.
Are dental, vision, and hearing insurance plans affordable?
Your specific monthly rate depends on:
- Carrier and plan you selected
- Maximum benefit amount
- Your age
- Number of family members on the plan
- Sometimes state of residence
However, you can expect to pay a ballpark amount of anywhere between $25 – $150 monthly. Again, your specific rate depends on your needs and circumstances.
Should I buy vision and hearing coverage, in addition to dental?
It depends, but likely.
Especially if you do not have vision or hearing insurance elsewhere, we strongly encourage purchasing coverage.
Loss of vision and hearing health negatively impacts one’s quality of life. Purchasing insurance coverage to protect your eyes and ears financially protects you and opens the door to affordable preventative screenings in addition to medical treatment, if required.
Can I use dental, vision, and hearing insurance in conjunction with other coverage I have?
What if I have a pre-existing condition?
Pre-existing conditions can be covered, and you will not be asked about them during the application process.
However, they are subject to a waiting period. For example, many policies require a 12 month waiting period before treatment of a pre-existing condition is covered.
My family needs glasses, contacts, hearing aids, and braces. Are these items covered?
An independent agent will help you find the right plan to fit your family’s needs. Again, some services do require a waiting period.
You will have the ability to select the exact benefits to match your requirements.
Are there maximum benefits?
On an annual basis, there is a maximum benefit that your insurer will pay. You have the option to select from a range of maximum benefits.
Can I continue to see my current dentist, ophthalmologist, and audiologist?
Even if your doctors are considered out-of-network, you have the ability to use their services. Although, it is possible your out-of-pocket expenses will be slightly higher.
Can my dental, vision, and hearing insurance replace my health insurance?
Your policy only covers your teeth, eyes, and ears. It is not a substitute for comprehensive health insurance. Keep your other forms of insurance.
Are cosmetic procedures covered?
Coverage is only designed for services that are preventative or medically necessary.
Can my policy be canceled?
Your dental, vision, and hearing policy is guaranteed to be issued and guaranteed to be renewable for life. Changes in your health and circumstances cannot cause your coverage’s cancellation.
How To Buy Dental, Vision, and Hearing Insurance
The process for purchasing dental, vision, and hearing insurance is simple and straightforward.
Because this form of coverage is guaranteed to be issued, expect a quick application process and same-day approval.
Plan for about 5 steps to complete the application and secure a policy.
First, collaborate with an independent agent who will assess your needs and compare them to the best dental, vision, and hearing coverage options available.
Second, communicate basic information. Nothing complicated here. You will share your full name, address, date of birth, social security number, and information about children who will be included on the policy, if applicable.
Third, answer general questions about whether you already have, or are applying for, similar coverage and whether you are intending to replace any other insurance.
Note – this form of coverage should not replace your health insurance, or another form of specialized health coverage, like a cancer plan.
Fourth, clarify the specific policy features you are applying for. For example, communicate the type(s) of coverage you want, who the coverage is intended for, the desired deductible, and the maximum yearly benefit.
Finally, your application is signed and submitted to the carrier for a quick review. Guaranteed issue policies, like dental, vision, and hearing insurance, are approved lightning-fast.
Be sure to review your insurance on an annual basis to verify the policy still meets your needs.