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Dental and Vision Benefits: The Secret Weapons to Lowering Medical Costs

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Many employers see dental and vision coverage only as nice-to-have benefits in a tight labor market. But offering dental and vision can also reduce health care costs. Eye exams and dental exams can uncover diseases early, reducing the chances that a patient will need a more serious and costly medical intervention.

Dental Benefits
Poor oral health can lead to problems with the heart and other organs. It can put pregnant women at higher risk for pre-eclampsia as well as pre-term birth and low birth weights for their babies. The good news is that Americans who have dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist and have better overall health, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. Dental exams can offer early detection of oral cancer, which claims more lives, each year, than skin cancer or cervical cancer. A study of UnitedHealthcare members found that yearly medical costs were an average of $1,037 lower for those who got dental care. Having dental care was found to lower members’ medical costs for Asthma, Coronary Artery Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Kidney/Renal Disease, and Diabetes.

Vision Benefits
The eyes are the only place in the body where a doctor can get an unobstructed view of our blood vessels, nerves and connecting tissue without surgery. An eye exam can reveal signs of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sickle cell anemia, neurological diseases, and certain cancers long before symptoms appear. In fact, Scottish scientists at the University of Edinburgh say that taking a high-definition image of the retina could help save thousands of heart attack patients every year. Eighty-seven percent of Americans who have vision benefits say they intend to get an eye exam in the next 12 months compared to only 67 percent of those who don’t have vision benefits, according to FocalCenter. Transitions Optical finds that, on an annual basis, employees are more likely to visit their eye doctor than their general physician, making the eye exam an important tool in early detection and prevention.

Bringing It All Together
With CoPower, your groups can offer valuable ancillary benefits, like dental and vision, from best-in-class carriers — Delta Dental and VSP. CoPower SELECT™ offers stand-alone or mix-and-match benefit plans. CoPower ONE™ bundles dental, vision, and life coverages with one application, one bill and one price. With CoPower, you can offer a range of affordable employer-paid options as well as a voluntary option. Your clients get access to these great plans:

  • DeltaCare USA’s prepaid plan has set copayments, no annual deductibles and no maximums for covered benefits. Out-of-pocket costs are clearly defined. Members can choose from a large and stable network of dentists.
  • The Delta Dental PPO offers outstanding provider access in California. And unlike some dental carriers, the plan covers dental implants.
  • VSP doctors are qualified to use WellVision Exams® to detect vision problems and signs of health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. VSP providers have been successful in detecting signs of certain chronic conditions before any other healthcare provider finds them 65% of the time for high cholesterol, 30% of the time for hypertension and 20% of the time for diabetes. For every $1 that groups invest in VSP exam services, they can expect an average return of $1.27 over two years. The Diabetic Eyecare Program provides coverage of additional eye care services for members with type 1 & type 2 diabetes. Members never need a referral and pay only a copay for services.

To learn more, contact your LISI Regional Sales Manager.