Now that California’s annual Open Enrollment period is closed, you will have to wait until it opens again in the fall if you need to purchase or make changes to a health insurance plan. In some cases you might qualify for a special enrollment period during the year, but unfortunately most people do have to wait until the next Open Enrollment period.
That can be bad news if you’ve suddenly decided you do need health insurance after all. But we have some good news for you: You can purchase a dental or vision insurance plan at any time of year, regardless of the Open Enrollment period. This type of insurance can be beneficial for those of you whose out-of-pocket medical spending mostly goes toward dentist bills or vision care.
As with general health insurance plans, there are many different levels and types of dental and vision insurance. As you compare policies, remember to keep the following features in mind so that you can select one that is best for you:
- Access to providers – will you be required to use only in-network providers, or can you select your own? This might matter to you, if you have a favorite dentist or eye care professional, or if providers are limited in your area.
- Coverage limits – coverage for certain procedures might be more limited than for others. For example, a dental plan might cover 80 percent of routine fillings but only 50 percent of the cost of a root canal.
- Waiting periods – some dental and vision plans impose waiting periods, while others offer immediate benefits.
- Routine preventive care – many plans cover 100 percent of the cost of routine care. Others might require you to pay a co-pay.
- Allowance for contact lenses or glasses – vision plans typically cover contact lenses or glasses, up to a certain limit. Compare this limit to the amount you normally pay for these items, to get an idea of your out-of-pocket spending.
Remember that routine eye care can detect potentially serious vision problems very early in the progression of the disease, allowing you to seek immediate treatment. Dental care is also important to your overall well-being, and some studies have linked dental health to heart health.
Call us with any questions that you might have about dental or vision insurance. We can help you compare policies and select one that is right for you.