Affordable Care Act

Large Groups

HR guidelines

Dental and Vision Benefits Within the Affordable Care Act

Most of what you read and hear about the Affordable Care Act pertains to medical insurance benefits. But little is said about dental and vision insurance – two highly valued employee benefits.

The good news is that for dental and vision insurance, the message is simple: The majority of businesses can keep their current plans.

Purchasing coverage

All consumers, with a few exceptions, now are required to have medical coverage, regardless of the size of their employer. If they don’t have Minimum Essential Coverage, they may be subject to a fine. Minimum Essential Coverage does not include dental and vision coverage.

Employers are not required to purchase health coverage for employees and their dependents through a health insurance exchange. They can typically keep their medical, dental and vision benefits with their current insurance carriers.

Employer Mandate

Employers with 100 or more employees are subject to the employer mandate. Employers in this group will need to offer minimum coverage (in other words, typical employer-sponsored medical coverage) to 70 percent of their full-time employees.

Employers with 50 to 99 employees will be subject to the same employer mandates beginning in 2016.

Family Dental and Vision Needs

In most families, members have different needs for dental and vision care. For example:

  • Dependents may need LASIK, or the option of purchasing new eyeglasses annually or teeth whitening coverage, in addition to routine dental and vision exams.
  • Adults often experience changes in their oral and vision health as they age, which may require services beyond preventive care to help them enjoy good overall health in their senior years.
  • Children may need additional dental coverage for cosmetic orthodontia.

Families need flexible dental and vision coverage that can be customized to their specific needs. Benefit surveys show that people with dental and vision coverage tend to use their benefits. They are likely to schedule regular checkups and exams so doctors can evaluate the health of their teeth and eyes, and develop a treatment plan to address concerns.

Understanding Stand-Alone Plans

Stand-alone dental and vision benefits are sold independently from medical coverage, and these policies are not subject to most legal provisions. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, about 99 percent of Americans with dental coverage have a dental benefit policy separate from their medical policy.

At Ameritas, we focus primarily on stand-alone dental and vision plans that can be customized to employee group needs. We specialize in offering:

  • dental and vision expertise
  • customer service focused only on dental and vision coverage
  • accurate pricing for plans that maintain long-term financial stability
  • flexible and customizable benefits
  • claims-paying systems designed specifically for dental and vision
  • nationwide, credentialed provider network
  • dental and vision wellness knowledge

For more information about Ameritas dental and vision plans, contact an Ameritas representative in your area.