What is Individual Dental and Vision Insurance? Why Is It Essential for Today’s Workers?

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Many people have employer-sponsored group dental and vision benefits. But some employees don’t qualify for them. These employees may be semi-retired, part-time, self-employed or independent contractors. What they need is access to individual health coverage. But exactly what is individual insurance? And why is it essential for today’s workers?

Dental and vision insurance are among the top benefits employees want. They like having benefits that help pay for regular dental and vision care. They also know protecting their dental and vision health is vital to maintaining overall health. Here’s how individual insurance can help.


People who are self-employed invest their time and money to make their company successful. While growing their business, they may put off getting health insurance. This includes dental and vision coverage. But what they don’t have time for is pain caused by dental or vision problems.

Self-employed people don’t have access to employer-sponsored group dental and vision plans. So they may opt to pay out-of-pocket for unexpected dental or vision costs. But these expenses add up. If they have individual dental and vision coverage, they can get help with paying those bills. And eventually, as their business grows, they may need to add an employee or two. And those workers will want access to benefits. That’s when they quickly find out that insurance is essential for today’s workers.


For many older employees, retiring at age 65 has become a thing of the past. They’re in good health and want to continue to work part-time. And what they’d really like are health benefits. Senior workers are used to the robust health benefits they received as full-time employees. They know that as they age, they’ll probably need dental and vision services. This may include dental crowns and bridges, or cataract surgery and prescription eyeglasses. But regular Medicare does not cover these expenses.

However, employers can offer semi-retired workers access to individual dental and vision insurance plans. A good insurance plan is essential. Employees need a plan that covers preventive exams and offers discounts on other procedures. Plus, a plan that includes benefits toward materials such as contacts and eyeglasses.

Contract workers

During uncertain times, employees may face furloughs or job loss. Many become independent contractors, helping out on projects for a specified amount of time. It’s what they have to do. Contractors are attractive to employers because they get talented workers without having to provide health benefits.

But employers are discovering that to keep good contractors, it’s essential to offer access to individual insurance plans. Contract workers value individual insurance because the plans are portable. They have instant access to benefits that they can use just about anywhere they work.

No coverage

Many full- and part-time employees don’t have dental or vision insurance. Often, employers can only afford to offer basic medical insurance, which usually doesn’t cover preventive dental or vision exams. What’s wrong with that? Plenty.

Millennial employees are discovering that they need dental and vision coverage to take care of their growing families. Younger workers, known as Generation Z, have found they need insurance because their parents’ plans no longer cover them.

Employers can help employees in both groups get access to dental and vision coverage. That’s what individual insurance is all about. The individual signs up for it and pays for it, working directly with the insurance company. Individual plans also have options that include dependent family members. It’s the best way non-traditional employees can take care of their dental and vision health, and spend less for costly procedures.

Learn more about the benefits of individual insurance for employers and employees. Also, review these individual dental and vision insurance plans to get an idea of what’s out there.