Dental Insurance

Dental and Vision Insurance: Does Your Small Business Need It?

Updated on December 06, 2019


You’ve probably thought a lot about health insurance—it’s something that a lot of people think they can’t live without. But have you put much thought into offering group dental and vision insurance? Although small businesses are not required to offer group dental and vision insurance plans, and these types of coverage are seen as add-ons to health insurance, don’t discount their importance.

Add-on benefits can have a lot of bang for your buck

Unlike health insurance, dental and vision insurance plans might not be as much of a financial burden. While health insurance plans can cost hundreds of dollars per individual every month, eHealth has dental and vision plans starting under $10 a month per individual.

Although a few bucks every month isn’t nothing when you think about contributing to each employees’ dental and vision premium, you might want to weigh that cost against the benefit of hiring and maintaining quality employees for your small business. Studies have shown that employees tend to value health benefits even more than pay raises. So if you want to show your employees’ appreciation, keep them around, and continue hiring valuable assets to your company, having a full small business benefits package that includes dental and vision might be the way to accomplish all that.

What types of dental and vision insurance plans are available?

If you’re looking at dental insurance, you have quite a few options for plan types. The table below gives you a good idea of some of the popular dental insurance plans, and how they work.

Plan Type Access to Dentists (Network)Cost Breakdown 
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)Less out-of-pocket cost for you when you visit in-network dentists. You can go out-of-network for care, but at a higher cost.You will have copayments for procedures. You’ll need to meet a deductible and you’ll have an out-of-pocket maximum.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)You’ll need to choose one dentist or facility. Out-of-network care is not covered in most cases.No deductible to meet. You pay a certain set cost for procedures. Some care or products might be fully paid for by insurance.
Fee-for-Service (indemnity Plan)Larger choice of dentists usually. Less restrictions on network.You’ll usually have a copayment for procedures along with an additional fee for the dentist.
Discount PlansNo network (You can go anywhere)You’ll have a discounted fee on dental services, which you pay completely out-of-pocket

Choosing a vision plan might be a little easier, since there are fewer options to choose from. The two types of vision insurance plans you can choose from include:

  • Optional Rider Vision Insurance. You’ll pay a small monthly fee for this vision insurance, and those insured under your group policy will have access to services for a set cost.
  • Ancillary Vision Plan. With this plan, enrollees will get discounts on all vision-related expenses. For example, those enrolled in the plan might pay 30% for regular cleanings, while the insurance company pays 70%.

How to add dental and vision insurance to your small business benefits package

Most dental and vision plans are offered as add-ons, or ancillary benefits to health insurance plans. By adding on benefits like dental and vision insurance, you can build a small business benefits package that fully covers both you and your employees.Check plan details, to make sure the benefits and payment structure works for your small business, and that you can afford contribution levels possibly set by insurance companies.This article is for general information only and may not reflect the provisions of certain dental or vision plans, so make sure to check the details of any insurance product you’re considering buying.

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