Focus on Preventive Care: The main difference between dental and medical coverage

by MikeMeehan 10/18/2017 4:39 PM

Cavities are almost 100% preventable. Let’s say that again – cavities are preventable. That means it’s within your power to avoid tooth decay. This is a great thing to remember when you’re considering skipping your dentist visit or going to bed without two minutes of brushing. It’s also one of the reasons dental benefits and medical benefits are designed differently. Preventive care is the focus One of the main differences between dental and medical coverage is the focus on preventive care. While you know healthy choices can decrease your chances of getting sick, medical insurance is used when you do get sick or have an injury. With dental benefits, preventive care is the focus. If you visit the dentist for exams, cleanings and X-rays, you can stop oral health problems before they start. Visiting your dental care provider twice a year for cleanings, which is part of your dental coverage, is preventive care. To promote preventive care, many benefit plans with cover all or most of the cost of routine dental cleanings and examinations. Preventive care in addition to your dental benefits includes practicing good oral health habits like brushing twice a day and flossing. Add all this together with smart food and lifestyle choices, and you’ve got yourself a healthy smile. To sum this up, we use medical benefits when we have a health issue, and we use our dental benefits to prevent dental issues. You can live a healthy life with exercise and a good diet, but you can still get sick. You can visit your dentist, brush your teeth and make good oral health choices and you can prevent oral health problems. Emergencies Another difference when comparing dental benefits and medical benefits is emergencies. Dental care emergencies are rare. Getting a tooth knocked out can require emergency care, but dental emergencies do not happen often especially compared to medical emergencies. Medical benefits reflect this difference in care, such as ER and urgent care facility coverage. Stop problems before they begin Dental benefits work to stop problems before they begin. If you work hard with your preventive care, like visiting the dentist routinely, that can help avoid bigger and more costly problems in the future, like cavities or gum disease. Despite the differences between medical and dental benefits, we believe oral health is a big part of your overall health. Study your dental plan to learn more about your coverage, and remember the power of prevention.

Make Vision Count Today and Everyday

by MikeMeehan 10/12/2017 1:33 PM

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) every year declares the second Thursday of October World Sight Day. The purpose is to bring attention and awareness to blindness and vision impairment and the theme of universal eye health. This year’s message is “Make Vision Count” and as your vision benefits provider we’re more than happy to promote this theme and the other messages of World Sight Day. Background on the IAPB The IAPB was established as an organization to lead an international effort to coordinate resources for blindness prevention. The founders wanted to bring attention to the problem of global blindness. The IAPB covers all regions of the globe, and the mission is to achieve universal access to eye health. The major threats to eye health in the North American region according to the IAPB are chronic conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Also, in Caribbean countries, a challenging issue is cataract blindness and low surgical rate. You can learn more about the IAPB and their global action plan, by visiting their website. Statistics show the importance of making vision count New data and projections will be released today from the Vision Loss Expert Group, as part of World Sight Day. Here are some of the facts from the IAPB website that drive their cause: Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness 90% of blind people live in low-income countries Yet 80% of visual impairment is avoidable (i.e. readily treatable or preventable) Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care How do we make vision count? What does “Make Vision Count” mean to you? How do we make vision count? Today, on World Sight Day, we hope you schedule a comprehensive eye exam for you and your family. Regular eye exams are important for checking eye functions and for common eye diseases, but they can also detect other health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, we want you to practice good habits for eye health, like eating vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. We recognize, and will always advocate for, the importance of healthy vision today and every day. 

Ask for a Pretreatment Estimate to Avoid Surprises

by MikeMeehan 10/5/2017 10:44 AM

Some of you might like surprises, but not when it comes to your dental bill. Let’s try to stop that tingly sweat from appearing on your skin when you open a bill. Asking for a pretreatment estimate can help you plan and budget and encourage a discussion with your dentist. You can avoid any unwanted surprises, while keeping a smile on your face, and keeping that smile healthy. A recent study showed that cost is a major barrier to dental care. Cost also causes people to delay receiving dental care. Preventive care is important when it comes to your oral health because it can avoid big problems later. When you’re visiting your dentist, or calling to make an appointment, ask your dentist to submit a pretreatment estimate to Delta Dental. It will help you find out if the procedures are covered, if you will exceed your maximum, and how best to plan for your payment portion. Then cost can stop being a barrier between you and your dental care. How it works A pretreatment estimate is free. It is sometimes called a predetermination or preauthorization. This estimate will give you an approximate cost for your dental treatment. It will also tell you what you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket. When your dental provider puts in a request for a pretreatment estimate, they also submit a treatment plan and x-rays that are relevant. This helps the Delta Dental consultant make the determination. After the consultant’s review of your benefits and the information sent by your dental provider, Delta Dental will send a response to you and your dentist’s office. This estimate will include how much the treatment will cost according to your dental plan and how much you will be expected to pay. This estimate is based on the dental plan you have, your eligibility, your current plan benefits and the amount remaining in your annual maximum. If your case is complex, a pretreatment estimate can take longer, so consider that and plan accordingly. On cases that are not complex, an estimate should be returned quickly. Why pretreatment estimates are helpful Pretreatment estimates can help you set a budget and plan for your dental procedures. The estimate can also encourage a conversation between you and your dental provider to discuss the treatment and the best way to proceed. This conversation can also help you learn more about the procedure, and if there are any alternate treatments and procedures based on your dental plan. For procedures such as crowns, wisdom tooth extractions, bridges, dentures and oral surgery, which are more costly, pretreatment estimates are especially useful. Get your preventive visits in, take care of your smile and take away any surprises when it comes to your oral health and dental bill.

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