Many of us don’t think of dental and vision insurance as being essential forms of care, especially since they aren’t included in most health insurance plans. But in fact, dental and vision are two of the benefits employees purchase the most.1 And they’re not only for people who wear glasses.
In truth, dental and vision insurance can be crucial for identifying health concerns that go well beyond the eyes and mouth. Dental health is linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, premature birth, pneumonia and endocarditis.2 Optometrists regularly spot diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure before physicians.3 And that’s apart from the 197 million American adults who require vision correction (and everyone with a mouth needs regular dental cleanings).4
“I never would have thought to see an endocrinologist if it weren’t for my eye doctor.” – Mary, 39, thyroid cancer survivor
It’s something that Mary knows all too well. Upon beginning nursing school in her late 30s in hopes of embarking upon a career change, she realized she needed glasses because she couldn’t see the materials being presented in class.5 Her optometrist noted that Mary’s eyes had a slight bulge to them, a symptom of certain thyroid conditions. On her eye doctor’s recommendation, Mary saw an endocrinologist. Suddenly she had a diagnosis more worrisome than nearsightedness: thyroid cancer.
“I never would have thought to see an endocrinologist if it weren’t for my eye doctor,” Mary says. Apart from her eyes, she had no symptoms whatsoever. Because of her optometrist’s clear-eyed assessment, Mary was able to have her condition treated at a stage that required only minimally invasive treatment. But it’s all too easy to imagine a scenario in which she didn’t have vision coverage, and didn’t book that visit because the out-of-pocket costs were too great.
The same holds true for dental care. When someone visits the dentist, they’re there to have their teeth checked, not to have a physical. But it’s still a point of contact with the health care system, and there’s a chance that someone who skips preventive care in general is still going to the dentist – 63% of American adults have seen a dentist in the past year,6 but it’s estimated that only 8% of Americans get routine preventive care.7 And when someone is in their chair, dentists see things like lesions, bone loss and unexplained gum or tooth decay that seems out of line with a person’s dental history – all of which can indicate greater health issues than what people think they’re seeing a dentist for.
Dental and vision coverage are important in ways that go beyond the obvious. Aflac’s group dental and vision insurance plans don’t skimp on the basics, of course. They work similarly to health insurance, paying benefits to providers when insureds receive care such as dental exams and cleanings, eye exams and corrective lenses.8,9 They also pay benefits for procedures such as dental crowns and cavity care.
Much of the time, the basics are all that people need. But when it comes to people who have a condition that can be spotted with routine vision or dental care, that care goes beyond elemental and can become lifesaving.
It’s easy to help provide employees with the protection of dental and vision care. Ask your Aflac sales representative for more information.
Companies choose to make Aflac policies available to increase benefits options without impacting their bottom line.
1 Aflac. “Workplace benefits trends: executive summary.” Published 2021. Accessed 11.7.2022.
2 Mayo Clinic. “Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health.” Published 10.28.2021. Accessed 10.18.2022.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health.” Last reviewed 10.1.2020. Accessed 10.18.2022.
4 The Vision Council. “Organizational Overview.” Published 2021. Accessed 10.18.2022.
5 Personal interview, 12.3.2020.
6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Oral and Dental Health.” Last reviewed 9.6.2022. Accessed 10.18.2022.
7 Journal of Big Data. “Preventive healthcare policies in the US: Solutions for disease management using Big Data Analytics.” Published 6.23.2020. Accessed 11.7.2022.
8 Aflac. “Vision Insurance.” Accessed 11.7.2022.
9 Aflac. “Dental Insurance.” Accessed 11.7.2022.
Aflac refers to the following companies: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, American Family Life Assurance Company of New York, Continental American Insurance Company, and Continental American Life Insurance Company. Dental and vision plans are administered by Aflac Benefits Solutions Inc. Some dental and vision products are underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL).
NOTICE: The coverage offered is not a qualified health plan (QHP) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and is not required to satisfy essential health benefits mandates of the ACA. The coverage provides limited benefits.
Aflac WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.
Please see coverage documentation applicable to your situs state for further details.
Individual Supplemental Dental and Vision coverage is underwritten by Aflac. Group Supplemental Dental coverage is underwritten by Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aflac Incorporated. CAIC is not licensed to solicit business in New York, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. For groups sitused in California, group coverage is underwritten by Continental American Life Insurance Company. For individual coverage in New York or coverage for groups sitused in New York, coverage is underwritten by Aflac New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999. Continental American Insurance Company | Columbia, South Carolina. Plans and availability vary by state.