If you are searching for affordable health, dental, and vision insurance it can be hard to know where to start. There are lots of options and features to consider before making a final decision. With some research and preparation, you can choose a plan that works for you.
Purchasing health, dental, and vision insurance for you and your family is a step towards helping ensure that you and your family stay healthy. Seeing a dentist regularly is a key step in maintaining good oral health¹, and having dental coverage makes it easy to get preventative care that you need. However, before choosing a plan, it is important that you understand the ins-and-outs of insurance and how it works before making any decisions so that you only are paying for insurance that you will use.
Although Guardian Direct® does not offer health insurance, you still can purchase a dental insurance plan through Guardian regardless of which health care provider you have. There is no need to bundle your health insurance and dental insurance with the same company, in fact there are many reasons why it may be beneficial to keep the two separated.
Unlike health insurance, you can purchase a dental insurance plan at any point during the year. There is no open enrollment period for dental insurance. This gives you added flexibility when signing up for a dental insurance plan. It also typically allows you to change plans or carriers at any point during the year.
Being able to sign up for dental insurance throughout the year means that you can benefit from coverage as many plans typically will include preventative care right away after the policy coverage kicks in. This means that by having dental insurance you can visit the dentist more frequently so you can help take care of small dental issues before they become painful and more expensive.
How to buy individual health, dental and vision insurance
When you are shopping for a new dental or vision insurance plan it can be tempting to bundle in your coverage in with your health care typically provided through your employer. However, this may not result in more affordable coverage and can even end up costing you more in the end.
The reason for this is that typically health insurance is a catastrophic coverage plan meaning that you typically only use health insurance when you have an accident, injury, or illness. Therefore, health coverage typically has higher deductibles and higher out-of-pocket expenses. Dental insurance, on the other hand, is based on preventative care, you see the dentist twice a year and maintain good oral health by taking care of small issues as they arise. With dental insurance you typically have lower deductibles because it is designed to be used more often. When you lump all your coverages together you run the risk of paying more out-of-pocket than you would if they remained separate.
Health insurance networks are generally tied to the hospital network, this is not relevant to the dental network as dentists typically run their own practices and clinics. The same is generally true regarding eye doctors as well.
Are there affordable health, dental, and vision insurance plans
One of the most important factors that you should consider when purchasing any insurance plan is affordability. Guardian Direct® offers both dental and vision plans at different levels of affordability. The most affordable dental plan through Guardian are the entry-tier (not available in all states) plans. These give you the basic coverage that you need while remaining within a budget.
If you are looking for affordable health insurance, you can find many suitable options on Healthcare.gov.
Guardian Direct® has three dental plans to choose from, the entry-tier, mid-tier and top-tier plans. With all of the plans below there is no waiting period for preventative care and you have access to over 100,000 in network dentists.
Entry-tier plan – the entry-tier plan is the most basic plan that Guardian offers. It covers 100% of all preventative care and up to 50% of basic care like fillings. This plan is designed for those who are in good oral health and require minimal services, it is also the most affordable plan through Guardian Direct.
Mid-tier plan – this plan is the middle level plan from Guardian. It is a great mix of value and coverage. The mid-tier plan, subject to applicable wait period and annual maximums, covers up to 80% of all preventative care and up to 50% of basic care. It also covers up to 50% of major care, like root canals, and up to 50% of dental implant procedures.
Top-tier plan – the top-tier plan offers the most coverage. It covers 100% of preventative care, up to 70% of basic care, up to 50% of major care, and up to 50% of implants, subject to applicable wait period and annual maximums. It also covers up to 50% on orthodontics for children under the age of 19 as well making it a valuable plan for families.
In most states, plans start at around $20 dollars a month* and all the plans include Guardian’s large network of dentists. This gives you and your family tremendous flexibility when choosing a dental professional, that is close to home, who you trust.
Our vision plans powered by VSP® lets you choose affordable coverage you'll love at the savings you need. Plans include a fully covered annual eye exam, with a $15 copay. Plus, you can use your benefits when and where you want-at your eye doctor, online, or in retail stores.
Family health and dental insurance
If you have a family, it is important that you choose an insurance plan that allows for each member to choose their own provider. Having the flexibility to choose a dentist that you trust is important, you should not have to change your dentist just because you change insurance carriers.
With Guardian Direct, each family member can choose their own dentist from a large network of dental professionals so each person can choose a dentist that works for them. This is important because if one member of the family has a dentist that they trust and have been seeing for a long time, they don’t have to change providers.
As a stand alone dental insurance coverage plan, if you change health insurance carriers you would still be able to keep your dentist. This might not be possible with a bundled plan as the network of dentists may be different from carrier to carrier.
Regardless of your level of coverage through Guardian, there is a good chance that there is a dentist in network near you.
Average cost of health, dental and vision insurance & related insights
The average cost of insurance is very dependent on plan level and your own personal situation included but not limited to your state of residence. However, in general, when you purchase insurance with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses you typically will have a lower premium and plans with lower deductibles and out of pockets have higher premiums².
No matter what type of insurance you need it is important to do research and understand the ins-and-outs of any plan that you may purchase. For health insurance questions healthcare.gov is a great resource. For dental insurance questions Guardian Direct® has an extensive library of resources designed to help you to understand dental insurance and how it works.
Having a basic knowledge of how insurance works will enable you to make the best choice that you can when it comes to dental and vision insurance. Being an informed insurance shopper also can save you money in the long run. This is why it is important to do research before you choose a dental insurance carrier such as Guardian Direct®.
*Costs vary by state and available plan type selected.
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Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment, or medical advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed reliable, please note that individual situations can vary, therefore the information should be relied upon when coordinated with
individual professional advice.
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Individual Dental Insurance products are underwritten by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, New York or by one of its wholly owned subsidiaries. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. The actual limitations and exclusions that apply to your Dental Plan are governed by the policy forms approved for use in your state. Please refer to your policy for a complete list of limitations and exclusions. In the event of a conflict between this document and the language stated in your Guardian insurance policy, the language of the policy shall control. This policy provides DENTAL insurance only. Dental provider networks vary by state, by market and by plan type. Rates are guaranteed for one year for your policy of benefits initially selected. Policies renew annually. Products Underwritten by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America: DENTAL PPO PLANS: Policy Form IP-DEN-16 ET. AL. DENTAL HMO PLANS: FLORIDA Policy Form IP-1-MDG-DHMO-FL-OFF-17 NEW YORK Policy Form IP-MDG-NY-FP-OFF-21 IP-MDG-NY-EHB-OFF-21. Products Underwritten by Managed Dental Guard, Inc. DENTAL HMO PLANS: TEXAS Policy: IP-1-MDG-DHMO-TX-17. Products Underwritten by First Commonwealth Inc. through its Illinois subsidiaries* DENTAL HMO PLANS:
ILLINOIS Policy: IP-FCW-DHMO-IL-21*First Commonwealth Insurance Company — (IL),
First Commonwealth Limited Health Services Corporation — (IL), First Commonwealth of Illinois, Inc.
Information on the approved state and product specific online enrollment form numbers can be viewed here: Online Enrollment Form Numbers
Guardian Direct® plans are underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America or its subsidiaries, New York, NY. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. In the event of a conflict between this document and the language stated in your Guardian insurance policy, the language of the policy shall control.
Vision Insurance is provided by VSP and billing and premium collection services for such vision insurance are conducted by DTC GLIC, LLC (d/b/a DTC GLIC Insurance Sales, LLC in California). DTC GLIC, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
Guardian and DTC GLIC, LLC are not affiliated with VSP and Guardian and DTC GLIC, LLC do not assume any responsibility or liability for non-Guardian products or services, including those offered by VSP.
GUARDIAN® is a registered service mark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® © Copyright 2021 The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
https://www.dentalcare.com/en-us/patient-education/patient-materials/why-are-regular-dental-visits-important#:~:text=Regular%20dental%20visits%20are%20important,your%20teeth%20and%20gums%20healthy.&text=During%20the%20dental%20check%20up,and%20may%20polish%20your%20teeth. (2021), Accessed August 2021
https://www.investopedia.com/health-insurance-deductible-4773113#:~:text=As%20a%20general%20rule%2C%20the,to%20provide%20you%20with%20coverage. (2021), Accessed August 2021
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.(exp.10/23)