SOURCE: DentalPlans.com, Inc.

DentalPlans.com, Inc.

May 12, 2014 09:00 ET

The Affordable Health Care Act's Impact on Vision Care

:DentalPlans Offers Vision Savings Plans All Year Long

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - May 12, 2014) -  May is Health Vision Month, started in 2003 by the National Eye Institute (NEI), and is designed to bring greater awareness around vision problems, eye diseases, and conditions. NEI reports that 38 million Americans -- that's nearly 1 out of 8 -- have common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. And according to the Center for Disease Control, a large number of people who have problems with their eyesight don't visit eye doctors because of the cost or because they don't have health insurance that covers eye care.

"Lack of affordability is a common reason why we see consumers seek out vision savings plans," states Jenn Stoll, chief commercial officer of :DentalPlans. "And like dental care, the Affordable Care Act, does not properly address the needs of adults and seniors when it comes to vision care."

In short, the ACA has made vision care coverage an Essential Health Benefit that must be embedded in a medical benefit for children up to the age of 19. However, if adults and seniors desire dental and vision coverage, the health plan should be carefully examined because the law does not require it for adults. If dental and vision insurance is not covered in the health plan, adults are left to purchase a stand-alone policy or go without.

Like dental care, vision benefits sold in stand-alone polices are not subject to most ACA provisions. Health insurance plans offered within an exchange must include pediatric dental and vision benefits. If the exchange has a stand-alone dental plan providing pediatric dental benefits, the health insurance plan does not need to offer this benefit. The exchanges do not have stand-alone plans for pediatric vision benefits, therefore they must be embedded into the health insurance plan or purchased outside of exchanges.

But again, the ACA has chosen not to define "pediatric vision care," leaving the discretion to individual states to define the coverage through the selection of a benchmark vision plan, or by defaulting to a federal plan. What's covered by these plans varies significantly from state to state.

With open enrollment closed for the Affordable Health Care marketplace in 2014, where can Americans go to get access to affordable vision care? As an alternative, many Americans are turning to vision savings plans, like those offered by :DentalPlans.

Vision savings plans are an easy to use, cost effective, and affordable alternative for those left without vision coverage. Designed for individuals, families and groups looking to save money on their vision care needs, members pay a low annual fee for access to a network of participating retail and medical locations, who have agreed to charge less for their services for plan members. Vision plans from VSP, Eyebenefits, BonusBenefits, and Coast-to-Coast Vision can help members save 10 to 60 percent off eye exams, surgical procedures including Lasik, and eyeglasses and contact lenses-- savings and benefits depend on the plan you choose. Although these plans are not insurance, the savings can be significant. For example:

Example savings:
Coast-to-Coast Vision
Individual plan: $29.95 per year

Exam/Eyewear     Without   VSP Coverage    With   DVSP Coverage
Eye Exam     $154    No   more than $90
Frame     $150    $112.25 (25% savings)
Single Vision Lenses     $86    No   more than $50
Impact-resistant Lenses (Polycarbonate)     $55    $40
Standard Anti-reflective Coating     $77    $45
Total     $522    $337.50
Total Savings: $184.50   

"Quality vision care should be accessible and affordable to everyone," says Stoll. "Oral and vision care are an essential part of a person's overall health and well-being and lack of comprehensive benefits can really impact your quality of life."

:DentalPlans has been providing dental savings plans since 1999. The company offers an extensive selection of comprehensive dental savings plans from the nation's most trusted networks, like Aetna and Careington, and more than 100,000 dentists to choose from nationwide. Participating dental specialists include orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, endodontists, pediatric dentists, and general dentists. :DentalPlans now also offers savings plans for vision, hearing, chiropractic, and pharmaceutical services.

About :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans has successfully been operating as a private exchange since 1999, as the largest dental savings plan marketplace. Similar to a membership at a warehouse club, consumers pay an annual fee and get access to reduced rates on dental services and cosmetic dentistry and orthodontia, as well as vision and pharmacy. Members can choose from more than 40 different plans from trusted healthcare brands, like Aetna, Careington, Signature Wellness, and UNI-CARE, and have access to more than 100,000 dentists in combined networks nationwide. :DentalPlans has affordable plans to fit any need and budget. And, depending on the plan you choose, consumers save 10 to 60 percent off services. Visitors of DentalPlans.com can compare plans by ZIP code or procedure, view sample savings and find a nearby dentist. :DentalPlans is committed to making you smile, by making access to quality oral healthcare affordable and available to everyone nationwide. It's one of the reasons the company has been on the Inc. 5000 list, 3 years standing. To connect with :DentalPlans visit us at www.dentalplans.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dentalplans.

Contact Information

  • For more information:

    Melissa Watkins
    Public Relations Counsel
    Office: 804-402-5316 
    pr@:DentalPlans 

    Kelly Cioe
    Public Relations Counsel
    Office: 603-436-2347
    Kelly@whalenpr.com