Choosing the Right Plan Type: Medical, Dental and Vision? Oh My!

man walking in forest at a fork in trail “Once They Were One, Now They Are Three?”

“Medical, dental and vision.” Did you ever have health coverage through work? They seemed like a package deal, right?  They may actually have been separate contracts or companies.  Your human resources team just made them seem seamless. Front desk folks at the dentist and eye doctor would take your medical card.  Then, “Voila!” they could often find details about whatever dental or vision coverage came “with it.”

Today, many people are buying health coverage on their own.  What “comes with” medical coverage may be different than you are used to. Remember, the Affordable Care Act  requires that health insurance plans cover certain essential health benefits, which includes preventive services. You may want to buy dental and vision coverage as well as medical coverage. Think of it like being your very own buddy in human resources.  Be sure to take a look at how dental and vision coverages work. They can be a little different than medical coverage and in the end, you’ll want to be able to choose the right plan type (or types)!

What Does My Medical Cover for Dental and Vision?

Vision at a Glance

All qualified Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) health coverage includes pediatric vision coverage for children under age 19. Pediatric vision benefits include one eye exam per year with no cost to you. Children receive one (1) pair of glasses or two (2) boxes of contact lenses, per year, subject to your deductible or coinsurance. Adult BCBSMT members who are interested in annual vision exams may want to get additional vision coverage.   You can sign up through your Blue Access for Members account.  Members also have access to some eyewear discounts through Blue365.

Dental Details

Did you know that when you buy a health plan that covers your children under age 19 you have the option of obtaining pediatric dental coverage with BCBSMT. If you don’t need pediatric dental coverage, you can say so in your application. Pediatric dental is part of essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Members can look up network dentists in Provider Finder® through their Blue Access for Members account. Remember how we say it’s best to stay in network with your medical coverage? The same applies for dental coverage. Try to use in-network dentists to keep your costs down. Also be sure to check your plan for details about what’s covered (or not), whether you see a network dentist or one who is out of the network.

Dental benefits for BCBSMT individual members include preventive services like checkups, cleanings and basic X-rays. You may also have dental benefits for dental work like fillings, bridges and crowns. Check your coverage details to see what your share of preventive visit costs would be, and what savings you may get on all dental services.

What’s The Deal with Discounts?

Don’t forget that with your BCBSMT membership, you also may have access to more dental and vision discount offers through Blue365.

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