There are thousands of dental and vision plans out there. You can make an informed choice - and get the best plan - by doing these 5 things:
1. Shop around
Vision and dental plans are incredibly competitive. There is a virtual never-ending list of companies that offer them and different plans to choose from. Because of all that competition, dental and vision plans are also incredibly affordable. Usually, you can get individual dental insurance for around $30 per month and get vision coverage that's even cheaper than that.
The best way to make the most out of your money is to shop around for the best deal. The top insurance websites make it easy to do - thanks to their "compare plan" options that let you pull up several plans at once and compare them side-by-side.
2. Bundle coverage
Because dental and vision plans have been eliminated from most employer-sponsored health insurance plans, lots of people are in the market for both of them. In order to capitalize, many insurance companies will offer deals if you "bundle" coverage - or get your individual dental insurance and vision coverage at the same time. For the insurance company, they get the benefit of two premium payments from you every month - even if it is at a discounted rate. For you, you get to save money on quality coverage.
3. Add family members onto your plan
As affordable as individual dental insurance or individual vision plans are, they're usually even more cost-effective when you add family members into the mix. In most cases, it's cheaper to get vision or dental insurance for your entire 4-person family than it would be to go out and buy 4 separate policies.
4. Understand the difference between "HMO" and "PPO"
When you're shopping for insurance, you're going to be faced with all kinds of new words and abbreviations. Two of the most common are "HMO" and "PPO". HMO's usually come with stricter rules - like getting pre-authorized for doctor's visits or requiring you to get a referral before you can go see a specialist. Your best bet is to learn exactly what makes these two choices so different - so that you get an insurance policy that's perfect for you.
5. Don't be afraid to ask questions
No one expects you to be an insurance expert. If you're confused by your copays, deductibles, or coinsurance, ask now - before you sign on the dotted line. A good insurance provider will be happy to answer your questions so that you know exactly what you're agreeing to and exactly what kind of coverage you can expect.