National dental and vision savings program offers new option

Aug. 23, 2012
Definition of family reflects reality rather than traditional insurance definition.

CINCINNATI, Ohio--Only 54% of the U.S. population has dental insurance and even fewer have vision insurance. Dental & Vision Extras, an alternative to insurance, is available for those without dental and vision insurance.

Consumers can go online at, sign up for the discount savings program, download a membership card within minutes and receive discounts at dentists and optometrists practicing in their community the same day.

Dental & Vision Extras is a joint venture by the Dental Care Plus Group and Total Vision Services, two companies with experience in the dental and vision industries.

One aspect of Dental & Vision Extras is the product’s definition of family, which incorporates anyone living in the registrant’s household regardless of legal relationship, minor dependents wherever they are residing and parents age 65 or older regardless of where they reside.

Registrants can also be adult children on their family membership who are up to age 26 if they are enrolled in a college or trade school, or any age if the adult child is medically disabled. Registrants whose parents are younger than age 65 and medically disabled can also be included in a family membership.

“The beauty of Dental & Vision Extras is its simplicity,” said Vince Thoma, president of Total Vision Services.

“Dental and vision insurance through your employer is still the best value for the average person, but if that’s not an option for you at this point in your life, you need to consider individual insurance or a savings program like Dental & Vision Extras.”

Added Anthony A. Cook, president and CEO of DCPG: “For many people, an individual insurance plan is optimal, but for others, a savings program is the better deal. The typical individual insurance policy mitigates your out-of-pocket expenses at the dentist or optometrist, especially for those expensive visits when they do more than a check-up. Of course, the monthly premiums are more expensive over a year than membership in a savings program. There are also more rules to understand and claims to file. Savings programs offer straightforward discounts up to 50% with no claims, no copays, and no annual maximum limits. There are also no health restrictions or waiting periods for benefits to kick-in.”

Cook cites health-care reform, a changing economy and aging baby boomers as playing key roles in developing Dental & Vision Extras.

“It’s a perfect storm, in some respects,” said Cook. “More than nine out of 10 Americans who have dental insurance access that insurance through their employer. That model will continue to work well for people fully employed and not nearing retirement. However, an aging population and a changing economy demands new models. This is the first of several products DCPG will be rolling out over the next few years to address changing needs.”

Specific needs that Cook and his TVS colleagues believe Dental & Vision Extras helps to address include:

* Medicare does not include the dental and vision coverage many enjoyed during their working years. These rolls will continue to increase as baby boomers age.
* More Americans are, by choice or necessity, working independently or starting their companies.
* Some baby boomers are choosing to join the ranks of the semi-retired in order to explore a direction in their 50s or early 60s or to become consultants in an area of expertise. If they are not eligible for Medicare, they may need to explore individual benefits.
* Young adults are taking longer to become fully employed with the range of employer-sponsored benefits their parents often enjoyed through an employer. Also, while the Affordable Care Act enables adult children up to age 26 to enroll through a parent’s medical plan, the ACA does not compel employers to extend dental and vision benefits to these adult children.

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