Preparing children to go back toschool involves a checklist of to-dos, from shopping for schoolsupplies to getting sports physicals. However, during this busytime, parents may not consider the importance of regular vision anddental exams for their kids. As the summer months wind down,brokers and agents have a great opportunity to reach out to theirclients and discuss how they can educate employees on the role ofsupplemental dental and vision insurance policies in helping coverthese important health checkups.

  • Set your sights high. As children develop,their eyesight can change frequently, especially with the myriadtechnological advancements schools are now implementing into theircurriculum. That is why the American Optometric Associationrecommends that children 5 years and older have their eyes checked every year. Nearsightedness, the most commonrefractive vision error in this age group, can thankfully becorrected with eyeglasses. However, as anyone with glasses orcontacts knows, vision correction does not come for free.

Vision coverage helps families worry less about the cost ofexams or eyeglasses and focus on the overall health of theirchildren. Most vision policies can cover all or most of the cost ofan annual eye examination and could pay for glasses or contacts.Typically, these benefits are available at different levels,allowing policyholders to choose the commitment that best meetstheir needs. Other policies can help with costs associated with eyesurgeries, specific eye diseases/disorders and permanent visualimpairment.

  • Sink your teeth into oral care. Regular dentalexams are critical for diagnosing and preventing one of the mostcommon chronic diseases found in school-age children: cavities. Infact, more than 34 million schoolhours are lost each year due to unplanned dental care. Somechildren may have trouble articulating their dental problems toparents and teachers. By regularly consulting with an oral healthprofessional, parents could relieve their children of pain, savethem from embarrassment or even prevent school absences.

Most dental policies cover the cost of biannual exams, cleaningsand X-rays. Other benefits can help cover the cost of addressingdental issues, such as cavities. This is especially helpful forparents with kids in school, considering that nearly 1 in 5 children haveundiagnosed dental cavities. That makes early and consistenthealth checkups, including visits to the dentist, an important partof kids’ holistic health.

Benefits consultants can also help educate clients on thedifference between network and indemnity dental plans. Anin-network plan includes deductibles and copayments, with benefitspaid to the provider. On the other hand, indemnity coverageprovides cash benefits paid directly to the insured (unlessotherwise assigned) and can be a flexible alternative to networkplans. Education can help empower employers so they can make moreconfident benefits decisions and identify what works for them.

While visiting the dentist and optometrist may not be asexciting to children as picking out a new backpack or clothes, agood school year starts with a healthy body. This back to schoolseason, agents and brokers can take time to remind clients alreadyenrolled in vision and dental benefits to take advantage of them asthe school year starts. For prospective clients, now is a good timeto consider the importance of offering supplemental dental andvision coverage as part of a more robust benefits package.

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