What is an entrepreneur? Put simply, it is when a person creates their own job and is self-employed. An entrepreneur could start a software company, write books, offer therapeutic massage — the possibilities are endless. Once the business has started, things are anything but simple! Starting the entrepreneurial journey and being self-employed can be exciting, innovative, slightly risky, and liberating all at once. Unlike traditional employees, entrepreneurs handle a special set of challenges, from financial uncertainties to the absence of employer-sponsored health insurance benefits.
One important aspect of life to consider as an entrepreneur is health and vision insurance. While health insurance is commonly discussed, dental and vision insurance play equally crucial roles in maintaining overall well-being. This is true for those with employers as well as those venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, but for entrepreneurs the road to health coverage can be less clear.
Before diving into the specifics of dental and vision insurance for entrepreneurs, let’s look at the basic concepts. Dental insurance primarily covers expenses related to oral health, including routine check-ups, cleanings, and potential treatments. Vision insurance focuses on eye care, covering services like eye exams, prescription glasses, and contact lenses. Both types of insurance contribute to creating a holistic approach to health, a factor often underestimated in the demanding life of an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs can be known for strengths like foresight, vision, and the ability to “bite off” a big project. But these strengths can hardly be used to their full potential if you struggle with dental pain or headaches from poor eyesight.
Vision insurance isn't just about seeing clearly; it's about ensuring the health of your eyes, which are instrumental to your overall well-being. Regular eye check-ups can detect issues early, preventing potential complications that may hinder any entrepreneur's ability to work effectively.
Dental insurance helps to maintain oral health. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to various systemic diseases, including cardiovascular issues and diabetes. Entrepreneurs, whose success often relies on sharp thinking and acute problem-solving, cannot afford to compromise on their overall health.
Understanding the options available for vision insurance is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to safeguard their eyesight. There are three main options for vision insurance, each with their own qualities and benefits:
Individual Vision Insurance Plans: These plans are purchased independently and offer coverage for routine eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses. VSP insurance plans fall into this category. Pros include convenience and customization, but costs may be higher compared to group plans.
Group Vision Insurance Plans: Entrepreneurs can explore group plans through professional organizations or associations. These plans often provide coverage at a more affordable rate due to group negotiation. However, coverage options may be more limited than individual plans.
Vision Discount Plans: These plans offer discounted rates on vision care services and products. While they don't provide insurance per se, they can reduce out-of-pocket expenses. With discount plans, coverage may vary.
Enrolling in a vision insurance plan often involves researching providers, comparing coverage options, and filling out an application. It’s important to consider factors like coverage limits, network providers, and premium costs to make an informed decision. Even when premium costs are considered, vision insurance can still help save money on eye care.
Dental health is not only about maintaining a bright smile but is integral to overall health. Here are the common dental insurance options for self-employed entrepreneurs:
Traditional Dental Insurance: These plans operate similarly to health insurance, with monthly premiums, deductibles, and coverage for preventive and restorative services. Pros include comprehensive coverage, but costs can be relatively high.
Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (DHMOs): DHMOs offer a network of dentists with fixed copayments for covered services. While these dental plans are cost-effective, they may limit choices in terms of dentists.
Discount Dental Plans: Similar to vision discount plans, dental discount plans provide reduced rates on dental services. Entrepreneurs pay an annual fee to access discounted services but should be aware that these plans do not function as traditional dental insurance plans.
Enrolling in a dental plan involves evaluating individual needs, considering budget constraints, and reviewing plan specifics. Understanding the waiting periods, coverage limits, and exclusions is crucial for making an informed decision.
Protecting your personal health can be overlooked with the fast-paced life of a self-employed entrepreneur, but it is so important! Dental and vision insurance are not mere add-ons. Remember that investing in your health is an investment in your business and your future success.
Remember, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family. Look around to see what dental insurance plans and vision insurance options are available to you. If you don’t visit the dentist or eye doctor other than for routine care, then joining a discount program might be enough to meet your needs. But if your dental or vision correction needs are greater, then more robust insurance plans might be your best option.
Recognizing the importance of oral and eye health, understanding the available insurance options, and proactively enrolling in a suitable plan can contribute to your long-term success and well-being as an entrepreneur. Your health is important – you’ve got this!
We hope this helps you to find and choose the dental and vision insurance plans that suit your needs. No matter what vision coverage you choose, it’s important to look for a vision insurance plan that includes a network of reputable eye care professionals in your area. With VSP, you’ll have access to a huge network of eye doctors all over the country.
Get started today! The VSP Vision Plan Wizard can find the vision plan that’s right for you.
Healthy vision association discounts
Some plans can only be accessed through membership in the Healthy Vision Association (HVA), which helps its members see well and stay healthy.
For $1.50/mo, your membership will give you access to exclusive discount programs* on everyday goods and services including:
Plus, your membership supports vision-related charities too.
*All rebates and special offers are subject to change