What Does “Covered By Insurance” Really Mean?

Woman frowning while reading paperwork at a table with a laptop and a calculator.

Do you ever feel like adulting comes with its own secret language? You’re not alone! One term that seems to pop up everywhere is “covered by insurance.” But what does that even mean?

Understand What Insurance Is—And What It Isn’t

One of the biggest reasons people give for neglecting their health is cost. That’s where insurance, like dental and vision insurance, can help. Dental and vision insurance companies negotiate discounts for services their network providers offer. When you buy a dental or vision insurance plan, you’re getting access to these discounts. Additionally, your insurance plan will help pay for some of the dental and vision services you receive. For example, many dental plans help pay for preventive care like regular check-ups and exams or even major services like root canals and braces. Vision insurance plans often help pay for preventive care, eyeglasses and lenses, contacts and even laser vision correction.

Know What Is Covered

Many people think that if you’re “covered by insurance,” you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket—but that’s not true. If a service is covered, it means your dental or vision plan will pay for some or all the cost. There could be some cost-sharing involved too. That is why it’s important to check your plan details. You need to know:

  • What treatment and services are covered (and what aren’t covered)
  • How much your insurance will cover for each treatment or service (typically a percentage of the cost called the coinsurance)
  • If there are any benefit maximums (the most the insurance plan will pay over a specific time period)
  • How much you must pay before the insurance plan starts paying (called a deductible)

If you are a Delta Dental of Arizona member, you can view your dental benefits and eligibility in the member portal. If you are a Delta Dental of Arizona vision members, you can view your DeltaVision® coverage details EyeMed’s member web.

Visit In-Network Providers

Keep in mind that if you go to an in-network dentist or eye doctor, you’ll pay less for the services covered by your insurance. That’s because the insurance company has negotiated with those providers for lower rates. The goal is to help you afford care so that you and your family can stay healthy without spending too much money.

It’s easy to find an in-network provider if you are a Delta Dental of Arizona member. You can find a list of in-network providers by location, specialty and plan with the dentist search tool or the vision provider locator on our website.

Learn More

Insurance terminology can be difficult to understand. To learn more, you can check out these articles:

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