It is Diabetes Awareness Month and this year’s focus is managing diabetes by building a health care team. Did you know a strong health care team to help manage diabetes should include both a dentist and an eye care doctor?

People with diabetes have a higher chance of having gum disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

The American Diabetes Association has found that 95% of diabetes related vision loss could be prevented by getting an annual eye exam.

It is widely known that people with dental and vision insurance are more likely to maintain their oral and vision health. Sun Life offers both dental and vision insurance plans to help meet this need. Our plans even go further and offer specific enhanced value for dealing with diabetes.

Let’s consider how a Sun Life dental plan can help a group that has a high number of members with diabetes or at risk for diabetes:

  1. We recommend they offer a plan that covers preventive services at 100%. X-rays, cleanings and routine check-ups really help to catch gum disease sooner rather than later.
  2. Our Lifetime of Smiles® program brings a lot of value. The standard program can include genetic testing to help identify individuals that are at risk for gum disease, and periochips, which help control bacteria. You may also include additional periodontal cleanings to help prevent gum disease.
  3. Another plan option to consider is Preventive Max Waiver®. With this option of Lifetime of Smiles, early preventive steps are not counted towards a member’s annual maximum, so they have additional dollars to use as they need.

Sun Life vision plans also include important features to help groups that have a high number of members with diabetes or at risk for diabetes:

  1. All of our vision plans include an annual comprehensive eye exam. These annual exams are very important for eye care doctors to spot early signs of diabetes or a progressing illness. Sun Life even offers an exam-only plan that can save employers money while helping employees.
  2. We also offer the Diabetic Eyecare Plus program with most of our vision plans. This program provides additional eye care services specifically for members with diabetic eye disease.
  3. Sun Life makes it easy for members to get care at retail locations near them. Our members can see eye care doctors at participating retail chain providers like Costco, Walmart, Visionworks and more.

Diabetes is a big problem for our country and affects about 37 million Americans. Offering strong dental and vision plans can really help to enhance an employee’s health care team so they have as many people helping them manage the disease as possible.  


This article is meant to provide general information only. It’s not professional medical or legal advice, or a substitute for that advice. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Wellesley Hills, MA. For New York group policies: Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.), Lansing, MI.