I am a new employee and I have the Blue Cross Basic plan. I've reviewed the plan and it seems to cover dental as well as medical. But I have always thought I needed separate dental and vision. Others at my office carry separate dental and vision.
BCBS Basic covers some dental procedures, but not really expensive ones like crowns and bridges. Please look at our dental comparisons and read our information on dental, vision, and hearing coverage. There are obvious advantages to joining the FEDVIP dental plans, but they do cost hundreds of dollars in additional premiums. If you have low dental needs such as annual checkup and cleanings and perhaps a few fillings, but expect no expensive procedures like crowns or bridges, then the coverage in BCBS Basic (and many other FEHB plans) is probably all you need. Of course, there is always risk of a new problem, so you need to weigh that as well.
In some plans you indicate that you will pay zero for routine dental exams. But the official OPM brochure indicates virtually no dental coverage ("No benefit except for services related to an accidental injury.") That's a pretty major disconnect.
There are many FEHB plans that provide a free "unofficial" dental benefit to enrollees. You will see this benefit described either in the "wellness and other special features" or "Non-FEHB benefits" section of the brochure. We take such benefits into account if they are free to federal enrollees and clearly enough described so that we can evaluate their costs. Even if the benefit is not part of the federal contract, it is still a legal obligation of the plan.
What dental plan is best for implants?
This is one of those situations where the best thing to do is talk to the dentist or dentists (there may be more than one for this procedure) you will use. They will know which plans pay best and, of course, whether they are in the network. You can study the dental plan brochures, but this is a procedure with multiple dental codes and you could easily make a mistake.
Is there a Blue Cross Plan that covers significant vision and dental expenses so that a higher premium would be more valuable than getting separate Vision/Dental coverage?
You should use our Guide to compare dental benefits or just look in the BCBS plan brochure to see the details for what those the two BCBS plans cover at no extra cost. BCBS Basic has a good benefit for routine dental care such as annual checkup. BCBS Standard has almost no dental benefit. Since the plan with the higher coverage has the lower premium, and comparably good benefits for your medical expenses, BCBS Basic is clearly superior in this regard. But you have many other choices.