Helping employees get the most value out of their dental benefits

by MikeMeehan 9/20/2018 9:39 AM

Because dental benefits have the potential to improve both oral and overall health, it’s important that employees make the most of their coverage. By taking some simple steps, you can help encourage employees to leverage their dental benefits as effectively as possible.  Education – Ensure that employees are aware of the value their dental coverage provides. Minimizing costs. To realize the most savings, your employees should visit dentists in their plan’s network. When employees choose a network dentist, they help ensure lower claims costs, which also benefits employers. This offers immediate financial benefits for a self-insured group and can lead to more stable premiums in the long run for fully insured groups. Moreover, make sure your employees know that dentists outside your plan’s network may be able to balance bill. This is what happens when a dentist’s fee for a certain service exceeds the plans’ allowed amount, and the dentist bills the difference.  Preventing dental disease. Because most dental disease is preventable, many dental plans cover the cost of preventive care at 100 percent. Regular exams and cleanings are key to keeping mouths healthy and catching dental diseases early before they become costly problems. Maintaining overall health. Signs of over 120 diseases may be detected in the mouth including diabetes and heart diseases. During regular appointments, dentists will look for these conditions and will screen for oral cancer with the goal of early detection. This can help lower medical costs by increasing treatment options and improving outcomes, according to “Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Treatment Planning.” Frequent communication – Clear communication can mean the difference between confidence and confusion. Reminders. Continue to remind employees of the benefits of good oral health and encourage them to utilize preventive care. When you do, mention that they can typically visit the dentist for preventive care at little to no out-of-pocket cost. Updates on changes. If your plan is updated, provide comprehensive information to employees to ensure they fully understand the changes. Check-ins during open enrollment. Employees can make updates at open enrollment, so make sure those who want to make changes don’t miss their chance. This is also a good time to remind employees why they should take advantage of dental benefits.  Ask for feedback. Encourage employees to articulate the positives and negatives of their experiences using their dental coverage. Ask them to provide information that helps prioritize coverage options. And always be open to suggestions.  Resources – Make sure employees have the materials they need to maximize their benefits. Cost savings worksheet. Send a cost savings worksheet to show the financial differences between using an in-network dentist versus an out-of-network dentist. Provider tools. Speak with your dental benefits provider about any communication tools they may offer to make it easier for employees to understand and use their benefits.   

How dental benefits help employers stay competitive

by MikeMeehan 7/19/2018 9:22 AM

Full compensation packages that include dental coverage can help you stand out from your competition. Not only do they make you look more attractive from the outside, but they also help you save time and money internally. Read on to learn why dental coverage is a key part of staying ahead of the pack. Attracting talented employees According to McKinsey, top performers in business are around eight times more productive than average performers. Attracting and retaining these top employees is critical in a highly competitive marketplace and offering dental benefits can help.  Consider this: Two out of 3 employees report that dental coverage is an extremely or very important part of an overall compensation package. In fact, dental benefits ranks higher in importance than disability, life and retiree health insurance. And offering an attractive benefits package matters when it comes to the hiring process; 3 out of 4 workers state that the benefits package offered by an employer is an extremely or very important part of their decision to accept or turn down a job.  Saving your employees (and yourself) time and money Every year, Americans lose more than 164 million hours of work from dental disease, costing companies significant amounts of productivity. Offering dental benefits helps employees stay healthy by encouraging them to seek preventive care. In fact, employees with dental coverage are 73 percent more likely to schedule dental checkups annually than those without it. And visiting the dentist regularly leads to better oral health and early dental disease detection, preventing time away from work required to treat more complex issues.  Dental coverage can also help you and your employees lower the cost of medical care. The dentist will screen for oral cancer, increasing the odds that it will be caught early. Additionally, signs of over 120 diseases may be detected in the mouth including heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers, according to the U.S. Surgeon General Report on Oral Health and the World Health Organization. This disease detection may help improve treatment options and patient outcomes.  If you’re looking for a competitive edge, dental benefits can help. Speak with your benefits consultant or local Delta Dental representative to review your options for employee coverage.  

Your Dental Benefits for the Year Ahead

by MikeMeehan 2/21/2018 12:26 PM

Now that 2018 is well underway, your yearly expense planning may also be in progress. As you’re organizing your finances and other paperwork in preparation of tax season, it’s also a great time to check on the status of your dental benefits. Here are some things to consider. First, check to see if your dental benefits renew at the calendar year or the contract year, which is usually based on when your plan actually took effect. For example, if your benefits started in April, your benefits would typically renew 12 months later, in April. If your benefits renew at the calendar year, the annual slate will typically be wiped clean on your benefits such as: Deductible: Your deductible is the set dollar amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your dental plan begins to pay for covered services, so you’ll need to meet this amount again for 2018. Preventive services, such as exams and cleanings, are typically covered regardless of whether your deductible has been met. Annual maximum: This is the maximum amount your dental plan will pay toward your dental care within a specific period, often a calendar year. Your annual maximum reset if your plan renewed January 1. If you were holding off on treatment because you reached your 2017 annual maximum, you may want to schedule an appointment now. While you’re assessing your dental benefits, you may also want to review where you stand on lifetime maximums. This is the maximum amount of money your plan will pay toward specific services, such as orthodontics and prosthodontics, over the course of a lifetime. Many services have no lifetime maximum. Always check the specifics of your dental plan to understand any applicable maximums or deductibles.  

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