Preventive care in the new year

by MikeMeehan 1/8/2019 3:28 PM

If you and your family’s annual maximum restarts in the new year, now is a great time to schedule checkups and cleanings. With Delta Dental and most dental offices, you can take steps to make scheduling quick and easy. Check out our tips for fitting regular appointments into your busy schedule. Find a convenient timeLook for a dentist with a schedule that works for you. Some dental offices may offer hours outside the typical 9-to-5 schedule to accommodate working families. Once you chose a dentist, schedule your appointment at the same time as the rest of your family to avoid the hassle of multiple visits. If you’re scheduling appointments for the full year, pair them with other annual events like spring cleaning or yearly physician visits to build regular visits into to your family’s yearly routines.  Access scheduling toolsIf you’re covered by Delta Dental, you can download the Delta Dental mobile app to conveniently schedule appointments from your phone.* Additionally, many dental offices will allow you to schedule appointments months in advance. Getting it on the calendar early can help you avoid conflicting events. Take advantage of remindersA possible culprit for skipping the dentist is forgetting the visit you already scheduled. Luckily, there are lots of tools to help. Remember to program the appointment time into your phone or write it on your calendar. You can also ask the dental office receptionist how your appointment reminder will be sent. Choose the method that’s most convenient for you such as a text message, email or friendly phone call. You may even consider requesting a reminder letter from your dental office. Schedules can get hectic any time of the year. But by scheduling smart, you’ll ensure your smile receives the dental care you need to stay healthy. *Appointment scheduling is powered by our partners at Brighter™. Availability may vary by geographic area and individual dentist participation in Brighter Schedule™.   

Questions to ask your dental benefits broker

by MikeMeehan 12/5/2018 9:39 AM

Your benefits broker is responsible for understanding your unique operational concerns and using that information to recommend the best coverage options for your business. While they’re trained to gather and convey the right information, it can be helpful to know beforehand what questions to ask your broker. Consider the questions below. Evaluating a dental benefits provider 1. Does the dental benefits provider have a good reputation? 2. What is the provider’s network like? How large is it and what percentage of dentists nationwide does it cover? 3. What customer service options does the provider maintain for groups and employees? 4. Is the dental benefits provider financially stable? 5. With what degree of accuracy does this company process claims? 6. What data does the provider use to inform its coverage options? 7. Does the provider offer options such as voluntary plans and employer-paid plans?  Evaluating a plan 1. How does this plan help us reach our company’s objectives? 2. Which plan options can help our business attract and retain talent? 3. What is the cost of the plan to the company? Understanding a plan 1. What type of plan is it – fee-for-service, preferred-provider, HMO, discount plan or other? 2. What network does the plan use? 3. Can the plan be customized?  4. What benefits are included? a. How are routine cleanings and checkups covered? b. What services other than routine cleanings and checkups are covered? c. What exclusions or limitations exist? d. Does the plan offer enhanced benefits for individuals with certain conditions such as heart disease or diabetes? 5. What happens if our employees experience an oral health emergency while traveling? 6. Are there waiting periods for certain services? Efficiency 1.What is the onboarding and education process like for employees? 2.How will the provider help us streamline the enrollment process? 3.What educational resources does the provider offer? 4.What self-service tools and administration services does this provider have? Other 1.Do you need any further information from me to provide the best coverage options for my business?

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.   

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