Evaluating a dental provider: What to look for

by MikeMeehan 6/20/2018 10:55 AM

Selecting dental coverage that best suits your company can go a long way toward employee satisfaction. In fact, more than two-thirds of employees consider dental benefits to be an extremely or very important part of an overall compensation package. Brush up on which aspects are most important when evaluating a dental benefits provider with our quick guide below. NetworkNetwork coverage is key to helping keep your employees – and your wallet – happy. A larger network means more in-network dentists for your employees to choose from. It also means that the dentists your employees currently visit will likely be in-network.  Visiting in-network dentists saves employees and employers money. It protects your employees from balance billing and saves your group money on claims, which typically account for the majority of an employer’s expense. Cost managementThe true cost of a plan extends beyond premiums. When deciding on a dental plan, evaluate the provider’s cost-containment strategies, cost-management history, fee arrangements with dentists and effective discounts delivered to all members. Long-term costs can be reduced with preventive care like regular dental exams and cleanings that help employees avoid costly procedures down the road. Some providers, such as Delta Dental, usually offer options with complete coverage for preventive care. Cost transparencyMake sure the provider will deliver cost transparency and data on actual costs and benefits. This can often be lost when bundling medical and dental coverage where the only cost noted is a single premium.  ServiceKnowing that your questions and issues will be addressed in a timely matter will help you feel confident and satisfied with your coverage decision. Being able to reach a local representative and easily use the provider’s website and mobile app (if they have one) can improve efficiency, flexibility, transparency and the claims process. Some providers even offer financial guarantees on pre-determined service standards, such as customer service and timely payment of claims. Enhanced benefitsSome providers offer enhanced benefits, like additional exams and cleanings, at little or no cost to those with certain medical conditions who might benefit from additional oral health care. Enhanced benefits may be available for pregnant women and those with diabetes, suppressed immune systems and other systemic conditions. Dental benefits expertiseLook for a provider that uses credible, evidence-based data to shape coverage options and has a proven track record of supplying high-quality benefits.  By knowing the needs of your employees and the most important benefits considerations to evaluate, you can select dental coverage that will be good for both you and your employees. Talk to your benefits consultant or local Delta Dental representative about your options.   

Effective Discount: Measuring Overall Network Value

by MikeMeehan 8/2/2017 10:45 AM

From size of the network to utilization rates to money saved, there are multiple ways to measure the overall value of a provider network. The effective discount – which represents savings on all claims both in and out of the network – encompasses a number of individual measures. Accordingly, it is a good overall measure of the value of a provider network. According to a recent study, our Delta Dental PPOSM Plan delivers the industry’s best effective discount – averaging 25.3 percent nationally – resulting in more than $5.9 billion in annual savings compared to dentists’ average FAIR Health submitted charges. About the Study The independent study examined a full year’s worth of claims data from Delta Dental and 17 other companies offering dental coverage. FAIR Health data was utilized to establish a universal baseline for average dental industry charges – consistent across all companies, geographies and procedures. How Delta Dental Delivers the Best Effective Discount Large Network Size Delta Dental is able to offer savings even to those enrollees who choose to visit a non-PPO dentist – a key benefit of our exclusive Delta Dental Premier network, the largest nationwide with more than 148,000 unique dentists.1 High Network Utilization Delta Dental delivers a national network utilization rate of more than 94 percent for its combined PPO and Premier networks, compared to an average PPO utilization of 63 percent for competitor networks.2 More in-network visits equal more savings. Direct Network ApproachLocal staff members foster strong relationships directly with dentists – establishing fair reimbursement rates and maintaining network stability. Count On Delta Dental  As America’s leading dental coverage provider, we serve more than 75 million people and provide coverage to over 139,000 groups nationwide.  To learn how Delta Dental can help you and your organization, visit us at deltadental.com.     1 March 2017 Independent NetMinder Data; based on the Delta Dental Premier® network 2 Ruark Consulting LLC’s 2016 Dental PPO Network Study

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