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.   

Enhanced Benefits for Improved Oral Health

by MikeMeehan 10/31/2017 1:54 PM

At Delta Dental, we emphasize the connection between your oral health and overall health. We know that maintaining your oral health will provide benefits to your entire health. And because of this connection, if you have a specific health condition, additional oral health care can be beneficial. So we, at Delta Dental, offer enhanced benefits. Our enhanced benefits program, called Healthy Smiles, Healthy Lives®, covers extra cleanings and exams for members with certain health conditions. You may be eligible to receive this extra care for little or no increase in your dental premium. And the extra care will improve not only your oral health, but your overall health. Check your current plan to confirm your eligibility or if you’d like to enroll, visit our website, or talk with your dentist. The program benefits are based on your dental plan and your medical condition. The benefits may include additional cleanings, periodontal maintenance and fluoride treatments. Here are some examples of conditions that may be eligible for the enhanced benefits program, as listed by the Delta Dental Plans Association: Cancer-related chemotherapy or radiation treatments. While under these treatments, you may have a weakened immune system and dry mouth. This can put you at increased risk for cavities and gum infection. Diabetes. If you have diabetes, you are more susceptible to periodontal disease. Extra cleanings may help improve your periodontal health. Periodontal (gum) disease. You may prevent tooth loss that can result from periodontal disease  with more frequent visits and additional dental care. Cardiovascular diseases or stroke. If you have cardiovascular disease, you share many of the risk factors with those who have gum disease.  Kidney failure or dialysis. If you have kidney disease, additional preventive care may help you decrease dental infections, which can be harmful to your kidney functions. Pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can make your mouth more vulnerable to bacteria and developing gum problems. Good preventive care and extra cleanings can help avoid those issues. Suppressed immune systems. More oral exams and cleanings may help you if you have a weakened immune system, including if you have HIV or if you have received an organ transplant. These extra cleanings can help you avoid mouth infections and improve your quality of life. Again, please be sure to confirm your eligibility before treatment by contacting us directly or asking your dentist to contact us. You may have to sign up for the enhanced benefits program before receiving the extra coverage.  

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