Understanding the ins and outs of dual coverage

by MikeMeehan 8/8/2018 2:00 PM

It’s not uncommon to be covered by two dental benefits plans, which means that you have “dual coverage.” If this applies to you or your family members, take a moment to learn how dual coverage works with these four key points. 1. Understand your coordination of benefits (COB). Your COB is the way your two plans work together when you have dual coverage. The plan that pays first is called the “primary plan,” while the one that pays second is called the “secondary plan.” When your dental office sends a bill, they will address it to the primary plan provider. After the primary plan provider has paid, the remainder of the bill will be sent to your secondary plan provider. In some cases, the secondary plan may cover the rest of the bill.  2. Figure out which plan pays first.  For kids, the primary plan provider can be determined in a couple of ways: •If you’re currently married and your kids have dual coverage, their primary plan will be based on your and your spouse’s birthdays. The parent whose birthday comes first in the year (regardless of birth year) will have the primary plan. For example, if your birthday is June 15th and your spouse’s birthday is December 1st, yours would be the primary plan.  •When parents are divorced, a child’s primary plan typically comes from the parent with the largest portion of custody. It’s best to check with your benefits provider because this may vary depending on your situation. If you have dual coverage because you’re married, the coverage you receive under your employer is your primary plan, as opposed to the coverage you receive from your spouse. Alternatively, you might have dual coverage because you have two jobs. In this case, the plan you’ve had for the longest will be your primary plan. 3. Don’t expect double coverage.  Dual coverage means your two benefits providers share costs in a pre-determined way – not that you receive double benefits. For example, both plans may cover two cleanings a year, but having dual coverage doesn’t mean that you’re now covered for four. 4. Know if your plan has a non-duplication of benefits clause.  Some plans have a rule that prevents secondary plan coverage when the primary plan already paid as much or more than the secondary plan would have covered if it had been the primary plan. Check your plan information to see if your secondary plan has this rule before using your benefits.  With some quick research, you can handle dual coverage with ease and know what to expect after you visit the dentist.

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.  

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.   

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