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?

How a large dental network helps your business

by MikeMeehan 11/9/2018 9:31 AM

With a larger network size, your employees have a greater selection of dentists to choose from. The result for your business and employees is lower costs and better convenience.  Lower costA large network results in better utilization of in-network dentists by your employees, which helps keep costs down. Visiting a network dentist helps ensure lower claims costs, offering immediate financial benefits for self-insured groups and leading to more stable overall costs in the long run for fully insured groups. Employees also enjoy lower out-of-pocket expenses and maximize their benefits when they seek care from in-network dentists. Doing so protects them from balance billing, which is when a dentist’s fee for a specific service exceeds the plan’s allowed amount and the dentist bills the difference.  Better convenienceIn addition to cost savings, a larger network provides a more convenient experience. If employees already have a dentist they prefer, a bigger network makes it more likely that their dentist participates. Employees no longer need to spend time comparison shopping because they can easily find in-network dentists who have agreed to set fees for common dental procedures. That can increase employee satisfaction in the plan and the benefits offering.  Plus, employees can save time by visiting network dentists. Participating dentists submit claims directly to Delta Dental, so your employees don’t have to handle time-consuming forms, whereas out-of-network dentists may not provide this service. When employees use a network dentist, Delta Dental pays the dentist so the employee isn’t required to pay and then wait for reimbursement.  Contact your benefits consultant or local Delta Dental representative to learn more about our dental network.

Tricks to outsmart your sweet tooth

by MikeMeehan 10/24/2018 10:02 AM

It’s Halloween night, and your kids have returned from trick-or-treating with their sugary loots. Before digging in, consider the cavity-causing effects that candy can have on teeth. Enjoying sweets in moderation and managing your cravings can help you avoid tooth decay. Start taming your sweet tooth by learning how much sugar is OK to eat. The Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, daily for those over the age of 3. Because the sugar contents of fun-sized candies vary from 2.4 grams to 14.5 grams, there’s no general rule for how many you can eat each day. Check the packaging and brand websites to calculate the number of candies you should limit yourself to. And remember to factor in the added sugars from all the other foods and drinks you consume. It adds up fast! If you reach your daily limit but the candy bowl is still tempting you, try these tips to defeat the craving:  1. Chew sugar-free gum. Popping in a stick of sugar-free gum instead of a bonbon helps in a couple ways. A study by Louisiana State University found that chewing gum may reduce snack cravings. It’s also useful for cleaning your mouth. Gum washes away leftover food particles and reduces acids that threaten tooth enamel.  2. Distract yourself when a craving hits. Taking a walk has been shown to reduce the urge to eat treats. Plus, it gets you away from the candy bowl. You know what they say – out of sight, out of mind. And if you don’t feel like taking a stroll, do an activity like giving yourself a pedicure. Pick something fun that rewards you for skipping the sweets.  3. Keep healthy substitutes close by. When you really want something sweet but already ate too much sugar, choose naturally sweet foods like fruits and vegetables. Apples, cherries, bell peppers, carrots and others will give you the taste you want along with the nutrients you need. 4. Eat at consistent intervals. You might have heard the saying, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Well, that’s especially true when choosing foods. If your tummy’s grumbling, you might make unhealthy decisions like reaching for a candy bar instead of a nutritious snack. Eat every three to five hours to keep blood sugar in check and maintain a level head. 5. Power up with protein. Low protein levels can cause you to start craving sugar. Your body wants an energy boost and sugar is a quick source. Plan to get protein throughout the day with foods such as beans, eggs, nuts, fish and lean meats.  Even with moderation, good oral health habits are still essential for avoiding cavities. Clean your teeth and gums after consuming sugar by brushing for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. If you aren’t able to sneak away to the bathroom, chew sugar-free gum and drink plenty of water.  

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