That’s why you play a crucial role in helping employers choose great dental coverage their employees want to utilize. The more you know about dental plan designs and how they best serve an ever-evolving workforce, the better you can help your clients deliver more value to employees for less money.
Help clients thoughtfully re-evaluate their dental coverage with these key considerations:
1. Your dental insurance carrier should offer a wide variety of plan designs and incentives.
One size does not fit all when it comes to dental insurance. Find dental carriers that give your clients a wide variety of plan options to meet member needs while also managing costs. If adding employer-based dental benefits raises budget concerns, remind your clients that other options are available. For example:
Voluntary dental insurance benefits allow members to buy benefits at group rates giving clients the advantage of payroll tax deductions. Buy-up dental plans allow clients to offer employees different dental plans at varying employer contribution levels.
Administrative Services Only (ASO) dental plans allow employers to offer members the same products and dental network access with the significant cost savings of using their own funds to cover claims.
2. Great dental insurance carriers focus on quality preventive care.
Working Americans who go for regular preventive dental care are more likely to report better oral health, which leads to better health overall. Poor oral health is linked to diseases1 such as cardiovascular disease, premature birth, and low
birth weight. At the same time, certain diseases such as diabetes can lead to poor oral health if not properly managed. That’s why it’s crucial to find dental carriers that promote easy access to quality preventive care, such as regular cleanings and fluoride treatments.
3. Offering dental insurance helps attract and retain great employees.
Most employers use benefits to keep employees happy, but finding the right mix is a challenge —especially as average employee tenures shrink. If employers want to be successful in the long-run, they must design benefit packages that meet the current and future needs of their workforce. And research shows the workforce wants dental.
When it comes to secondary benefits, dental is the most popular. In 2017, LIMRA found that on average, 68 percent of employees participate in dental coverage when it’s offered.2 When surveyed about the most important benefits an employer must offer, workers ranked dental coverage among the most important benefits after medical insurance.
4. Dental benefits improve oral health and reduce benefit costs over time.
Help your clients understand that dental insurance is more than a secondary benefit: it is a sound investment in the health of employees. People who receive regular dental cleanings and exams are less likely to need major expensive treatment over time.
When Guardian analyzed its dental claims data from 2011 to 2017, it found that employer groups with high preventive benefit utilization spent less money on claims than groups with low preventive utilization.
Further, the groups using their preventive benefits spent almost seven times less money covering major dental procedures.3
Without access to quality dental benefits, employees are more likely to skip the dentist — and miss out on crucial preventive care that lowers long-term costs for all involved. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90 percent of systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.
Maintaining good oral health is also beneficial in managing diabetes, lowering risk of heart disease and contributing to a healthy pregnancy.
5. Offering dental insurance as a separate benefit has advantages over offering dental as part of a medical benefits package.
Clients can offer dental insurance through a carrier that bundles dental with medical insurance, or they can keep dental plans separate with a carrier specializing in dental coverage.
Keeping medical and dental plans separate has its advantages for overall customer satisfaction. Stand-alone dental carriers have developed claims structures that help pay claims faster. Further, carriers who specialize in dental are better able to develop relationships with large numbers of dentists and negotiate money-saving discounts.
6. Your dental network should offer more than size.
Network size is important, but it isn’t all that matters when helping clients select a dental insurance carrier.
A powerful dental network also provides:
Incentives for accessing preventive care.
Savings through high effective discounts.
High-quality, vetted dental care providers. For example: Certain carriers will not accept dental providers who do not pass strict credentialing.
Access to quality specialty care, such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry.
7. Your dental insurer should offer excellent service behind the scenes.
An employer’s dental insurer should be able to reassure dentists and members that claims will be paid quickly and accurately. The insurer should also prioritize software and systems that allow them to detect claims inaccuracies that could cost the insured more money if not properly detected and addressed. Make sure you check your insurer’s claims processing time, as well as the accuracy rate.
Want more tools, information, and support?
With decades of experience gained from thousands of broker, employer, provider, and patient interactions, Guardian offers brokers the resources they need to deliver clear, valuable information and stay on top of the latest industry trends.
For more insights that help you access the quality dental care your clients deserve, access Guardian’s Broker Dental Toolkit.