Providing employees the opportunity to purchase dental insurance is not enough. Employee education is an important element when you offer voluntary benefits.
A 2019 survey by the National Association of Dental Plans shows that approximately 47 percent of adults participate in employer-sponsored dental insurance plans but less than half of insured adults use their dental insurance and only 4.2 percent reach the annual maximum.
The American Dental Association reports that the primary reason people don’t go to the dentist is cost. That’s followed by fear of the dentist and the inability to find convenient locations or appointment times.
A dental exam can detect the signs of more than 120 diseases. For instance, dentists can detect signs of conditions such as diabetes or AIDS by the presence of mouth lesions or other oral problems. Periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss, is often linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia. Women who are pregnant and have periodontitis have increased risk of delivering pre-term and/or low-birth-weight infants.
The typical dental plans typically provide 100/80/50 coverage, because they cover:
• 100 percent of the cost for preventive care, such as exams, cleanings and X-rays received during an average dental checkup. Teeth should be cleaned at least twice a year.
• Seventy to 80 percent of procedures like fillings, extractions and periodontal work.
• 50 percent or less of major procedures including crowns, root canals, dentures, bridges, or implants.
To ensure your employees get the most from their dental benefits, emphasize the importance of good oral health — not only during open enrollment — but throughout the year. Remind them they can typically visit the dentist and get a checkup for little to no out-of-pocket cost.
Also, if you have a PPO plan, encourage employees to visit dentists in their plan’s network as a way to lower costs. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.