Why Dental Insurance Should be Part of Your Health Plan

Why dental insurance should be part of your health plan.
By Laura Wilson, Benefits Administrator, CFP, Inc.

 

 

Tightened budget have caused many businesses to cut some of the “extra”  benefits such as dental or vision insurance.  Some believe that these “extra”  benefits, especially dental plans with limited maximums, may not be worth the premium;  that they pay more in premium dollars than their employees receive in benefits.

 

While most dental plans include annual plan maximums, the maximums are in excess of the premiums paid.   Dental premiums for an employer plan average between $38–$45  per employee per month for a $1500 annual benefit.  That’s around $500 premium  per year for $1500 in paid benefits.   Similar to medical benefits, employees are responsible for a portion of their dental claims, depending on the plan, but typical plans include preventive exams and cleanings paid at 100%.

 

There are other, non monetary benefits of dental insurance that may outweigh paid benefits. 

 

Discounts – Using network dentists will provide a network discount, lowering the employee’s cost share, eliminating balance billing, and extending the benefit maximum.   Dental Plans may also include vision discount cards, or premium discounts off of other coverages such as life insurance bundled with the same carrier.

 

Overall Health – Few people without dental insurance receive regular dental care.  Research has associated chronic oral infections and bad oral health with diabetes, heart and lung disease, stroke, some cancers, premature births and low-birth weights.   In recognition of this parallel  many insurers now provide additional dental cleanings to pregnant women and at risk individuals.  Americans without dental insurance are 67% more likely to develop heart disease and 29% more likely to develop diabetes per a 2008 study by The National Association of Dental Plans.

 

Lower Medical Premiums –Once the  link between  oral health and overall health is understood, the correlation between dental insurance and medical insurance premiums becomes  clear.   Medical rates for experience rated health plans are directly tied to health claims.  Dental insurance helps promote overall health, overall health is associated to  lower medical claims which equate to lower medical rates.

 

Reduced sick days & Absenteeism– The CDC reports that American adults use more than 164 million hours per year for tooth aches, dental disease or dental visits.  Employees that work with  dental pain may not be focused  on their work, posing a danger to themselves and  co-workers.

 

Group dental plans are an integral part of a comprehensive health program, with benefits that more than compensate for the premiums .   They are flexible and easily customized to meet a company’s specific needs or wants.  Voluntary dental plans, with the employee paying most or all of the premium, can be established with as few as 2 enrolled employees, at little or no cost to the employer.   Voluntary dental plans are a good value addition to those companies that don’t currently have a plan, but would like to offer something to those employees who want or need dental coverage for themselves.

 

If you would like further information on adding a dental plan to your benefits package, or making changes to your current plan, please contact CFP at (866-532-0417) or by email at benefitshelp@cfpinc.net and we will be glad to work with you.   CFP, Inc., is the endorsed benefits agent of the AOL and appreciates any opportunity to help you with your benefits questions or planning.  Call today for a quote or review of your benefits plans

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