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What to consider in a dental plan

Questions to consider about adding dental benefits

Dental benefits are important to your employees. After medical insurance, it's their top priority when considering the overall value of a benefits package — so you want to make sure you’re tailoring coverage to give them the best possible benefit. But, how do you know what that looks like? By asking the following questions when reviewing your dental options, you can find the right dental plan to fit your needs.

What’s covered?

At a minimum, your dental benefits should cover basic diagnostic, preventive and restorative care — like check-ups, cleaning, cavity repair, extractions and root canal treatment. This is a standard benefit design offered by most dental carriers. If the majority of your employees are older, benefits should include coverage for implants, crowns, dentures and bridges. While orthodontics is commonly thought of as a popular benefit for families with young children or teenagers, it should be considered as a desirable benefit for employees of all ages.

How much does it cost?

Quality dental coverage is important, but so is your bottom line. A popular option is offering voluntary dental coverage, which means your employees can have access to an affordable dental plan by paying the full premium through payroll deduction. Regardless of the program being voluntary or contributory you can customize the rate structure to meet your employees's needs. For example, a four-tier rate structure that covers single employees, employees and spouses, employees and dependents, and families gives your employees the flexibility to choose coverage that meets their needs.

How big is the network?

The size of the network is important to your employees and to your business in controlling costs. Whether you choose a broad or narrow network, carriers like Wellmark can negotiate fees with providers to help reduce claims costs. Dentists and provider locations help encourage your employees to seek regular dental care. If you have employees who work remotely or travel frequently for their job, you want to make sure your dental carrier has a strong national network as well. While your employees can always see an out-of-network dentist, they’ll save money if they stay in network.

What else should I consider?

Consider your administrative workload between a dental-only carrier and bundling your medical and dental benefits for an administrative convenience with enrollment and billing. And, to make your dental benefits easier to understand for your employees, look for carriers that offer member support and tools — like online portals that allow them to quickly find in-network providers, check the status of their claims and more.

Wellmark members have access to myWellmark®, a personalized website that allows them to make the most of their health benefits with tools, resources and insights that help manage spending — which can ultimately help your bottom line. With myWellmark, your employees can search for in-network dentists, look up the status of their claims, track and organize their expenses, see relevant information related to their specific coverage and more.

The value of quality dental care

Dental care for your employees is about more than their teeth. Routine dental exams Opens in a new window can detect symptoms of larger health concerns, like diabetes and heart disease. And, when your employees visit the dentist regularly, they're less likely to miss work because of unplanned dental care — which leads to millions in lost productivity each year. Bottom line: Dental coverage is essential for a comprehensive benefits package that attracts and helps retain valuable employees.

Have questions about the most cost-effective dental coverage for your business? Talk to your Wellmark representative about Wellmark’s dental offerings or email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email.