Dental benefits are considered very important to 82 percent of employees External Link. 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 by dental benefits?
At a minimum, your dental benefits should cover basic diagnostic, preventive and restorative care — like check-ups, cleanings, 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's actually a desirable benefit for employees of all ages.
Depending on your dental insurance carrier, they may also offer additional benefits based on certain health conditions, like pregnancy, heart disease, diabetes, and more. It's worth looking into what, if any, those supported conditions are and how that could benefit your employees and their families.
How much does dental coverage 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. If you choose a contributory dental plan, ask your benefits consultant about the best way to structure your contribution. 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 dental provider network?
The more dentists who participate in a network, the lower your claim costs will be. That’s because carriers with broader networks — like Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Blue Dental network Opens in a new window — can negotiate fees with providers. And, more 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 in a dental plan?
Ask your benefits consultant about the differences between choosing a dental-only carrier and bundling your medical and dental benefits. 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 Opens in a new window®, 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.
Dental coverage is no longer a nice-to-have benefit
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 email@example.com Send Email.