Broker blog from Delta Dental

Category: Delta Dental news (Page 1 of 6)

Stay up to date on the lat­est news in the den­tal insur­ance indus­try from Delta Den­tal.

Add vision and hearing deals to your dental sales

Delta Den­tal plans have always been great when it comes to oral health and well­ness. With the addi­tion of deals on LASIK eye surgery from Qual­Sight and hear­ing aids from Ampli­fon, your clients can get even more val­ue from their plans.

What can QualSight and Amplifon do for you?

Every Delta Den­tal enrollee now has access to great deals on hear­ing aids and LASIK eye surgery from Qual­Sight and Ampli­fon. This means your clients can get dis­counts of 40–50% off the aver­age price of tra­di­tion­al LASIK from QualSight’s expe­ri­enced sur­geons. With Ampli­fon, they get an aver­age of 62% off retail hear­ing aid pric­ing, backed by a best price guar­an­tee.

Vision cor­rec­tive ser­vices and Amplifon’s hear­ing health care ser­vices aren’t insured ben­e­fits. Delta Den­tal makes the vision cor­rec­tive ser­vices pro­gram and hear­ing health care ser­vices pro­gram avail­able to enrollees to pro­vide access to the pre­ferred pric­ing for these ser­vices.

What does this mean for you?

Now the Delta Den­tal plans you sell come with even more val­ue-added ser­vices, with no extra effort on your end. After your clients buy a Delta Den­tal plan, they can call Qual­Sight and Ampli­fon direct­ly to take advan­tage of the dis­counts. The ded­i­cat­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Qual­Sight and Ampli­fon will walk them through the process, includ­ing sched­ul­ing appoint­ments and coor­di­nat­ing fol­low-up care. There’s even a fly­er you can print or send to your clients.

Now what?

To learn more about these deals and see your oth­er resources, take a look at your bro­ker resources page or down­load the brochure. You can also vis­it Qual­Sight and Amplifon’s pages for Delta Den­tal enrollees.


Direct deposit puts commissions on a schedule

There are many good rea­sons to automat­ing your com­mis­sions, espe­cial­ly in times of eco­nom­ic uncer­tain­ty.

What are the advantages of setting up direct deposits?

  • Tim­ing. With direct deposit, you receive your com­mis­sions on the 10th  of the month, every month. This pre­dictable sched­ule helps you more accu­rate­ly plan your finances. Rather than wait­ing for checks to arrive and clear, you’ll always know when the mon­ey reach­es your account.
  • Con­ve­nience. Make reg­u­lar trips to the bank a thing of the past. Direct deposit saves you dri­ving time, traf­fic stress, poten­tial mail delays and long ATM lines. Besides, what’s eas­i­er than auto­mat­ic?
  • Secu­ri­ty. In case of mishap, learn­ing what went wrong with a direct deposit is as sim­ple as call­ing or email­ing your finan­cial insti­tu­tion. Direct elec­tron­ic trans­fers make stolen let­ters, mail delays and incor­rect deliv­er­ies a thing of the past.

How to sign up for direct deposit

If you’re inter­est­ed in direct deposit, it’s sim­ple to set up. Log in to your online account. Then go to the Busi­ness Infor­ma­tion tab and then the Pay­ment Infor­ma­tion tab. Your pay­ments will be sent direct­ly to your account by the 10th busi­ness day of the month.

If you’d rather, fill out the direct deposit form (PDF, 90 KB) and scan a void­ed check. Save the com­plet­ed form, then send both to producer-commissions@delta.org.


Teledentistry: what it is, and what it means for your clients

Busi­ness­es, schools and pub­lic space have been reopen­ing for months now, and that includes den­tal offices. As part of the reopen­ing efforts, more den­tists and their patients have turned to tele­den­tistry, an emerg­ing trend that has the pow­er to reshape the indus­try as we know it. Here are some com­mon ques­tions about tele­den­tistry, as well as our thoughts about the impact tele­den­tistry will have on the indus­try and how Delta Den­tal is address­ing it.

What is teledentistry?

Tele­den­tistry is when a den­tist con­ducts a vir­tu­al con­sul­ta­tion via phone, text or video to diag­nose issues, offer care advice and deter­mine if an in-per­son vis­it is nec­es­sary.

Tele­den­tistry appoint­ments can be syn­chro­nous, such as a video call where the den­tist and patient are inter­act­ing with each oth­er, or asyn­chro­nous, such as when the patient sends a descrip­tion of his or her sit­u­a­tion and a pho­to and waits for a reply.

Are teledentistry appointments covered by insurance?

Yes. Delta Den­tal cov­ers tele­den­tistry ser­vices as prob­lem-focused exams. That means they fall into the cat­e­go­ry of diag­nos­tic care, and are sub­ject to the same rules and lim­i­ta­tions (for exam­ple, D&P is usu­al­ly cov­ered at no cost to the patient, but only a cer­tain num­ber of such appoint­ments are cov­ered each year).

What kind of equipment is needed for teledentistry appointments?

The equip­ment and soft­ware need­ed may vary based on den­tists’ pref­er­ences and capa­bil­i­ties. Tele­den­tistry may require noth­ing more than a phone or may require a smart device, com­put­er or spe­cial­ized app.

If dental offices are reopening, why is teledentistry relevant?

Den­tist offices may open, but that doesn’t mean that patients won’t ben­e­fit from tele­den­tistry solu­tions. Just as work­ing from home has shown the val­ue of video meet­ings and con­nect­ing with cowork­ers with­out being in per­son, patients may find tele­den­tistry a use­ful option when seek­ing den­tal care.

Addi­tion­al­ly, not all patients are will­ing to return to the den­tists. Sur­veys this past August by the Amer­i­can Den­tal Asso­ci­a­tion (ADA) have found that 15% of peo­ple are wait­ing for a med­ical break­through such as a vac­cine before they’ll go back to the den­tist. Whether your clients are eager or hes­i­tant to return the den­tist, tele­den­tistry is the per­fect tool for stay­ing in touch, get­ting care and get­ting advice with­out going into the dentist’s office.

What is Delta Dental doing with regards to teledentistry?

Delta Den­tal cov­ers tele­den­tistry appoint­ments at the same ben­e­fit lev­els as diag­nos­tic ser­vices to ensure that enrollees have cov­er­age for their den­tal needs while stay­ing safe from COVID-19. We’re encour­ag­ing den­tists to use tele­den­tistry for emer­gency diag­noses and non-emer­gency con­sul­ta­tions. Delta Den­tal den­tists are also eli­gi­ble for dis­counts on tele­den­tistry ser­vices. What’s more, Delta Den­tal is look­ing into part­ner­ships with tele­den­tistry com­pa­nies to improve the expe­ri­ence for both den­tists and their patients.

How will teledentistry change the industry?

COVID-19 has been dis­rup­tive to the entire econ­o­my, and the den­tal indus­try is no excep­tion. That dis­rup­tion is more than just eco­nom­ic, how­ev­er. Expec­ta­tions about what it means to go to the den­tist are also chang­ing. Den­tal patients may expect tele­den­tistry to be includ­ed as a stan­dard part of any insur­ance plan (for exam­ple, Kaiser Per­ma­nente is launch­ing plans with a heavy focus on tele­health) and they may shy away from plans and den­tists that can’t accom­mo­date it. Patients who live in remote areas may also find expand­ed access to pro­fes­sion­al care because of tele­den­tistry.

For den­tists, tele­den­tistry is more than just anoth­er option or add-on when it comes to pro­vid­ing care and in-per­son treat­ments. It may become a new source of income in the form of see­ing more patients vir­tu­al­ly.

For bro­kers, stay­ing on top of the lat­est devel­op­ments, indus­try best prac­tices and cus­tomer expec­ta­tions about tele­den­tistry will become ever more impor­tant.

Dental care is an important part of overall health

Den­tal health is about more than just den­tal health. As the Sur­geon General’s Report on Oral Health in Amer­i­ca put it: “…oral health is inte­gral to gen­er­al health. You can­not be healthy with­out oral health. Oral health and gen­er­al health should not be inter­pret­ed as sep­a­rate enti­ties.”

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, then, neglect­ing den­tal health can impact more than just teeth and gums. While a com­mon per­cep­tion is that poor den­tal health affects only the mouth, it has also been asso­ci­at­ed with a vari­ety of gen­er­al health con­di­tions.

While there isn’t con­clu­sive evi­dence that poor den­tal health caus­es these con­di­tions, stud­ies have linked cer­tain den­tal con­di­tions, such as peri­odon­tal gum dis­ease, to stroke and bac­te­r­i­al pneu­mo­nia.

The link between poor den­tal health and heart dis­ease is par­tic­u­lar­ly strong. For instance, a study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion jour­nal Cir­cu­la­tion sug­gests that gum dis­ease may increase the risk of heart attack by almost 50%. And in the same issue of the jour­nal, it was report­ed that there’s increas­ing evi­dence for an asso­ci­a­tion between gum and heart dis­ease.

For women who are preg­nant, poor oral health may affect not only their health but the health of their babies as well. For instance, a 2016 study found a pos­si­ble link between gum dis­ease and adverse preg­nan­cy out­comes, includ­ing pre­ma­ture deliv­er­ies and babies with low weight at birth.

Oral health issues can also be symp­toms of seri­ous health con­di­tions. For exam­ple, dry mouth, bad breath, gum dis­ease and new or slow-to-heal den­tal infec­tions may indi­cate untreat­ed dia­betes. Patch­es or numb­ness in the mouth, jaw pain or dif­fi­cul­ty chew­ing may sig­nal oral can­cer.

Access to den­tal care, then, is impor­tant not only for main­tain­ing healthy teeth and gums but for main­tain­ing over­all well­ness and ensur­ing that no oth­er, more seri­ous health issues are present.

A key to this access is hav­ing den­tal ben­e­fits. Peo­ple who have den­tal ben­e­fits are not only more like­ly to vis­it the den­tist than peo­ple with­out them, but they’re also more like­ly take their chil­dren to the den­tist, accord­ing to a Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Den­tal Plans (NADP) report. The report also notes that these peo­ple expe­ri­ence greater over­all health than peo­ple with­out den­tal insur­ance.

The cost of skip­ping this care is sig­nif­i­cant. Each dol­lar spent on pre­ven­tive den­tal care can save as much as $50 lat­er on cost­ly restora­tive treat­ments, such as fill­ings and crowns. And each year, $45 bil­lion is lost in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty due to den­tal dis­ease, accord­ing to an esti­mate from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

So when dis­cussing den­tal health, remem­ber — it’s about much more than den­tal health.

Help check enrollee notices off clients’ year-end to-do list

With the hol­i­day sea­son in full swing, some­times the dai­ly to-do lists can seem nev­er-end­ing. That’s why we want to help your clients cross one thing off their list: Edu­cat­ing new enrollees — and remind­ing cur­rent enrollees — about their rights.

Fed­er­al and state laws require groups to noti­fy enrollees about enrollee rights and pri­va­cy prac­tices.1 The good news is, we’ve made it easy for your clients to share this infor­ma­tion.

You can learn more about the notices on our admin­is­tra­tor web pages. Enrollees can also view and down­load each notice on our web­site. Addi­tion­al­ly, dur­ing open enroll­ment we pro­vide groups with an enrollee fly­er sum­ma­riz­ing the notices.

Remind clients to share the notices with cur­rent enrollees annu­al­ly, and with all new enrollees with­in 30 days of eli­gi­bil­i­ty.

Here are some ways clients can share:

  • Post the notices on the com­pa­ny Intranet
  • Email employ­ees a link to the notices
  • Place copies of the notices in com­mon areas, or in the HR area
  • Include copies of the notices in your next com­pa­ny mail­ing

If clients or their enrollees have any ques­tions about the notices, they can call 866–530-9675.

 

For more tips from Delta Den­tal, sub­scribe to Insid­er Update, our newslet­ter for bro­kers, agents and con­sul­tants.

If you’re a ben­e­fits deci­sion mak­er, admin­is­tra­tor or HR pro­fes­sion­al, sub­scribe to our group newslet­ter, Word of Mouth.

 

1 Self-fund­ed groups are not required to share Delta Dental’s enrollee notices and may opt to use their own notices; how­ev­er, these notices can­not be in con­flict with Delta Dental’s prac­tices. If clients have ques­tions about the notices, they can con­tact their account man­ag­er.

How to keep yourself from “falling back” with daylight saving

Most of us look for­ward to snooz­ing an extra hour once a year when day­light-sav­ing time ends. How­ev­er, for many peo­ple, that addi­tion­al hour of sleep is where the pos­i­tive effects stop. When you add the season’s cold­er temps and bit­ter weath­er to its dark­er, short­er days, you’ve got the per­fect recipe for the blues. With increas­ing evi­dence that hap­pi­ness is tied to pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, that’s prob­a­bly a recipe you want to avoid. That’s why we’ve gath­ered these tips to help you stay hap­py and healthy in the com­ing months.*

Get mov­ing.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — phys­i­cal activ­i­ties help cre­ate endor­phins, which are proven to boost hap­pi­ness.

  • Par­tic­i­pat­ing in a team sport is a great way to get the blood pump­ing! Try a unique sport this win­ter like curl­ing or broom­ball. For those that don’t like to com­pete, check out group fit­ness class­es offered in your area.
  • There are also plen­ty of small steps — from tak­ing the stairs to park­ing in the back forty — you can take to increase phys­i­cal activ­i­ty dur­ing the work­day. Check out our pre­vi­ous arti­cle for advice on how to add more mobil­i­ty in the office.

Build more friend­ships.
Friend­ships can be a pow­er­ful force when it comes to increas­ing hap­pi­ness and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Find ways to meet new peo­ple in and out­side of the office. Here are some ideas to get you start­ed:

  • Keep tabs on local events and invite a cowork­er
  • Join a book club
  • Sit with some­one new on your lunch­break
  • Vol­un­teer at a new event

Take advan­tage of the sun (when it’s out).
The sun can be hard­er to find in the cool­er months, but that makes it even more impor­tant to catch rays when you can. Sun­light could increase the brain’s pro­duc­tion of sero­tonin, which is asso­ci­at­ed with mood boost­ing ben­e­fits. In fact, a lack of sun expo­sure has been linked to major sea­son­al depres­sion. To help com­bat the dark­ness at the office, keep the blinds open and arrange your work sta­tion to receive as much nat­ur­al light as pos­si­ble. If it’s a par­tic­u­lar­ly sun­ny day, get out for your lunch­break to soak up some extra sun.

Don’t wait to seek help.
It’s esti­mat­ed that 10 mil­lion Amer­i­cans suf­fer from sea­son­al affec­tive dis­or­der (SAD), often referred to as the win­ter blues. If you start to feel symp­toms of SAD or major depres­sion, seek pro­fes­sion­al help. The good news: There are sev­er­al treat­ment options avail­able, and a doc­tor can help find the right path to recov­ery.

 

For more thought lead­er­ship from Delta Den­tal, sub­scribe to Insid­er Update, our newslet­ter for bro­kers, agents and con­sul­tants.

If you’re a ben­e­fits deci­sion mak­er, admin­is­tra­tor or HR pro­fes­sion­al, sub­scribe to our group newslet­ter, Word of Mouth.

 

*These tips are not meant to be tak­en as med­ical advice or as treat­ment for depres­sion. If you or your employ­ees are suf­fer­ing from a men­tal ill­ness, please seek pro­fes­sion­al help.

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