Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: group dental benefits (Page 1 of 2)

Dental implants are coming to DeltaCare USA

A new kind of large group plan is coming to DeltaCare® USA plans in 2021. Effective January 1, 2021, DeltaCare USA i‑series plans will be available with comprehensive coverage for dental implants. Once i‑series plan rollouts are complete (there will be nine in total), they will be available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

These plans are designed to address the growing demand for dental implants. The same outstanding features that DeltaCare USA plans are known for, like affordable prices, coverage for orthodontics and coverage for teeth whitening are all still here, too. With this updated value proposition of enhanced benefits and consistent coverage, offering DeltaCare USA is a more attractive proposition than ever before.

For more information, please contact your account manager.

The cost correlation: Dental benefits may lower businesses’ overall health spend

4‑minute read

It’s common knowledge that oral health is linked to overall well-being. What might surprise you, however, is the significant impact employees’ oral health status can have on a business’s total health care budget. In fact, of the top 10 health conditions costing employers the most, five are linked to oral health.*

No. 1: Diabetes

Topping the list of costliest employer conditions is diabetes, affecting nearly one in 10 Americans. Not only do diabetics face a higher than normal risk for developing oral health problems like periodontal disease and oral infections, but these problems may be more severe for a diabetic person. It’s not all bad news though. It’s been suggested that treating gum disease can help control blood sugar in diabetic patients, which may slow disease progression. And, receiving routine dentist cleanings and practicing healthy oral hygiene habits may help to lower HbA1c levels (average blood glucose over time).

No. 2: Cancer

Oral cancer is likely not the first cancer that comes to mind for most of us. Yet, head and neck cancers (85% of which are oral) account for approximately $3.2 billion in treatment costs each year.

Oftentimes, the early symptoms of oral cancers go unnoticed by patients, making them particularly dangerous. That’s why regular dental exams are so important. Dentists and dental hygienists may be able to identify the signs and symptoms of oral cancers when they’re still in the early or even pre-cancerous stages.

No. 5: Heart disease

The dental industry has been aware of the correlation between heart disease and oral health for years, and supporting evidence continues to emerge. While we still can’t say the relationship between oral health and heart health is causal, new research suggests that poor dental health, including gum disease and infrequent toothbrushing, may be a risk factor for heart disease.

No. 6: Hypertension

Recently, an association between hypertension and dental health has also been found — specifically blood pressure control. A new study showed that those with gum disease were less likely to respond to hypertension medications than those with good oral health. The authors of this study go on to say that “those with high blood pressure might benefit from regular dental care”.

No. 10: High-risk pregnancy

Compared to the average employer medical costs for a healthy, full-term baby, the costs for premature and/or low-birth weight babies is nearly 12 times as much. While the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes is still being explored, we do know that a mother’s health can impact her baby — and oral health is no exception. Research suggests that expectant mothers with poor oral health may face higher risks of pre-term delivery and of passing disease-causing bacteria to their child. This makes it even more important for expectant mothers to receive regular dental exams during pregnancy. The dentist can evaluate the individual needs of the mother and may even recommend an additional cleaning.

How can dental benefits help?

Regular dental care can help manage certain health conditions and even detect some early, which can help prevent costly medical expenses in the future.

However, dental benefits may be able to do more than cover routine dental care to improve wellness. Ask these questions to find out how well a dental carrier can boost overall health and your clients’ bottom line:

  • Is there extra support for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease? Providing additional coverage to enrollees with certain medical conditions may prevent or halt the progression of disease, which can help manage dental and medical expenses down the road.
  • How can clients track employees’ oral health status? Regular reporting on enrollees’ oral health habits can highlight where a group is doing well and help identify areas where enrollees can improve oral health, and in turn, improve overall health.
  • How is oral health supported during pregnancy? Are additional cleanings covered? An extra cleaning during pregnancy can lead to healthier babies and may lower certain pregnancy risks associated with oral bacteria.
  • Are oral health and wellness resources readily available? Enrollees may not even be aware of the impact oral health can have on their overall health. Carriers who provide valuable wellness resources can help encourage enrollees to be active participants in their oral health.

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.


*The oral health information in this article is not intended to be used as medical advice. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning oral health.

Everyone wants (but doesn’t use) this employer-sponsored benefit

2‑minute read

When people search for jobs on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc., they surely expect to find a section of each job ad that includes a brief description of benefits and perks. Some company benefits are traditional while others get creative. And a few things are usually constant – paid time off, 401(k) options and health insurance – both medical and dental.

It’s no industry secret that enrollees expect dental coverage in their benefits package. In fact, 88% of job seekers say they would give better benefits some, or heavy consideration when choosing between employers, even if the pay were lower.

So we know that people want — and even expect — dental coverage from their employers and organizations; however, the fascinating thing is that enrollees often don’t use this must-have benefit.

Using claims data* from our enterprise, we found that only 37.2% of enrollees received the recommended two annual cleanings in 2017. And 23.9% of enrollees received only one cleaning. If you work in the benefits industry, does it surprise you that nearly 40% of enrollees didn’t visit the dentist?

Since routine preventive dental care can detect health problems early, and help to prevent more costly medical expenses down the road, it’s concerning that more people aren’t seeking preventive care more often. To curb this trend, consider encouraging enrollees to visit the dentist for their recommended diagnostic and preventive care.

Share the wellness benefits of exams and cleanings with them. We recommend content from the preventive care section of our SmileWay® Oral Health library.

Do you know people who are anxious about visiting the dentist? Check out our tips for easing these fears. As a bonus, watch the magic of dentistry at work — proof that visiting the dentist can even be fun. 

Want more benefits solutions, industry news or HR tips and tricks? Subscribe to Insider Update.

If you’re an employer, benefits administrator or HR professional, subscribe to Word of Mouth.

 

* Data is based on submitted claims for commercial Delta Dental PPO enrollees, excluding state or federal exchange enrollment. Cleanings are based on claims including the following procedure codes: D1110, D1120 and D4910.

What makes Delta Dental customers smile?

1‑minute read

Our customers are at the center of everything we do. Every phone call, every product update and every decision — big or small. So, to find out what customer satisfaction truly means for our clients, we went straight to the source.

Check out one of our customer testimonials below. We call these testimonials Smile Stories because creating smiles is as contagious as a good story. It’s our life’s work, and we can’t help but join in when we see our customers happy.

This story is told by Veleta Holland, Senior Benefits Manager at OFS, a company that designs and manufactures optical fiber solutions for a variety of industries.

So, what makes Veleta and the OFS team smile? Unwavering support from her dedicated team of account service experts at Delta Dental. From onboarding to enrollment and beyond, we’re proud to offer the power of national products backed by local, proactive and responsive support.

Do your Delta Dental products or services make you smile? If so, we’d love to hear from you.


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Service meetings: What’s good for the group is good for the broker

Let’s work together to support your clients.

Just like we encourage enrollees to visit the dentist regularly to keep their smiles healthy, we want to help your clients’ bottom line stay healthy too! That’s why we suggest our mid- and large-sized groups meet with us every year — virtually or face-to-face — to evaluate plan performance, review reports and address any questions.

Service meetings aren’t just for the group — they’re for you, too. We want to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to supporting your client. Here are a few ways service meetings can help us do that:

Help clients be proactive.
When evaluating your clients’ plan performance, the report can help point out red flags – for instance, a decrease in utilization for D & P services. The report can highlight these areas to improve upon, and we can offer solutions together to better meet client objectives in the near term and down the road.

Provide tailored support.
No two annual service meetings are the same. Based on your clients’ unique needs, we can also provide content to help educate enrollees. If enrollees need to understand the cost advantages of in-network utilization for example, we offer a suite of materials to help them find an in-network dentist. Or if we notice a client has had several recent questions about claims, we might take time this to review claims examples.

Save clients’ time (and yours).
Don’t like meetings? Here’s the good part — we’ve already put in the time carefully reviewing your clients’ plan performance before we meet, so we’ll only highlight the information they really need to know. When we all chat, we can focus on their successes and offer solutions where needed. 

Whether you’ve worked with us for years, or just a year, we encourage you to participate in a service meeting with your clients. And remember, you can reach out to us any time (not just for a service meeting)!

Resources to Promote National Nutrition Month

Do your clients’ enrollees know how their nutritional choices can affect their teeth? We’ve put together some resources to make sure you can spread the word easily. This March, your clients can celebrate National Nutrition Month with these handy resources:

  1. The SmileWay® Wellness kit for National Nutrition Month. You’ll find ready-to-use flyers and posters on everything from chocolate to nutrition essentials. Your clients can share the pdfs electronically or print them.
  2. A ready-made email template. Included in the kit, the template can be opened in Microsoft Outlook and allows easy customization to suit your clients’ needs. Packed with relevant links to articles, videos and recipes, the email can serve as a ready-to-use newsletter article.
  3. Online articles. The Nutrition and Oral Health section of our SmileWay Wellness site has plenty of fresh articles to boost enrollees’ dental health knowledge.
  4. Tooth-friendly recipes. Your clients can take advantage of our recently expanded recipe list. These dishes and desserts feature tooth- and gum-supporting ingredients and minimal sugar content.
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