Insider Update

Broker blog from Delta Dental

Affordable dental benefits for small businesses

The overall economy might be strong, but that doesn’t mean businesses of every size aren’t feeling the pinch from inflation. The inflation rate jumped from 1.4% in 2020 to 7% in 2021, and it’s on track to be even higher in 2022. In this environment, it’s natural for businesses to look for ways to cut costs and save money.

Thankfully, Delta Dental’s Small Business Program (SBP) plans mean that dental benefits don’t have to be a casualty. With our SBP plans, it’s never been easier for your clients to help protect employees’ smiles without breaking their budgets.

What is the Small Business Program?

The Small Business Program is Delta Dental’s plan offerings for businesses with two to 99 employees. These plans are designed to be flexible so that your clients can choose the options that make the most sense for their businesses. They’ll be able to save money while still offering their employees great coverage.

What kind of coverage options are available?

SBP dental plans are available in a three-tier structure to meet clients’ needs regardless of budget. Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA plans are available at each tier.

If your clients are looking for more, they can pair their Delta Dental plan with a DeltaVision plan (please note, only plans administered by Allied Administrators are eligible for DeltaVision pairings). There are also options with Delta Dental PPO plans for voluntary benefits, where employees pay anywhere from 50% to all of the premiums.

For more details, explore our SBP plan comparison.

Why should businesses offer dental coverage when budgets are tight?

Offering dental benefits can help your clients save money over the long run. Each year, over $45 billion is lost in productivity because of dental issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Employees without coverage may avoid going to the dentist or delay care because of the cost, which can result in more severe dental issues and more time off work. In contrast, employees with dental coverage are more likely to visit the dentist and maintain a higher level of health and wellness.

With SBP plans, any of your clients can help employees stay healthy — and their budgets to stay in check!

Sell individual plans with resources from Delta Dental

Selling individual plans is different from selling to groups, and helping individual clients navigate all their choices can be challenging. Whether you’re already selling individual plans or just getting started, Delta Dental is here to help you match the perfect plan to every client. Our resources keep you equipped with all the tools you need.

Broker resources

Start with our broker resources page, your one-stop hub for selling individual and family plans. Here you’ll find details on the plans we offer, webinars to keep you up to date with selling tips, information about value-added features and more.

Details on the plans we offer

Know which plans are offered in which states and help clients navigate their options to find the plan that best suits their needs:

  • For clients on a budget, our DHMO-style plan, DeltaCare® USA, is a great way to stay covered with predictable copayments.
  • Our Delta Dental PPO™ plans can help clients who want to keep their current dentist or value flexibility.

Easy-to-use brochures, organized by state, explain all the options available to your clients with each plan, and short videos likewise offer quick and accessible outlines of the PPO and DeltaCare USA plans.

Value-added features

Let your clients know that Delta Dental plans offer great perks. All of our plans come with the additional benefits of special discount programs on hearing aids and LASIK eye surgery from Amplifon and QualSight,  and savings on dental hygiene products through BrushSmart™. What’s more, Delta Dental PPO members are eligible for Delta Dental’s virtual dentistry programs, Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult.

Your broker link

Your unique broker link connects your clients to our instant individual quoting and enrollment flow, automatically crediting you for sales when they enroll online. Share it with your clients on brochures, emails, websites and the rest of your marketing materials.

To find your individual plan broker link link, log in to your online account. Select the Business Information tab. You’ll find your link under the Links tab.

Webinars

Find success selling individual plans with this free series of 30-minute webinars. The webinars are available on demand, and topics include:

  • Individual broker resources. Learn about the support and sales resources available to you, where to find answers to benefit questions, how to get appointed, how to navigate the broker portal and more.
  • Plans overview. Learn the details of the plans we offer and get familiar with the plan perks and features that your individual clients are seeking now.
  • Member resources. Take a tour of Delta Dental’s member resources and learn all the best ways to help guide your clients through online purchasing. Learn to navigate the online directory and other support resources for members.

Resources for individual members, language support and more

Navigating benefits can feel especially overwhelming for individual clients, but our member resources keep things clear and simple. You can assure clients they’ll always be able to access information about their plan through our website and easy-to-use member portal.

Individual members simply log in to find:

  • Plan information
  • ID cards
  • Dentist directory to locate in-network dentists by ZIP code, languages spoken, ratings and more

Also on our website, they can find:

  • Information about accessing virtual dentistry
  • Wellness articles, videos, recipes and more

Delta Dental also offers customer support in over 170 languages, including interpretive services and document translation. Customers can also shop for plans, find a dentist and browse our wellness library on the Spanish website

Delta Dental is here for brokers

Still have questions? Our broker services team is here for you:

And of course, don’t forget to keep visiting the Insider Update blog for the latest Delta Dental broker news. Subscribe for email notifications to keep up to date with new posts about the latest industry tips and trends.


Dental and vision, together

Did you know that Delta Dental offers a vision benefit for small businesses? By pairing vision with a dental plan, this package offers small business clients a single invoice with great rates. Here’s what you need to know about DeltaVision, Delta Dental’s vision offering.

Who’s eligible for DeltaVision?

DeltaVision is offered through our Small Business Program (SBP), designed for groups of two to 99 members. DeltaVision plans are available to brokers working with Allied Administrators.

Paired plans are available in the District of Columbia and the following 14 states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Why get a DeltaVision plan?

DeltaVision plans offer:

  • Great coverage and extensive network access. All DeltaVision plans are offered on VSP’s Choice nationwide network and include access to over 100,000 access points and popular benefits such as exams, lenses and allowances for frames or contact lenses.
  • Extra savings. DeltaVision plans offerextra savings on additional pairs of glasses, sunglasses, routine retinal screenings and laser vision correction.
  • Flexible funding. With a wide range of DeltaVision plans available, your clients can choose the plans that fit their needs and budget.Voluntary and employer-paid options are also available. Our Easy Options plan lets members choose an upgrade for frames, contact lenses, anti-reflective lenses, progressive lenses or photochromic lenses at the time of service with their VSP network doctor.
  • Added wellness benefits. Through the Diabetic Eyecare Plus program, retinal screenings for people with diabetes are available at no cost, as are extra exams and services for those with diabetic eye disease, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.

Ready to pair DeltaVision with dental for your small business clients? Contact our Sales team for more information.

Selling dental insurance to young adults

The pandemic has been difficult for young adults. More than half of 18- to 29-year-olds are living with their parents, which is the most since the Great Depression, according to a recent Pew Research analysis. Millennials and Gen Z employees lost their jobs first when the pandemic hit and moved in with their parents to save money and get health care coverage.

But time is running out for them. Many fall off their parents’ dental coverage at age 26. This creates an opportunity for you to sign up young adults for individual coverage. How do you do this? Let’s take a closer look.

Why young adults lack dental coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires plans that have dependent child coverage to extend it until an adult child reaches the age of 26, even if the child is a student or has moved out, gotten married or had a child. Adult children on their parents’ Marketplace plan can generally remain covered through December 31 of the year they turn 26.

But they’re not seeking other insurance after this occurs. After 26, there’s a drop-off in dental coverage for young adults. In 2021, Delta Dental claims decreased about 20% after age 26, which is the largest year-to-year drop by age.

Why is this?

  • Many young people lack employer-sponsored dental coverage. Almost one in every four workers ages 20 to 34 wasn’t working in 2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those who are working may pick up health insurance from their employer, but only 40% of employees received dental benefits from private employers in March 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Young people may not consider their dental health. Young adults have a tendency to feel invincible, and this feeling overrides any dental health concerns they may have. They’re not thinking about the long-term effects of poor oral health when they are going out on a night with friends, having a latte, or buying a new gadget or expensive vacation.

Selling strategies

To sell to Gen Z and millennials, you need to focus on the immediate benefits of dental insurance. Delta Dental PPO™ plans cover 100% of diagnostic and preventive services, so all members need to do is make an appointment and show up. Two exams a year, coupled with x‑rays and professional cleanings, can pay for their premiums.

Second, make buying easy. Convenience is big for young people. Since they’re used to buying services and products on a smartphone or tablet, make sure you have an online presence with an easy way to compare and purchase plans. And remember to include your unique broker link on your marketing materials.

Finally, stress the long-term impact of dental insurance on their wallet. If left untreated, a cavity can progress to the point where a patient may need a root canal, crown or even an implant. Uninsured patients can pay an average of $2,600 out of pocket on these procedures, according to data for 2021. That’s compared with only about $550 out of pocket for patients with Delta Dental PPO. These figures are for illustrative purposes only, but they show the ultimate savings that dental insurance provides.

Delta Dental offers options 

So, what plan should they buy?

Young adults who are coming off their parents’ plan may want to keep their family dentist. In this case, the Delta Dental PPO plan, which lets them go to any dentist, would be ideal for prospective buyers. They can choose between the Basic Plan and the Premium Plan, depending on their budget and needs.

If young people are concerned about money, DeltaCare® USA, a DHMO-type plan may be a good fit. This plan has no deductibles or plan maximums, and it’s easy to see what services are covered. This makes it easy to understand for consumers unfamiliar with dental insurance. Members have to choose an in-network dentist, but they pay a fixed copayment for covered procedures, so it’s easy to budget for dental expenses.

Delta Dental members also have access to perks such as:

You can also use our broker resources for selling, including brochures, videos and on-demand webinars with tips on selling individual plans.

You may not be selling a new device or a thrilling vacation to young adults, but if you keep the focus on what they’ll get in the immediate future as well as down the road, they may think twice before buying that latte next time and set aside some money for their dental premium.


Take the mystery out of dental expenses with the Cost Estimator

Your group clients’ members are busy enough, so trying to figure out how to budget their dental care shouldn’t become a second job. That’s why we created the Cost Estimator, a tool available for desktop and mobile that members can use to estimate quickly and easily what their next dental visit will cost.

What’s more, the Cost Estimator has just been refreshed with a new, accessible and mobile-optimized design.

How can the Cost Estimator can help members?

The Cost Estimator provides members with a personalized estimate (based on the fee schedule from the last dentist from whom they received service) for an entire dental visit with a specific dentist. It calculates members’ out-of-pocket costs based on their current benefits. Information is updated daily, so members can always count on getting an accurate cost estimate.

This versatile and easy-to-use tool offers members a variety of useful features and information to help them make the most of their benefits and helps them become better informed consumers.

In the tool, clients can choose from a list of common dental procedures ― they can even specify which tooth needs treatment or what type of filling they’d prefer! After they select their procedure, the Cost Estimator calculates their estimated out-of-pocket cost. The tool subtracts both the network savings and the portion the plan pays.

Other tasks your clients can perform with the Cost Estimator include:

  • Adding procedures. If clients need to add services such as a cleaning or x‑rays to their visit, they can add them to their estimate to get the total cost of the visit.
  • Comparing dentists. Clients might be curious to see if they’d save by switching to another dentist. The Cost Estimator lets them compare up to five in-network dentists to find the best deal.
  • Selecting plan members. Clients can get cost estimates for anyone on their plan, such as spouses and children.
  • Reviewing benefits usage. Clients can access the benefits activity and history for everyone on their plan, and can also review their plan’s maximums, deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

How can the Cost Estimator help my group clients’ bottom line?

The Cost Estimator provides members with transparency about their out-of-pocket costs. More cost transparency can mean fewer questions and less confusion about the value of visiting an in-network dentist. By showing the substantial cost differences between in-network and out-of-network dentist visits, the tool encourages in-network utilization — which can help members save and may help lower group dental plan costs.

Which clients can use the Cost Estimator?

All Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® groups are eligible to sign up for the Cost Estimator. DeltaCare® USA members receive a plan booklet with their copayments for covered services, so this tool isn’t necessary for DeltaCare USA plans.

If you have group clients that haven’t taken advantage of the Cost Estimator, explain to them the cost-saving benefits of this tool. For details, talk to your Sales representative about how your clients can add this service to their plan.

How do members access Cost Estimator?

To use the Cost Estimator, members simply click Plan ahead for a visit from the member portal. PPO and Premier members can also access a more limited version of the Cost Estimator through the Delta Dental mobile app, which details in- and out-of-network fees.


With the Cost Estimator, your clients can be confident that their members are not only about staying within their budgets, but also that they’re getting the best deal for themselves and their families. Be sure your group clients don’t miss out on this valuable resource.

Why dental insurance makes financial sense

When explaining the value of a dental plan to group members, you may come up against resistance. People often understand that they need health insurance, but they may not recognize the value of dental insurance. But dental coverage not only helps members protect their teeth. It can also save them money and prevent a mouthful of financial problems.

Let’s crunch the numbers

For about $33 per month — the average premium for a member covered under an employer-sponsored Delta Dental PPO™ plan — group members can receive coverage for a variety of dental services. That’s the cost of two sugar-filled lattes every week. And what will that cover?

New patients typically need dental exams, cleanings and x‑rays. Uninsured patients might pay an average of $95 for an exam, $172 for a set of four bitewing x‑rays and $102 for a professional cleaning.

If you add up the numbers, that’s $369 for one visit — almost an entire year’s worth of premiums. Considering they’ll usually need two cleanings per year, the costs could potentially add up to $566 for an uninsured person.

But under most Delta Dental PPO plans, diagnostic and preventive services are covered at 100%. That means that even with premiums, patients will be paying 30% less than they would out of pocket.

These costs are illustrative, and plan coverage varies.

Serious dental procedures add up

The value of dental insurance, however, goes beyond diagnostic and preventive care.

Filling a cavity can cost an uninsured patient anywhere from $243 to $296, depending on how many surfaces need to be filled. That same procedure for an insured patient may cost about $30, based on Delta Dental PPO nationwide averages. That’s $266 in savings for each filling.

A root canal and a crown for an uninsured patient may cost about $2,644. But for Delta Dental PPO members, out-of-pocket costs average $564 — which means $2,080 in savings.

And Delta Dental members enjoy additional savings. In-network dentists can’t charge members above preapproved, discounted rates. For uninsured patients, there are no limits to what dentists can charge them.

Dental insurance equals healthier teeth

Adults with dental coverage are almost a third more likely to go to the dentist as those without coverage, according to a 2020 report released by Delta Dental Plans Association. How does this affect group members’ pocketbooks?

Untreated dental care can be costly. More than a quarter of all Americans have untreated tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost half of all people over 30 years old have signs of gum disease. The less likely members are to visit a dentist, the more likely they are to have costly problems that will eventually need to be treated.

Remember these stats when you’re talking about dental insurance with your group clients. It’s not just about peace of mind. It really makes financial sense to get coverage, and it may even encourage members to go to the dentist and keep their teeth and gums healthy.

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