Broker blog from Delta Dental

Category: Insights for selling (Page 2 of 6)

Get tips and tricks to help you sell Delta Dental plans.

Sealants: Simple procedure, big value

Children’s Dental Health Month in February is a great reminder of how crucial it is to start young people early on the right path for a lifetime of oral health. Parents naturally seek out the best for their kids, so a simple benefit like sealants that can help protect children’s teeth adds value to an insurance plan. Here’s a closer look at the market for sealants and what kind of coverage Delta Dental offers for groups and individuals.

What are sealants?

Sealants are plastic coverings applied to the deep crevices of teeth to seal them off from decay. Think of them like raincoats for the teeth. Sealants are most often applied to permanent back teeth because they have the deepest grooves and are at the highest risk of decay.

How effective are sealants?

Once applied, sealants provide protection against tooth decay, preventing 80% of cavities for two years and continuing to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years. Children without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than children with sealants.

Who needs sealants?

Children and teenagers ages six to 15 are the best candidates for sealants. Sealants can be especially beneficial for kids who have a history of cavities or are otherwise at high risk for dental problems (such as from secondhand smoke or from medications that cause dry mouth).

Why sealant coverage is such an important benefit

Sealants aren’t just effective; they’re also cost-effective. Sealants can spare families the hassle, discomfort and expense of cavities, and unlike most cavity treatments, sealant application is a simple, one-time, painless procedure.

The prevalence of sealants has increased overall in children ages six to 11, from 31% during 1999–2004 to 42% during 2011–2016. Knowing about and having access to sealants through dental coverage can provide parents and their kids with a health advantage that pays off for a lifetime.

Delta Dental offers sealant coverage for groups and individuals

Most Delta Dental plans cover dental sealants, so members can often get all their kids’ protective sealants at little or no out-of-pocket cost.

  • Sealants are a standard benefit in group Delta Dental PPO™ plans, and an age limitation typically applies.
  • All standard DeltaCare® USA plans cover sealants.
  • For individual plans, both Delta Dental PPO and DeltaCare USA include sealant coverage:
    • The Basic Plan and Premium Plan cover sealants at 100% after members reach their deductible.
    • DeltaCare USA individual plans cover sealants with a low copayment.

Plans that include sealants generally limit the benefit to permanent first and second molars subject to age limitations by contract. Under some Delta Dental PPO plans, there is a maximum allowance payable per tooth, and the patient is responsible for the remainder of the allowed fee. Benefits for sealants include repair or replacement within 24 months by the same dentist or dental office.

Sealants are noninvasive, cost-effective players in the fight against cavities. With Delta Dental, you can help your clients find affordable, highly rated sealant coverage.

How small businesses can use benefits to attract and keep talent

As small businesses continue to recover and reopen, they’re faced with new challenges recruiting and retaining employees. More than 40% of small business owners reported having trouble finding job candidates to fill open positions, according to a recent survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

This has led many small business owners to revisit their benefit offerings to improve retention and productivity. And in our partnerships with brokers, we’re seeing many brokers create opportunities by stepping in to help their clients stand out in this challenging hiring environment.

Areas of opportunity to enhance small business offerings

As a broker, you can help small business clients recruit and retain talent by understanding what attracts employees and entices them to stay.

For 63% of job seekers, benefits and perks are major factors in determining whether to accept a job, according to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey. Employees are increasingly seeking out comprehensive benefits and perks, so brokers must be knowledgeable and creative when helping clients build benefits packages.

Dental and vison benefits are important to potential hires

Quality benefits that include dental and vision coverage are one of the most important considerations when candidates choose a position, according to a Fractl study on employee benefits. Combining these core benefits with wellness benefits, many of which can be delivered with no or minimal cost to the employer, can help small business owners differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.

Add value by pairing benefits

Research by Delta Dental and feedback from small business owners and brokers show that pairing products is a popular option. When you pair dental and vision benefits, you can help speed up the selection process and streamline plan administration ― there’s one application, one itemized bill and a single point of contact. Simplifying the administration can also free up time to partner with your clients and help them attract talent with a creative, innovative and well-designed collection of benefits. 

Note that our vision pairings are available only through Allied Administrators and in states where DeltaVision is offered. DeltaVision plans are currently available in AL, CA, DC, DE, FL, GA, LA, MT, NV, PA, UT and WV. 

Creating a benefits package is just the start

After your client purchases a package, you can continue to play a vital role by ensuring that products are easy to maintain, monitoring trends in the employment market and researching what employees want when they make employment decisions. And don’t forget to visit Insider Update to stay on top of benefits trends.

With a strategic, informed, and solution-focused broker in their corner, your clients can spend more time serving their customers and teams and less time trying to be benefits professionals.

The role of the broker post-COVID

The pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of American life, and selling insurance is no exception.

Your clients are conducting business differently. Budgets have been cut and many employees continue to work remotely. The benefits landscape has changed as well. Many of your clients’ employees are dealing with new economic realities, so they’re looking at benefit choices differently.

Here are some of the trends that have transformed the role of the benefits broker in the era of COVID.

New ways to connect with clients

Despite the challenges of the past two years, you’ve still worked to connect, engage and build relationships with your clients. While you’ve probably had less interpersonal contact with your clients, their expectations of speed, personalization and convenience have risen, and virtual enrollment has become the norm.

As a result, delivering value to your clients through digital services and compelling experiences can help you thrive in this new environment. For 2022, be sure to check Delta Dental’s marketing resources for a selection of digital resources that can help you communicate with your clients, from individuals and small businesses to larger companies with 100 employees or more. 

Advising clients on benefits that work in the new normal

What your clients and their employees want from their benefits is probably different from what they wanted a few years ago. With a decentralized workforce, flexibility and choice are more valuable than ever, and savvy brokers have kept pace with employees’ interest in new and expanded benefits.

Consider:

  • Ensuring that telehealth, such as Delta Dental’s Virtual Consult, and expanded mental health services are included in health care offerings.
  • Offering benefits and perks that promote employee well-being, including overall wellness, mental health and even financial health. Delta Dental gives enrollees access to attractive value-added features, such as discounts on Amplifon hearing aids and QualSight LASIK eye surgery.
  • Taking on an advisory role to help clients and employees understand what’s available to them and choose the best options.

The number of employers offering voluntary benefits increased 27% during the COVID pandemic. For brokers, this is an opportunity to expand workplace benefits offerings. 

Greater focus on the whole family

Your clients’ employees probably spend more time at home than ever before. Some became caregivers for their parents; others took on educational roles for their children.

Now more than ever, employees are looking for benefits that extend to their family members. A recent survey of employers found that 41% of respondents plan to newly offer or expand senior care benefits to employees, and 63% said they plan to increase their company’s current child care benefits.

Looking ahead

You likely saw your business change in the past few years. But crisis breeds opportunity. Economic challenges offer you the chance to demonstrate the value you bring to your clients and their employees and help them navigate this new world.

Your end-of-the-year checklist

As the year comes to a close, you’ll want to set yourself up for success before you take your well-deserved holiday break. Here are four things you can do to bring yourself success in 2022 and beyond.

Renew any required certifications and licenses

The first step to selling success is making sure you can legally sell. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so check with your state insurance board when it comes time to renew your license or obtain a new one. Some states also require additional certifications to sell certain types of plans, such as California’s certification requirements to sell Covered California plans, so you’ll need to follow up on those as well.

Review the plans you offer

Once you have the licenses and certifications required to sell, you should review the plans in your portfolio. For your potential clients, Delta Dental offers plans through three lines of business:

No matter which plans you sell, resources are available to help you answer your clients’ questions and achieve business success.

Review the tools and resources available to you and your clients

Speaking of resources, we have a wide variety of flyers, marketing collateral, websites and apps available to help you sell.

You can make the most of our online tools with an online account. Be sure to log in or create an account if you don’t already have one. 

Online resources to help you sell include:

  • Individual plan brochures available on the Resources page
  • Recurring webinars that offer tips and insights into selling (coming in January 2022!)
  • Helpful information about Delta Dental plans available on public exchanges

Plan for the future

Finding success in 2022 will require versatility and flexibility in your sales approach. As the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and workers look to change jobs, you may want to diversify the clientele you serve. To that end, make sure to:

You can also make life easier as a business owner by:

And finally, be sure to subscribe to the Insider Update newsletter to stay on top of the latest features and industry news.

Note: This post was updated to remove references to the broker rewards dashboard. This feature is being updated and is currently unavailable.

The 5 New Year’s resolutions brokers should make for 2022

The past year has been anything but predictable, and the new one promises to be just as turbulent. But setting goals can make all the difference between a productive year and a chaotic one. It’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on the ups and downs of the previous year, and also to make a plan for moving forward.

You may already have some personal New Year’s resolutions in mind for 2022, but why not include some professional ones, as well? Here are our ideas for the top resolutions to make for 2022.

Update your look

Stay-at-home orders and social distancing may leave you feeling a little sluggish and idle, but the outward-facing appearance of your business can’t sit stagnant at this time.

If anything, your digital presence — whether that involves your website, your logo, your presentation slides, your social media, your email signature — is going to be the first impression many people have of you this coming year. You want to be sure that’s a good one.

In 2022, resolve to take a closer look at:

  • Your website. While it’s true that not every website needs every bell and whistle imaginable, you also don’t want potential clients to think you’re stuck in 2011. Start by making sure your business site is clean, professional, up to date and easy to navigate, and if it’s not, resolve to fix it in 2022.
  • Your emails. Make sure any email signatures and avatars are up to date and truly represent you and your business. Brush up on email etiquette (we especially like the 10 golden rules of work email), and be sure your business is following up promptly and politely, even with leads that don’t seem imminently exciting.
  • Your presentations and virtual booths. To improve your appearance, also think about how to create better presentations for clients. Consider creating tailored presentations for each client to add a more personalized touch to the health insurance quoting process. Content is important, but looks matter, too! Make sure your presentation slides have a sleek, engaging, unified and professional look, as do any virtual booths for big events.
  • Your social media. With social media, aim for quality not quantity to attract more user engagement. Be creative and conversational. If you’re at a loss for what will interest people, think of the type of content you most enjoy reading and start from there. Make sure your various profile pages are up to date and that they represent you and your business well.

Seek safe ways to step out of the silo

Whether with clients, potential clients or employees, your face-to-face interactions with others likely had to drop to almost nil in 2020 and 2021. But once these meetings were no longer possible, you probably also began to realize how important these interactions could be. Sales is a tough job that constantly requires re-direction and realignment, and these often take shape through personal interaction.

Consider some safe ways to step briefly out of your digital silo in 2022. Consider planning a small outdoor coffee klatch in a spot where everyone feels safe and comfortable. If you have a longtime client in your area, consider planning a walking meeting in a local park to catch up with your contact. Deployed with the utmost care, a few ”safety first” interpersonal interactions could help make a difference in 2022.

Read more

After a long day in front of the screen, it’s tempting to relax by, well, staying in front of the screen, either surfing the internet or diving in to the latest bingeable TV series. But reading a book every now and then can truly help you relax. And the right book could even help with your sales.

If you feel you don’t have time to read, you can always find good titles at sites like Audible.com. The books download to your smartphone, and you can learn more about insurance sales and marketing while you drive, exercise or do yardwork.

Don’t be afraid to follow your own interests and read to fill the gaps in your own knowledge.

To get you started in 2022, consider picking up these new titles:

Prepare early for open enrollment

Open enrollment is a busy time, but it’s one you can prepare for. Make your resolution this New Year’s to prepare early for open enrollment, so that the crazy time of year will feel a lot less hectic in 2022.

As much as possible, make sure emails, websites, presentations and flyers are up-to-date and accurate well before the season begins. You may also find Delta Dental’s resource page for open enrollment helpful in preparing for the busiest time of year.

You yourself are the best source of knowledge about how to prepare. This new year’s, think carefully about the successes and shortcomings of the open enrollment season in 2021. Make a list of what you could have done better and make the resolution to improve any problem areas through better preparation.

Relax

Don’t forget to take some time for self-care in 2022! In this “new normal,” it’s easy to get wrapped up in work and to forget that pacing yourself is actually one of the most crucial aspects of productivity.

If travel isn’t possible, consider taking a staycation this year, using the time to do some fun (and safe!) activities in your own area, such as local hikes or an outdoor concert in warmer weather.

And don’t forget the little daily things, like a tea break in the afternoon or a walk around the block after work, that can really help you de-stress.

Resolve to get a healthy dose of relaxation in 2022, and you’re bound to have a more balanced and productive year.

8 ways selling got easier than ever this past year

In a year like 2021, it’s easy to lose track of the many updates to Delta Dental plans. From telehealth options to online resources, here are eight features, resources and improvements Delta Dental introduced in 2021 that will make selling in 2022 easier than ever.

1. Teledentistry lets clients use their benefits outside of the dentist office

In 2021, Delta Dental launched not just one but two teledentistry initiatives. Available under Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plans, Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult let members use their diagnostic and preventive benefits to see Delta Dental dentists remotely at no cost.

Toothpic is perfect for members who just need a quick check-in, and Virtual Consult is meant for members with more serious concerns that may require a prescription for treatment.

2. New videos make understanding networks and plans easier

The world of insurance can be difficult for your clients to navigate. As an industry professional, you know the value of clear and easy-to-understand communication. That’s why we’ve put together videos that you can share with clients to help them understand the differences between plans and the online tools and resources available to them.

3. The Delta Dental Mobile App is getting more features and more user friendly

Delta Dental is relaunching the Delta Dental Mobile App for 2022. The new app is faster and more stable and offers useful features such as member ID cards, dentist search and a cost estimator. It will also be available on both Android and iOS. The old version of the app will be unavailable starting December 20.

4. Delta Dental and VSP are partnering up for paired vision and dental

This year, Delta Dental partnered with VSP to offer vision coverage to Small Business Program (SBP) groups. This coverage is available for groups with as few as two members and as many as 99 and is structured in the same tiers as regular SBP coverage.

5. New open enrollment resources for your clients are available

This past open enrollment season brought multiple new features to help your individual clients and your group clients’ employees understand and make the most of their coverage options. In addition to the videos and teledentistry tools already covered, these resources include a new focus on “virtual” booths for open enrollment periods conducted remotely, quality ratings for dentists and refreshed website and customer service experiences. Speaking of quality ratings…

6. DentaQual ratings help clients find dentists they’ll love

Delta Dental added DentaQual ratings to our dentist directory. Members can use DentaQual ratings to compare dentists based on objective measurements such as procedures success rate, value and patient retention. These ratings offer a simple and transparent solution to the problem of finding a great dentist.

7. Customer service gets reimagined

After two years of development, design and implementation, we rolled out our new customer service initiative, CX Reimagined. CX Reimagined brough an emphasis on soft skills, like empathy, active listening and de-escalation. Since we rolled out the CX Reimagined initiative, more customers than ever before have told us that they’re satisfied with their service and that they’d recommend Delta Dental’s customer service to others. That means that you can feel confident recommending Delta Dental to your clients.

8. Delta Dental’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed

Delta Dental Insurance Company’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed through March 2024.

“Achieving NCQA Credentialing Accreditation demonstrates that Delta Dental Insurance Company has the systems, process and personnel in place to conduct credentialing in accordance with the strictest quality standards,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA’s Credentialing Accreditation is a quality assessment program that focuses on consumer protection and customer service improvement.


These major updates from 2021 will help you manage your business and sell Delta Dental plans. We’re proud to be your partners in delivering great coverage to your clients. Together we shine, and we’ll see you in 2022!

Note: This post was updated to remove references to the broker rewards dashboard. This feature is being updated and is currently unavailable.

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