Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: benefits selling (Page 2 of 4)

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.

3 reasons customers are seeking dental insurance now

The pandemic has changed how we work, how we interact and even how we think about our health and safety. As consumer attitudes toward oral health have changed, dental insurance has become more important than ever. Here are some of the reasons that employers and individuals alike are seeking out dental benefits in 2022 and how you can help meet the new demand.

1. Competitive benefits help employers combat the Great Resignation

The pandemic has triggered an exodus from the workforce that economists have labeled the “Great Resignation.” One of the top reasons employees are giving for leaving a position is lack of adequate benefits. 

As the pandemic reshapes the labor market, companies must rethink and retool their benefit offerings to attract and retain talent. About 37% of employees in a recent survey said they value stronger benefits over additional salaries or bonuses, and they consistently rank dental insurance as one of the most important benefits in making a job decision.

Employers who offer dental insurance want a plan that stands out. With Delta Dental, you can help your group clients create plans with the attractive added benefits that employees are seeking now, like maximum waivers for diagnostic and preventive services and coverage for popular but costly services like implants and orthodontics.

2. Dental health needs have grown

The pandemic has also had a direct effect on oral health, creating another reminder of the value of dental insurance. A 2021 survey conducted by the American Dental Association showed a major increase, up to 71%, in stress-related oral health conditions during the pandemic, and more than a quarter of the dentists surveyed reported an increase in cavities and gum disease, as well.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, those with insurance remained more likely to visit the dentist than those without, thereby increasing the likelihood for positive health outcomes when faced with these new challenges.

Companies are seeking to bulk up their benefits to attract and retain employees, and workers are likewise seeking strong dental packages to handle the health issues arising due to the pandemic. Match clients with the dental coverage they’re looking for with Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA plans, which can meet these new demands and reduce the chances for serious (and expensive) health issues down the line.

3. Patients value teledentistry as an option

Fear of returning to the dentist caused teledentistry to boom during the pandemic, with more patients using the technology than ever before. For instance, Delta Dental’s synchronous and asynchronous teledentistry claims in 2021 were six times and two times higher than 2019 levels, respectively.

Many consumers grew accustomed to using teledentistry during the pandemic, and they want to have it as an option moving forward for its safety and convenience. Satisfaction levels with teledentistry services during the COVID-19 pandemic were 100% in the satisfied and very satisfied categories, according to one recent study, and 96% of participating patients in another study said they would use the service again.

When your clients are covered under a Delta Dental PPO or Delta Dental Premier plan, they have two options for free-to-access, easy-to-use teledentistry platforms:

  • Virtual Consult. Offers patients a consultation with a Delta Dental dentist about dental issues over live video.
  • Toothpic. Offers patients a format to submit photos to receive personalized treatment recommendations from a Delta Dental dentist within 24 hours.

And with Delta Dental, members can still see a dentist in person after choosing a virtual dentistry appointment.

Reminding clients of the convenience, popularity and safety of teledentistry can help make a comprehensive dental insurance package that much more attractive. Delta Dental plans give you access to the technology that your clients want now.

Your clients need dental benefits in a post-pandemic world

The pandemic has changed some of Americans’ central attitudes toward dental benefits. Employers are looking to add or increase benefits, and individuals have started to realize the long-term advantages of maintaining their oral health through robust coverage.

With Delta Dental, you can help your clients find affordable, highly rated coverage and a large network of experienced providers. Check out Delta Dental’s wealth of sales resources, and be sure to talk to your group and individual clients about the importance of dental insurance to help them select a Delta Dental plan that can support their overall needs.

Upcoming webinars for individual plan brokers

Selling to individual clients can be trickier than selling to groups, but you don’t have to go it alone. Over the next few months, you’ll be able to attend a series of webinars that will cover topics that will help you excel.

Plans overview: February 22, 2022, 10 am PT / 1 pm ET

What’s the difference between Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA? How can you explain these plans to first-time insurance buyers? In this webinar, you’ll learn the following:

  • Details about Delta Dental’s individual plans
  • Plan perks and features
  • Resources and support available for you and your clients

Register for plans overview webinar

Member resources: Coming in March

From online accounts to the value-added features that come with Delta Dental plans, this webinar will show you the resources available to Delta Dental members and how your clients can make the most of them.

Marketing yourself: Coming in April

Succeeding as a broker requires putting yourself out there, but you also need to make sure you’re getting the credit you deserve for your hard work. This webinar has tips and tricks on how to market yourself and advice on how to use your unique broker link to maximize your commissions.

5 ways to help your group clients build a dental benefits package

In the midst of the Great Resignation, benefits are more important than ever for attracting and retaining employees. When you’re selling to groups, keep in mind that about 37% of employees would rather receive more substantial benefits than additional salaries or bonuses. To create a dental benefits package that stands out, consider these five plan enhancements for your group clients.

1. Lower the plan’s deductible for individuals and families

Lower deductibles are appealing to employees for a variety of reasons. They’re easier for employees to reach, meaning they’re more likely to have their plan pay for their dental treatments, and employees who frequently reach their deductibles are more likely to save. The same is true for family deductibles.

Delta Dental PPO™ plans generally do have deductibles or maximums, but they can be adjusted depending on your group’s wants and needs. Another option is DeltaCare® USA plans, which are particularly appealing for this reason — they don’t have deductibles or maximums.

2. Add a D&P waiver

With Delta Dental’s D&P Maximum Waiver® feature, the costs of covered diagnostic and preventive services (D&P) don’t accrue against a plan’s yearly maximum. Covered services typically include regular exams, x‑rays and cleanings.

Enrollees can then spend their coverage dollars on other needed dental services. D&P waivers are effective immediately, renew automatically and don’t require extra work from the employee or group to track remaining dollar amounts.

For more information, check out this flyer (PDF) or reach out to your local sales office.

3. Offer orthodontic coverage for all ages

The number of adults seeing orthodontists is at an all-time high, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, and that means the pool of prospective orthodontic patients is wider than it’s ever been.

Without coverage, prospective orthodontic patients can expect to pay between $3,000 and 6,000 dollars depending on their age. Delta Dental plans can help cut these costs in half. Orthodontic coverage is available under all DeltaCare USA group plans and can be optionally included in any Delta Dental PPO plan. Instead of limiting orthodontic benefits to dependents under 19, consider offering orthodontic benefits to children and adults.

4. Add implant coverage

The majority of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth, and by age 74 more than a quarter of adults have lost all their permanent teeth.

One treatment for a lost tooth is an implant. Implants are an appealing option because they closely resemble real teeth, they’re permanent and comfortable, and they slow down the bone loss caused by losing a tooth. However, they can be expensive for patients without coverage. A single implant can cost up to $3,000 to $5,000.

Delta Dental offers several different options for implant coverage for groups. Implant coverage is available under Delta Dental PPO and some DeltaCare USA group plans.

5. Provide expanded coverage for chronic conditions

Serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS affect millions of Americans each year, and people with these conditions are more likely to have oral health related problems as a result. With SmileWay® Wellness Benefits, you can add expanded coverage for enrollees with chronic illnesses and make your plan more attractive.

When your group clients choose to make this benefit available, their enrollees who have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis or stroke can receive 100% coverage for additional cleanings and gum treatment.

This optional benefit is available only for Delta Dental PPO plans, and eligible enrollees must opt in to receive the additional coverage. These benefits can help keep your groups’ employees smiling and healthy, and healthy workers are a win-win for their companies!


Having a competitive benefits package is key to recruiting and retaining valuable employees in a labor market that is replete with resignations. When you’re building benefits packages, adding coverage can enhance to your groups’ offerings and make those employers more attractive to prospective employees.

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.

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