Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: cost savings (Page 1 of 2)

Why DeltaCare USA might be right for your clients

With recent economic uncertainty and rising interest rates, your clients might find themselves with tighter budgets than expected. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve great dental benefits at a great price. With full-featured benefits and affordable, predictable prices, DeltaCare® USA plans might be the perfect fit for clients looking to save money without sacrificing coverage.

What DeltaCare USA offers your group clients and their employees

While the cost of the DeltaCare USA plans is lower, these plans include many desirable benefits your clients’ employees want, like additional cleanings at low set copayments and orthodontic coverage for both kids and adults. Most plans also feature at-home teeth whitening and porcelain crowns.

DeltaCare USA plans also offer an added bonus for employees who have begun, but not completed, an orthodontic procedure. In-progress provisions allow new members to continue treatment with their current orthodontist ― even if that orthodontist isn’t in the DeltaCare USA network.

Other DeltaCare USA advantages include:

  • Tooth-colored fillings for any tooth
  • No lab fees or other hidden fees
  • No hidden charges for restorative materials like resins, metals or porcelain

Additionally, as a fixed copayment plan, DeltaCare USA offers both convenience and simplicity. Members enjoy:

  • No deductibles or maximums
  • No claim forms to fill out
  • Low or no copayments for diagnostic and preventive care to encourage healthy habits
  • Predictable copayments that it easy for employees to budget for upcoming costs

How DeltaCare USA works

In most states, DeltaCare USA plan members select a primary care dentist and pay set copayments for covered services directly to that dentist. That’s it! When members need specialty care, their primary care dentists will help to coordinate it. As an added bonus, there’s no paperwork members need to fill out.

How to sell DeltaCare USA plans

The key selling point of DeltaCare USA plans for members is that they’re easy to manage and offer predictable costs. We offer materials to help members understand how to maximize the unique benefits of DeltaCare USA plans. You can also browse our broker resources for selling to individuals, small businesses and large businesses.

Big changes coming for PPO individual plans

Prospective clients have a few more reasons to choose Delta Dental PPO™ plans, thanks to some new improvements that will soon be available.

D&P deductible waiver

Starting with an August 1 effective date, there will be no deductible required for diagnostic and preventive services on both the Basic and Premium plans for new and renewing members. That includes cleanings, exams and x‑rays. What’s even more important is that your clients will have access to the savings immediately when their plan starts and won’t have to pay out of pocket for these services.

“We’re taking down the barriers to getting diagnostic and preventive services that are so important,” said Brandy Petricka, individual channel manager for Delta Dental.

This change is not retroactive but will be available to new members who choose an effective date after August 1. These changes will apply to current members after their new plan year renews.

Increased maximums

The Premium PPO plan now has an increased annual maximum. The Premium maximum is increasing to $2,000 from $1,500, which means they can get more services covered every year.

Improved plan at the same price

Finally, at a time when prices are skyrocketing on almost every item and service, Delta Dental’s rates for the PPO plans are staying the same. Clients won’t have to pay any more for their benefits for the coming year.

The changes make Delta Dental’s plans even more competitive and comprehensive, expanding services while keeping prices the same. This will make it easier for you to sell plans to your individual clients, especially those who seeking preventive services.

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!

Get ready to brush even smarter

Going to the dentist for regular checkups is important for maintaining oral health, but what can people do at home to keep a bright and healthy smile? BrushSmart is Delta Dental’s free oral wellness program designed to help members power up their at-home oral care. Eligible members receive exclusive discounts and offers from trusted brands that specialize in dental products. This spring, BrushSmart is getting even better with more discounts from new partners.

Oral‑B

BrushSmart members can get a clean that wows with the Oral‑B iO. Oral‑B’s dentist-inspired round brush head removes 100% more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush. Members save $20 off purchases of $100 or more at OralB.com (exclusions apply). 

Philips Sonicare

BrushSmart members can get everything they need for a healthy smile with Philips Sonicare. Members enjoy a 20% discount and free shipping on top-rated Sonicare toothbrushes, power flossers, kid toothbrushes and replacement brush heads.

quip

The quip Smart Electric Toothbrush helps adults and kids track and improve brushing (duration, frequency, coverage, strokes, intensity) with the quip app. Plus, BrushSmart members earn points for rewards like brush heads, gift cards and more. Members can get 25% off and free shipping.

Who’s eligible for BrushSmart?

Members with Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA plans through all lines of business can sign up for BrushSmart. That includes members with individual plans, group plans, Small Business Program plans and more.

How can they get discounts?

Getting discounts is easy! All members need to do is sign up for BrushSmart and discounts will be sent straight to their inbox.

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.

Effective discount: Understanding a plan’s true savings

When your group clients consider a PPO dental plan, certainly one of the deciding factors is savings — during a dental visit, how much will this plan save my employees?

Traditionally, a good way to judge this has been to consider the plan’s PPO network discount, or the discount offered on dental services when visiting a dentist within the plan’s PPO network. After factoring in the fees, the greater the discount, the better the plan, right?

Not exactly. While PPO network discount is one chapter of savings, it’s not the whole story. A more accurate way to gauge a plan’s true savings is to consider the plan’s effective discount. The effective discount considers the average savings enrollees receive when visiting any dentist, either in network or out of network.

It’s here where Delta Dental offers a unique advantage: the Delta Dental PPO™ plan with the Delta Dental Premier® network.

With most PPO plans, the PPO network is absolute — you’re in or you’re out. And if you visit an out-of-network dentist, you’re responsible for the full cost of dental services provided by that dentist. The Premier network offers a secondary network that acts as a “safety net” if a PPO enrollee can’t find, or chooses not to visit, a dentist within the PPO network.

While the Premier network provides a smaller discount than the PPO network, the combined size of the two networks — more than 155,000 unique dentists as of 2020 — ensures that most people covered under a PPO plan can visit a Delta Dental dentist and save. This large network enables Delta Dental to deliver a national network utilization rate of 94%, compared to an average PPO utilization of 65% for competitor networks.

And it’s this safety net that often makes a Delta Dental PPO plan a better value than one from another company.

For example, let’s look at a theoretical example in which there are two group PPO plans with identical fees: one from Delta Dental and one from a carrier without a secondary network. In each scenario, 10 people are insured. Five visit PPO dentists and receive a discount, and five visit non-PPO dentists. The Delta Dental plan provides a 35% discount at PPO dentists. The other plan provides a 36% discount at PPO dentists.

Given the otherwise identical scenarios, it might at first seem that the plan with the higher PPO network discount offers the better value. However, in the Delta Dental plan, four people can visit a Premier dentist for a 19% discount. Because only one person visits a non–Delta Dental dentist, the group receives a total effective discount of 25%. Contrast this with the other plan. Because half receive no discount at all, the effective discount is only 18%.

It’s not surprising then that Delta Dental offers groups the best effective discount in the country, averaging 29.4% nationally in 2019, according to a July 2020 study by Dental Actuarial Analytics. This equals more than $8.2B in savings for enrollees annually when compared to dentists’ average charges for services.

So, remember when speaking with your group clients: Savings is more than PPO discounts. When you consider effective discount, you offer a complete story. One with an ending your clients should like.

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