Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: preventive care (Page 1 of 2)

Help group clients promote preventive care with the D&P Maximum Waiver

When it comes to using their benefits, it’s important for your group clients’ employees to stay on top of their diagnostic and preventive care. By getting regular cleanings and exams, they can catch minor issues while they’re still easily treatable and prevent major issues from developing.

Unfortunately, your clients’ employees may not want to use their diagnostic and preventive benefits because they want to preserve their full annual maximum in case they need major services later in the year. Delta Dental’s D&P Maximum Waiver® option helps prevent this problem. By making it so diagnostic and preventive services don’t contribute to employees’ annual maximums, this feature helps employees make the most of their benefits, stay on top of their oral health and avoid more costly procedures. That means more savings for your clients.

What is the D&P Maximum Waiver?

The D&P Maximum Waiver is an optional feature that can be added to Delta Dental PPO™ group plans. With this option, diagnostic and preventive services won’t count against members’ annual maximums. The D&P Maximum Waiver is available on members’ effective date and is simple to use, with no qualifying events or dollar amounts to track. 

Common diagnostic and preventive services include:

  • X‑rays
  • Cleanings
  • Exams

How does the D&P Maximum Waiver help groups and members?

The D&P Maximum Waiver option is a great way to help your group clients promote diagnostic and preventive services — and avoid lost productivity from dental issues.

By ensuring that D&P procedures don’t count against their annual maximums, the D&P Maximum Waiver leaves members with more maximum dollars available to cover costly, extensive procedures employees might need, like fillings, gum disease treatment, root canals and crowns.

Here’s an example comparing the annual maximum dollars available for members with and without the D&P Maximum Waiver.

Routine dental exams, cleanings and x‑rays cost: $350Member annual maximum: $1,000Member’s plan pays: $350Member pays out of pocket: $0Member’s remaining annual maximum without D&P waiver:
$650
Routine dental exams, cleanings and x‑rays cost: $350Member annual maximum: $1,000Member’s plan pays: $350Member pays out of pocket: $0Member’s remaining annual maximum with D&P waiver:
$1,000
With the D&P Maximum Waiver, members have more of their annual maximum left after getting diagnostic and preventive care.

If your group clients would like to promote in-network utilization, the D&P Maximum Waiver can be set up to only apply at Delta Dental PPO dentists. Adding the D&P Maximum Waiver option to their coverage also helps your clients save money by letting employees’ dollars go farther without having to pay more for a higher annual maximum.

Reach out to your Delta Dental Account Executive today to learn more about offering this feature.

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.

Gum disease and the overall health connection

When people want to improve their health, they often focus on improving their diet, starting an exercise program or quitting bad habits like smoking.

However, few people realize that their gums are also a crucial part of their overall well-being. Many serious health conditions have been linked to gum disease. It’s clear that oral health is integral to overall health. This February for Gum Disease Awareness Month, learn how Delta Dental coverage can support your clients’ gum health and their overall wellness.

The connection between gum disease and overall health

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common bacterial infection that causes a chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. It’s the major cause of adult tooth loss, and it affects nearly half of people over 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The effects of gum disease extend well beyond the mouth. Gum disease has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Inflammation from bacteria in the gums may eventually lead to narrowing of arteries and heart trouble.
  • Dementia. Chronic gum inflammation can be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
  • Glaucoma. Tooth loss and gum disease may increase the risk of this disease of the optic nerve.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. The bacterium that causes periodontal disease may increase the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, lead to an earlier onset of the disease and cause symptoms to progress more quickly.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing gum disease. In turn, having gum disease can make your blood glucose harder to control.
  • Premature birth and low birth weight. Pregnant women are at increased risk of gum disease due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow. Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, as well as low birth weight and other pregnancy complications.

Preventing gum disease and treating the condition early can reduce health costs, dental treatments and medical expenses in the long term.

How Delta Dental coverage can support gum health

Delta Dental offers coverage that can help your group and individual clients avoid the onset and development of gum disease. Routine dental checkups and cleanings, covered by all Delta Dental plans as diagnostic and preventive services, can help prevent and monitor gum disease.

Treatments for gum disease, such as scaling and root planing, are typically covered under most dental plans under periodontic services. Following a scaling and root planing, a patient with gum disease may receive specialized deep cleanings for periodontal maintenance. This procedure, likewise covered under most plans, can minimize the recurrence or progression of gum disease.

However, when non-surgical treatment is inadequate, Delta Dental’s standard plans offer several surgical treatments to slow down or prevent the progression of the disease. Common procedures include:

  • Gingivectomy. Diseased gum tissue is removed and reshaped to get rid of pockets between the teeth and gums.
  • Gingival flap surgery. Gum tissue is separated from surrounding teeth and deflected back to allow a dental surgeon access to the jawbone and the root of the tooth for deep scaling and root planning.
  • Osseous surgery. Also called pocket reduction surgery, this procedure eliminates the bacteria populating the pockets by cutting the gums to remove the bacteria and repair the damaged bone.
  • Bone grafting. This procedure increases the amount of bone in a part of the jaw where bone has been lost or where additional support is needed. Bone may be taken from elsewhere in the body and surgically fused to existing bone in the jaw.

In addition, your group clients can opt in to SmileWay® Wellness Benefits which offer expanded coverage for gum treatment for members with chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and stroke.

Everyone deserves healthy gums. Be sure to talk to your group and individual clients about the importance of gum health and how to select a Delta Dental plan that can support their overall health needs.

4 oral health problems teens face and how you can help

When you’re building benefits packages for your group clients, are you thinking about teenagers? With a variety of clients from individuals to groups, it’s likely your benefits package will be covering at least a few dependent teenagers. Here are some common dental concerns that teenagers face and how you can develop a better benefits package to help.

1. Cavities

With teens’ love of snacking and their inconsistent brushing habits, it should be no surprise that dental decay is the most common chronic disease in young people. Sealants are an easy way to stop cavities before they start. These thin coatings are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth and can prevent cavities for years, which means that sealants applied during childhood can help during the teen years.

2. Misaligned teeth

Permanent teeth replace baby teeth in older children, and the jawbones can continue to grow until the end of puberty. A misalignment of the teeth and jaws may get better ― or worse ― by the time the jawbones have stopped growing.

Without coverage, prospective orthodontic patients can expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 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 group plan.

3. Impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and erupt into the mouth, usually in the late teens. Since the jaw is still growing, wisdom teeth are sometimes impacted, meaning they don’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally. Almost 5 million people get wisdom teeth removed every year in the United States.

Wisdom teeth extraction can be expensive. If it’s viable for some clients, consider building a plan that covers a higher percentage of the cost of wisdom teeth extractions. If a higher percentage of coverage isn’t a possibility, lower deductibles can help families as well, by letting them pay less out of pocket before they reach their deductible.

4. Eating disorders

About 9% of Americans will develop an eating disorder at some point in their life, often in their teenage years. Eating disorders are life-threatening conditions that can have serious consequences for oral health and overall health. They can cause nutritional deficiencies that  the mouth, as well as sensitive teeth, frequent cavities and dry mouth as a result of purging.

Dentists can be a great ally in the fight against the effects of eating disorders like bulimia (PDF) by identifying signs of the disorder, like eroded enamel and damaged gums, and offering sealants and fluoride treatments. These treatments can help reduce the damage that stomach acid causes when someone vomits. Most plans cover sealants and fluoride treatments until patients turn 15. If you’re also handling your clients’ health care package, you may also consider covering mental health treatment that can help to treat the illness altogether.

What else can you do to support teens’ dental health?

While these problems aren’t unique to adolescents, it’s still a good idea to have these in mind when considering your clients’ dental benefits. If you’re in a position to share tips with group benefits administrators, consider distributing resources that highlights plan features like teledentistry, which could be helpful for busy teens and their parents.

You can also share wellness resources like Delta Dental’s wellness library. It may be helpful to create a template email that you send to your individual clients with dependent children that highlights plan features and helpful information to keep their children healthy and smiling.

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.

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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