To attract the best talent, your company needs to offer a comprehensive benefits package. Your business may already do that. You may have even incorporated life and health insurance into the package you offer.
But what about business dental insurance?
A company dental insurance plan allows you to add another feather to your benefits cap. And with oral health being linked to overall wellness, company dental plans may be the key to attracting talented people who are weighing up several options.
The problem is that you may never have offered one of these plans before. That means you’re not sure what they are, how they benefit your employees, or how much small business dental insurance costs. This article answers all of your questions so you can determine if offering dental insurance is a good idea for your organization.
Corporate dental insurance plans are typically company-wide insurance policies that provide employees with access to dental treatment. They’re often used by businesses as part of a benefits package to attract top talent to their organizations. These plans can cover a range of dental health issues and are often offered as group policies.
Group dental plans for small businesses usually require the employer to pay a premium for each person included in the policy. For example, you may have 100 people working in your company and a premium that costs $30 per person. This means your company pays $3,000 per month in premiums to keep the policy active. Alternatively, some insurers provide split policies that allow you to spread the premiums between your business and the employees who benefit from the insurance plan.
Many insurers provide a choice between health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and preferred provider organization (PPO) plans.
With an HMO plan, you become part of a network of providers that offer coverage in return for your premiums. These plans are the least flexible of the two because they only offer access to a small pool of health providers. Typically, you select a primary dentist that all of your employees must go to with their dental issues. The upshot of this type of policy is that it usually comes with lower premiums compared to a PPO policy. Plus, most HMO plans have no maximum contribution limits or deductibles, though they may include copayments for cosmetic treatments. Generally speaking, HMO small group dental insurance plans cost less than PPO policies.
The added cost of a PPO plan is balanced by the greater access to dental professionals they provide. In addition to offering access to in-network providers, PPO plans often build in allowances for employees to seek treatment for dentists outside of the insurer’s network. This is particularly beneficial if you have employees in different locations who can’t all visit in-network dentists. Furthermore, many of these policies offer lower prices when an employee can visit an in-network dentist.
The amount of coverage provided depends on what you want to offer to your employees. At the most basic level, dental insurance for small companies provides employees with access to basic check-ups at no, or little, out-of-pocket cost. Beyond that, many plans offer features that increase your premiums but could save employees thousands of dollars in dental care. Such features may include the following:
Many insurers allow you to mix and match these features so your policy covers all or a percentage of them. For example, you may be able to reduce your small business dental insurance cost by offering a basic plan that also covers 50% of the cost of restorative and orthodontic work. The downside to this approach is that it forces your employee to pay the other 50% of these more complicated dental procedures. A plan that covers 100% of the cost is more attractive, though it also comes with higher premiums.
Offering company dental insurance benefits your business and its employees.
A 2018 study shows that dental visits account for approximately 320.8 million lost work hours per year in the United States. Of those hours, 159.8 million went towards emergency treatments that may have been avoided with preventative care. By offering dental group plans, you provide access to preventative care to cut down on the hours that employees miss. This creates a more productive business and ensures employees are happy, healthy, and motivated.
Providing access to free or low-cost dental care also helps relieve employee stress. In 2020, almost 40% of Americans lived paycheck to paycheck. Many of these people also lack any form of emergency savings. Without access to insurance, they may avoid taking trips to a doctor or dentist, leading to health issues that affect happiness and lead to lost work hours. Group dental plans offered by employers relieve the financial burdens placed on those in these situations, allowing them to get the care they need to be more productive employees.
Beyond wellbeing and productivity benefits, company dental insurance can play a key part in any employee benefits package you offer to new talent. A 2020 poll conducted by Delta Dental Institute found that 91% of Americans believe that taking care of their oral health in the present helps them avoid more complicated health issues in the future. By providing access to dental services via group insurance, you make your benefits package more appealing to the majority of American workers.
Finally, corporate dental insurance plans can help to reduce the premiums you’re paying for other group healthcare insurance policies. Poor dental hygiene is linked to the development of several serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. If your employers develop these conditions, you may find that your group insurance premiums increase. By investing in company dental insurance, you may be able to mitigate these increases with a low-cost dental policy.
Like most other types of insurance, company dental insurance requires the payment of monthly premiums to maintain it. These premiums can be paid by the employer or, in part, by employees. If employees do pay toward the premiums, the sums paid are usually deducted directly from their paychecks. However, asking employees to pay part of the dental plan’s premiums makes the plan a less attractive proposition as a bonus.
Assuming your business pays all of the premiums, there are still things that your employees may have to pay for, depending on the nature of your plan:
Furthermore, some policies carry an annual maximum. This is the most the insurer will pay toward a single person’s dental services for the year. If one of your employees goes past this maximum, either they or you will need t pay for any further dental services they use.
The cost of dental insurance for small companies varies based on several factors. These include your insurer, the extent of the policy you take out, and the number of employees you have in your company. Location can also play a factor.
Generally speaking, the cost of dental insurance plans for small business fall between $20 and $50 per person per month. If you have a company with 20 people, you can expect to pay between $400 and $1,000 per month.
What happens if you don’t want your business to absorb those costs?
You can still offer a group dental plan as an employee-paid bonus. While this is not as attractive to new employees as a free plan, it may be beneficial for those who struggle to find or pay for individual dental insurance. Group plans typically cost the individual less per month that solo plans. As such, you could market an employee-paid group dental plan as a discount on dental insurance when compared to getting it yourself.
Once you’ve committed to implementing a group dental policy in your business, you need to find insurance that doesn’t break the bank while still allowing you to offer a key benefit to employees. The following are the key tips to help you find a good policy.
The cost of company dental plans can vary widely between insurers. Make sure you gather several quotes so you can compare and come up with an average of what you should expect to pay. Several online insurance aggregation websites allow you to do this yourself. However, you may find you benefit more from working with a specialized business insurance broker. These professionals have strong networks and the ability to negotiate better deals than you may find online. Plus, they can help you work your new policy into your benefits package.
This tip is particularly important if you’re thinking about an HMO plan, though it’s also worth following when applying for PPO dental insurance. In both cases, an insurer provides access to a network of pre-selected dentists. In the case of HMO insurance, you often need to select a primary dentist for the entire plan. You need to know that these dentists can do good work before committing to working with them.
Google is a strong research tool here. Find out who’s in the insurer’s network and research their reviews online. Check their Google Business page and any social media pages they have. You should be able to find customer feedback that tells you if the dentist offers a consistently good service.
Before signing on the dotted line of any policy, you need to know exactly what it covers. Some of the key questions to ask here include:
Some insurers may require you to go through a waiting period before you can access the benefits of their plans. Others offer no waiting period at all. And some may implement a waiting period on more expensive procedures while providing immediate access to basic preventative care. Whatever the case may be, you need to know what the waiting period is so you don’t find yourself promising access to care that your employees can’t use.
In cases where the insurer implements a waiting period, you should find that it’s no longer than three months. If it is longer, you can likely find a better company dental insurance plan.
Having business dental insurance benefits your business and its employees. Your business gets to provide a key benefit that may make the difference when you’re competing for the top talent in your industry. Plus, access to dental care means employees are healthier and less worried about their finances, resulting in higher productivity and motivation.
Employees benefit because they gain access to dental care that they may not be able to pay for themselves. They also get to engage in more regular preventative treatment, which reduces the possibility of them having to deal with more invasive procedures later on.
Here, we’ve explained the key aspects of company dental insurance. All that’s left is for your business to find an appropriate policy.
That’s where Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency comes in.
We’re a leading group insurance health broker that operates throughout the United States. Our team has over 25 years of experience helping business owners find great health plans that they can implement into their benefit plans. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, call us at 800-903-6066 or contact us online.
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