A recent survey from Harvard Business Review looked into how important dental benefits are to employees. 88 percent of employees consider dental benefits an important factor when choosing a job.
Choosing an employer-sponsored dental plan can be confusing, even to a seasoned business owner. The best plan for one company might not necessarily be the best for another. Whether you have two employees or hundreds, it’s important to find an employer-sponsored dental plan that fits the needs of your employees and your bottom line.
How to choose the right employer-sponsored dental plan
Here are some factors you should consider when choosing what to offer in an employer-sponsored dental plan:
Employee ages and needs
The age groups of your employees are important to consider when evaluating your employees’ dental needs. If your employees are generally younger and have children, a plan that covers families may be very important to them. If your employees are older, the procedures that are covered, such as dental implants or denture fittings, may take priority. If you have employees that range in ages, a dental plan that offers a variety of coverage options may be the best fit for your company.
If you aren’t sure what your employees are looking for in a dental plan, take the time to survey them so you know what you’ll need.
As a business owner, it’s important that you fully understand the costs of your dental plan and make sure they align with your company budgets. Take the time to sit down with an insurance representative or broker and go through everything that the plan offers. Assess the copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts required for various services. Determine if the plan offers a good balance between affordable premiums and reasonable out-of-pocket costs for employees.
If possible, offer your employees more than one plan option for dental coverage. The two most common dental plans are Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO).
PPO plan members have access to a network of dentists who have agreed to accept reduced fees for covered services. By contracting with these dentists, dental insurance companies offering PPO plans not only provide their members with cost savings but also contribute a portion of the reduced fee. Consequently, members benefit from lower out-of-pocket expenses when they receive treatment from an in-network dentist. While PPO members retain the flexibility to seek dental care outside the network, it’s important to note that doing so may result in higher out-of-pocket expenses.
DHMO plans tend to be less expensive than PPO plans but don’t allow for the same flexibility. These plans prioritize preventive care and typically cover routine check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays at no additional cost or with minimal copayments. More extensive treatments such as fillings, extractions, and root canals may also be covered but often require copayments or coinsurance.
Evaluate the quality of customer service provided by the dental insurance company. Consider factors such as ease of claims processing, availability of online tools for managing benefits, and responsiveness to employee inquiries. A smooth administrative process can save time and frustration for both you and your employees.
Employer-sponsored dental plans are important
Regardless of the dental insurance company you choose, making the decision to give your employees dental coverage is the right choice to make. Offering dental benefits can also make an impact when it comes to recruiting and maintaining top talent…and keeping your employees healthy and productive.
For more information on dental insurance plan options for employers, check out, “Invest in Employee Health by Offering Health Benefits.”
*Updated August 2023