Group Dental Insurance
Find the perfect dental insurance plan for your business. Dental coverage plans are designed to meet both your employees’ oral health needs and the demands of your budget.
Taking steps to safeguard and enhance the oral health of the people who work for you is to your advantage in the long run. Believe it or not, bad dental health can lead to serious systemic illnesses including heart disease that could ultimately result in higher absentee rates among your workers.
Even small businesses should consider providing dental coverage. These days, most of the major providers offer plans tailored to address the trimmed-down budgets of companies with just a few employees. In spite of their scaled-down size, you can still give your employees access to large nationwide dental networks that provide prompt emergency care as well as oral health maintenance and preventive measures.
Preferred provider organization (PPO)
Dentists in the network provide services at discounted rates and do not bill patients for the balance. In most cases, enrollees provide a co-pay for each visit. If an employee needs to see a dentist who is out of network, some of these plans give some discount, although it is significantly smaller. With PPO’s, no referral or preauthorization is required. However, filling out claims forms can be quite a laborious process. Also, claimants usually need to wait to be reimbursed for the cost of the care they receive. The full deductible must be reached before the insurer begins to reimburse.
Dental HMO (DHMO)
This is particularly attractive to small business owners since the premiums are lower than those of PPO plans. With this plan, there are no annual maximums; people who are covered can receive all of the dental care they need without worrying about reaching a cap beyond which all coverage stops. Furthermore, copayments are set and there are no annual deductibles. Unlike with the PPO, enrollees are required to see their primary care dentist, who will also be the one to make all referrals to specialists such as oral surgeons. The costs of preventive and diagnostic procedures are managed by the plan, enabling the group as a whole to benefit from discounted rates. For that reason, most of these standard procedures cost enrollees little or nothing. With this plan, you can count on a stable network of well-credentialed dentists and reasonable payments. On the other hand, each dentist will be required to see a set number of patients per day and may not be able to spend as much time with a patient as would a doctor in a PPO.
Traditional or Indemnity Plans
While members are free to choose to see whatever dentist or specialist they would like, deductibles and premiums are quite high with this coverage. Enrollees can sometimes get a discount for selecting an oral care professional who is within the network, but claims procedures can be protracted and exhausting.
Dental discount or savings plans
Although technically not considered to be dental insurance, small businesses are increasingly looking to these as a way to obtain coverage for their employees. Most of these programs offer discounts of anywhere from 10 to 60% at the dentist, depending on the location and the care needed. Some of these discount plans even help with the costs of cosmetic dentistry, which is not usually a part of any of the traditional insurance models.
As an employer, you have many choices when it comes to the best dental coverage for yourself and your employees. Take the time to choose the coverage that meets your unique needs.
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