When it comes to employee satisfaction, benefits matter. Small businesses have to remain competitive to recruit and retain talented employees. A strong benefits package improves a company’s competitive position, and dental coverage plays a significant role in rounding out that package.
In fact, two-thirds of workers consider dental benefits to be very or extremely important, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a public policy research organization. Dental is also the third most requested benefit after major medical insurance and retirement benefits, according to a report by LIMRA, and nearly 80 percent of workers participate in benefit programs if dental care is part of the program.
Giving employees an option and resources for dental plans is an investment for a small business, but it pays off in the long run. Investing in employee health by offering dental coverage and other health benefits allows small businesses to improve employee productivity and reduce costs associated to health care. Consider that:
- Each year, more than 164 million work hours are lost because of dental problems. Preventive dental exams, often covered 100% by dental insurance plans, can help reduce lost productivity hours by identifying and treating problems before they become serious.
- Employees with dental benefits are more likely to take part in preventive dental care, contributing to their overall health and well-being, according to a report from the Delta Dental Plans Association.
- A dental insurance plan that promotes preventive oral health habits may help keep medical insurance costs down since your oral health is connected to your overall health. And since more than 120 diseases can be detected in and around the mouth, dental professionals may discover health issues early, which can help save on medical costs in the future.
So how can companies manage dental benefits costs while maintaining positive employee morale? Try these 3 tips:
- Use a broker. The best way to save on health and dental benefit costs is to leave it to the experts. Brokers and benefits consultants live and breathe benefits, and can help small businesses find better deals and negotiate better rates. Already work with a trusted benefits advisor? Encourage him/her to move beyond a standard spreadsheet analysis and take a deeper look at benefit plan design elements to find ways to spend plan dollars more wisely while providing greater value to employees.
- Increase cost-sharing. While there are still companies that offer 100% employer-paid dental benefits, an increasing number of businesses are shifting a portion of that cost to employees. Some small businesses even choose to provide “voluntary” plans in which the employees pay the full cost of their premiums while enjoying the advantages and discounts offered through group purchasing.
- Encourage employees to see an in-network dentist. Not only does seeing a network dentist result in lower out-of-pocket for employees, but greater network utilization equates to greater overall savings for employers. Small business owners can make the most of their investment in a dental plan with a large network by ensuring that their employees understand how using a network dentist can help save everyone money in the long run.
Interested in learning more about Delta Dental of Arizona’s dental plans for small businesses? Contact a member of our sales team.