Could Dental Insurance Alternatives Be Your Next Employee Benefit?

August 08, 2017

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As the American economy continues to rise from the ashes of the Great Recession, even companies that are doing well are still competing for market space, share of wallet, and for qualified, skilled talent.

While all the classic tools and tactics for winning these struggles still apply, smart companies have had to make adjustments based on the current economic reality. One excellent example is in the area of employee benefits.

It used to be standard for large companies seeking top shelf talent to offer comprehensive benefits packages including medical, dental, and vision insurance along with a host of other options like 401k, life insurance, accident coverage, and more. These days, however, even the largest and most successful companies in many industries can’t afford to offer the level of benefits they once could because the overall cost of healthcare has risen so much.

So, how can these companies continue to successfully attract skilled workers to join their teams? In many cases, alternative benefit options have become a popular replacement that offer employees value while controlling costs for the employer.

Discount dental programs as a dental insurance alternative

Digging deeper, let’s look at one good example of an alternative employee benefit that provides this cost/value balance to employers and employees alike: discount dental programs.

A discount dental program is an alternative to dental insurance.

Standard dental insurance plans will generally include an annual premium, as well as copays and deductibles that control how much the plan will pay, and for which dental services. Additionally, many dental insurance plans require waiting periods between the activation of coverage and when the plan will begin paying for covered services.

"These days, even the largest and most successful companies in many industries can’t afford to offer the level of benefits they once could because the overall cost of healthcare has risen so much."

A solid dental insurance plan can provide excellent coverage for an individual and/or family to ensure they consistently receive their vital semiannual dental cleaning and examination while also providing valuable assistance toward unexpected necessary services. And, if the employer is able to contribute toward the premiums, that’s a bonus. Just the fact that premiums are automatically deducted from the employee’s paycheck can be a valuable convenience that ensures the insurance remains active.

That being said, many employers are unable to afford dental insurance premiums in addition to other expensive benefits that they tend to prioritize, such as medical coverage and retirement programs. As a result, dental insurance is often provided as an add-on that the employee is responsible to pay for in full.

On the other hand, a discount dental program requires a relatively low monthly or annual membership fee ($9.95/month or $109/year for the Dental Solutions program) no copays, no deductibles, no plan limitations, or waiting periods. Instead, being an active member provides access to a list of participating dental offices that have agreed to offer set discounts off both general and advanced services. The discount is applied at the time of service, and the member is only required to pay the remaining balance directly to the dentist, so no claims processing or reimbursements are required either.

Could a discount dental program be a welcome alternative employee benefit?

If you’re in the enviable position of seeking out talented and skilled employees to fuel your company’s growth and profitability, you’re probably looking for ways to offer valuable incentives and benefits without leaning too far into that profit margin. That’s what remaining competitive in the marketplace requires today.

That being the case, could offering a discount dental program be one way to accomplish that goal? Whether your organization affords the low membership fee in whole or in part for your employees, or offers the plan that employees pay for on their own, you are helping employees and their families have access to adequate dental care at a reasonable price. This can equate to improvements in productivity and attendance as well, since there will be less dental challenges resulting in sick days or pain-affected work.

In short, offering your new and existing employees a dental discount program could be an excellent way to attract top shelf talent without sacrificing profitability. Contact Dental Solutions today to see what options are available if you’d like to move forward with this idea.

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