Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are not mandated to provide dental insurance to part-time, or even full-time employees. Some companies choose to offer dental coverage as an added benefit to attract talented workers, but this is not required. For others, especially small businesses, dental insurance is an expense that just isn’t in the budget.
Nearly 15 million Americans work in the foodservice industry, and that number is projected to grow. With some employees’ pay range hovering around the poverty level, it can be difficult for many people in this industry to afford health insurance, let alone dental coverage.
The number of foodservice companies that offer dental insurance to employees ranks well below the median, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, while not the norm, some restaurants are beginning to bolster benefits packages to include dental coverage.
The perks of working for a chain
Donning a corporate issued uniform at fast casual chain restaurant may actually come with more advantages than you might think. Chains have more financial power than small businesses, and this can translate to better employee benefits. A job at a franchise might not come with much local charm but it can increase the chances for health and dental benefits.
Notably, Starbucks was one of the first chains to offer full-coverage health insurance to part-time employees, and many foodservice juggernauts have followed suite. Fast food and fast casual restaurants like In-N-Out Burger, TGI Fridays, and Carraba’s offer dental coverage to employees. This trend is gaining traction as a means of garnering hardworking employees and preventing the turnover that is often characteristic of the foodservice industry.
Take matters into your own hands with a dental discount program
Working for a chain restaurant is one way to make dental care affordable, but those opportunities are not always available or realistic. In many cases, foodservice employees are left to find their own dental plans. This can make people feel trapped between two options: paying outrageous amounts of money for individual dental coverage, or worse, foregoing it entirely and potentially paying out of pocket in the event of an emergency. Luckily, there is another option for those who feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.
"Fast food and fast casual restaurants like In-N-Out Burger, TGI Fridays, and Carraba’s offer dental coverage to employees. This trend is gaining traction as a means of garnering hardworking employees and preventing the turnover that is often characteristic of the foodservice industry."
Dental discount programs such as those offered by Dental Solutions are available for a low monthly cost, less than $10 a month. As an alternative to traditional insurance, there are no copays, deductibles, plan limitations, or waiting periods. On average, dental discount plan members save between 20 percent-50 percent on general check-ups, cleanings, x-rays and speciality procedures like gum surgery and orthodontics. In fact, some employers are turning to dental saving alternatives like dental discount programs, in lieu of benefits packages, to save on overhead cost while still providing options for employees.
The good news for foodservice employees is that there are more options than ever before. Major restaurant chain owners are starting to recognize the value of dental coverage as a part of a benefits package. When employee sponsored dental coverage isn’t available, alternatives like dental discount programs offer a feasible options for foodservice employees. Whether an employer offers a dental discount program as an added employee benefit, or you pay the low monthly fee on your own, this method helps make dental care more affordable.
Contact Dental Solutions to find out how dental care for foodservice industry employees can be attainable. Also, learn more about how dental discount programs are making oral health more accessible and affordable for the large population of uninsured employees by reading our Complete Guide to Dental Savings for Uninsured Employees.