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Choosing the Right Dental Plan for Employees

By Jill Hamilton on August 19, 2014 in Insurance

Dentist looking at computer and on the phone

You're finally ready to choose a dental plan for your employees – you've made a great decision! A majority of consumers consider dental benefits to be a “very important” part of the essential benefits package. Choosing a dental plan can be a confusing and complicated task, even to a seasoned business owner. The best plan for one company might not necessarily be the best plan for another. But what factors should you consider?

Age is an important factor in determining your employees' dental needs.

  • Employees between the ages of 20-39 are less likely to have poor dental health. This age bracket is also more likely to have children. They appreciate tools that encourage kids to practice good dental health habits.
  • Employees between the ages of 40-59 appreciate a dental plan that covers more restorative procedures.
  • Those in the 60+ age range are more likely to face more complicated conditions and need a dental plan that covers full restorations such as bridges, crowns and dentures.

Prevention is key. While medical insurance primarily focuses on treatment, prevention is the key idea behind dental insurance. What types of services does the dental insurance plan cover? It seems like all policies are alike – but they're not! Look for an insurance plan that emphasizes preventive and diagnostic care. Most dental problems, such as cavities, are nearly 100% preventable with proper dental care.

Dental health affects overall health. We already know that preventive dental care is effective, but did you know that there are medical conditions that impact your dental health? For example, studies have found that blood sugar levels in diabetics can be controlled when they have less plaque in their mouth. Ask your broker or insurance carrier if they have any plans that incorporate evidence-based dentistry.

Consider an Enhanced Benefits Program (EAP). Some employer group plans called the Enhanced Benefits Program that links medical conditions and dental benefits. This coverage may help employers lower overall costs by directing preventive care where it's needed most – in addition to helping promote medical cost savings.

Work within your budget. As an employer, it's important to understand your payment obligations. For example, you may get better premium rates if you contribute to your employees' premiums and have higher participating in the plan. In addition to monthly premiums, there may be cost-sharing arrangements on services. Next, look at deductibles. This is the amount that members must pay before the insurance company pays for all or a portion of the costs. Deductibles vary. Lower-priced premiums typically have higher deductible amounts. There are also plan maximums. The higher the annual maximum, the higher the premium.

Pick a plan with a large network. How many dentists will be in network locally? Do you have any employees that work in different states and/or regularly travel? An affordable dental plan doesn't mean anything when it provides access to only a narrow network of dentists. Make sure your dental insurance offers you the lowest cost…with the most choice.

Regardless of the dental plan you choose, making the decision to give your employees dental insurance is the right choice. Delta Dental recommends that you consult with your broker or consultant when evaluating a dental plan. For more information on Delta Dental of Iowa's dental plans for your business, visit