Employees love benefits.
Of course, the most sought-after employee benefit is excellent health insurance.
So, which benefit is number two in popularity and desirability?
And employers know this!
87% of employers say that dental benefits are non-negotiable. Employees want them!
But employee satisfaction is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to offering dental insurance.
As a long-term employee benefits broker, I can tell you that dental insurance has significant secondary benefits to you, the employer.
If you aren’t already offering this product to your employees, here are six reasons you might want to consider adding dental insurance to your benefits package.
- Employees desire dental insurance.
- Dental insurance is known to impact your employees’ overall health positively.
- Employees with dental insurance miss work less often than those without insurance.
- Dental insurance can help you control your other group health costs.
- Employers can often add dental insurance without a substantial cost.
- Dental insurance is a differentiator when attracting new employees.
#1 Employees desire dental insurance.
68% percent of eligible employees enroll in dental benefits when offered by an employer, which is the highest participation rate compared to other non-medical benefits.
With so many employees opting for dental benefits when offered, you can surmise how desirable this benefit option is!
Bottom line: After health insurance, dental insurance is the most desired benefit among employees.
#2 Dental insurance is known to impact your employees’ overall health positively.
Health statistics regarding those who have health insurance versus those without this benefit are staggering! And, I’m not just talking about dental health.
People who don’t carry dental insurance are known to have other serious health issues!
- 67% of people without dental insurance are more likely to have heart disease.
- Those who don’t have dental insurance are 50% more likely to have osteoporosis than those who have this benefit.
- Individuals without dental insurance are 29% more likely to have diabetes than those with dental coverage.
Good dental health and care are linked to good overall health!
Along with being linked to better overall health, preventative dental care can detect non-dental-related illnesses and diseases. Routine dental care can uncover more than 100 different diseases!
For instance, gum disease is a common oral health problem in patients who also have diabetes. Dental care can also detect eating disorders. Bleeding gums and dry mouth are two common effects of malnutrition.
Heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, and osteoporosis are other major health issues identified during routine dental examinations.
Bottom line: Providing employees with dental coverage can have significant implications for early disease detection.
#3 Employees with dental insurance miss work less often than those without insurance.
40% of adults who didn’t visit a dentist in the past year said they didn’t go because of cost. Without dental insurance, the price of a routine cleaning will cost around $130. That means going the recommended twice a year will set a person back around $260.
Many Americans aren’t willing to pay those prices!
And when you think about those costs in terms of families without dental insurance, the price for a family of four to have bi-annual check-ups will cost over $1,000.
The Cost of Skipping Routine Dental Care
Without regular dental care, the likelihood of developing significant oral health issues increases dramatically.
Regular dental care can prevent oral health problems like cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. And by having routine dental check-ups, your dentist can address oral health issues before they require extensive intervention.
Untreated dental issues lead employees to miss work. A report from the Surgeon General report showed that employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits.
Absenteeism has negative ramifications for any employer. Loss of productivity and additional stress on other employees who pick up the slack when a co-worker misses work are just two of the negative consequences of absenteeism in the workplace.
Routine dental care helps to limit the number of days employees need to be absent from work.
Medical Related Diseases
Oral health issues are not the only concerns that arise from the lack of dental care. Some medical problems are linked to poor dental care.
These include diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. These diseases can cause even greater absenteeism in the workplace.
Bottom line: Encouraging your employees to maintain good oral health has serious implications for employee attendance and overall well-being.
#4 Dental insurance can help you control your other group health costs.
As noted above, dental care can help combat secondary health problems that arise from poor dental maintenance.
Diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease tend to cause high-cost medical claims. And high-cost medical claims increase the cost of your group health insurance premiums.
As an employer, you know that group health insurance is expensive. For most employers, it’s their second or third largest expense after payroll.
When your employees develop serious diseases, you can expect your group health costs to rise. Managing your group health claims is the number one way to control your group health insurance premiums. And who doesn’t want to keep these costs lower?
By providing dental insurance for your employees, you incent them to take care of their oral health. And as demonstrated above, taking good care of your teeth and gums can also help prevent secondary health problems from arising.
Bottom line: Incenting your employees to use routine dental care can reduce your employees’ high-cost medical claims, directly impacting your group health costs.
#5 Employers can often add dental insurance without a substantial cost.
If you choose to cover your employees’ dental insurance costs, you can expect to pay anywhere from $24 to $26 per employee each month. If they require a family plan, you can expect the cost to double.
That means, on average, you will pay $300 each year per employee on a single plan or $600 per employee on a family plan.
You do have the option of requiring those employees who enroll in the dental program to contribute a portion of their insurance costs.
You also have the option of offering dental insurance as a voluntary product.
In this way, dental insurance is offered to your employees at a discounted rate. They will have to pay the total cost of their premium.
If they are not interested in dental insurance, your employees can opt out.
Bottom line: Dental insurance will cost anywhere from $300 to $600 per employee each year, depending on their enrollment status as an individual or as a family. Dental insurance can have no cost for the employer if it is offered as a voluntary product.
#5 Dental insurance is a differentiator when attracting new employees.
80% of potential hires prefer better benefits to higher pay.
78% of employees rate dental insurance as an important benefit.
Employees want excellent health care and additional health benefits like dental and vision insurance. And employees with outstanding talent will seek to work for larger firms and companies that will offer them quality health-related insurance products.
Only 14% of employers with less than ten employees offer dental insurance.
By offering this product, a small business can stand out and compete for top-notch talent. Often for small businesses, offering dental as a voluntary product is the most economical option.
However, a word of caution is this: if you are a small business and want to present dental insurance as a voluntary option. Most voluntary insurance options require a certain number of your employees to participate in the program.
Before offering the option, it is best to survey your employees, asking them if they would be willing to spend $25 each month toward dental coverage. This will help you know if a voluntary product is a possibility for your company.
Bottom line: Dental insurance is a highly desired benefit that draws talent. Exploring various options may allow your business to add this benefit to your employees’ package.
How do I check into adding dental insurance to my employee benefits package?
Most employers who don’t currently offer dental insurance fall into one of two categories:
- Those who have never checked into dental insurance.
- Those who have considered it in the past but decided not to include it in their benefits package for one reason or another.
If you fall into the first category and don’t currently have dental insurance as part of your benefits package, let me encourage you to look into it. Start by scheduling time with your benefits broker to begin exploring this option.
The best benefits brokers will have multiple solutions to offer your business.
If your broker has not suggested dental insurance in the past, you may want to consider looking for a new broker. Not all brokers are equipped to help businesses of all sizes find solutions to create a robust employee benefits package.
If you fall into the second category and have looked into dental insurance in the past but found it too costly, I would recommend inquiring again.
Insurance products and costs are constantly evolving. While there may not have been an adequate solution in the past, you may be surprised to find that there are new options for your business.
You may also want to consider shopping around for your benefits package. Like I stated above, not all brokers have the resources needed to satisfy every employer.
Working with Baily Insurance for Your Benefits Program
If you are currently looking for an Employee Benefits Broker and your business is based in Pennsylvania, I would invite you to give us a call or to schedule time for an introductory meeting.
Our agency has been creating benefits solutions for businesses for over 100 years.
We work with businesses of all sizes.
We have resources available to all of our clients through several partnerships that you would expect to find only at large national benefits firms through several partnerships.
We’re looking forward to meeting with you!