According to a recent study, an estimated 320.8 million hours of work or school time are lost in the United States due to dental care needs.
This study underscores the importance of employers and businesses prioritizing preventive dental care for their employees.
However, many employers still struggle to compensate for increasing dental premiums and indirect costs associated with dental disease. Aside from that, traditional dental insurance is too complicated to manage.
Thus, creating a plan that meets your business's and your employees' needs while lowering premium costs can bring you a sense of relief.
Is this even possible in today’s competitive market?
Yes, through an in-house dental membership program or a business dental membership plan.
What is a business dental membership plan?
An employer dental membership plan offers a cost-effective and straightforward way to provide dental care to your employees at reduced rates and without the complexities often associated with traditional dental insurance.
If you’re currently subscribed to Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime, it will be easier to understand a business or employee dental membership plan.
Let’s say you’re paying for your employees' dental benefits in an affordable monthly or annual subscription directly to your chosen dental provider.
No intricate coverage terms, waiting periods, and especially high premiums! A win-win for you and your employees.
Why do some choose membership plans over insurance?
As seasoned professionals in the dental practice, we’ve heard countless concerns about a patient’s dental insurance—one is that it’s sometimes confusing.
We’ve had patients who expressed frustration due to the stringent restrictions imposed by their dental insurance provider.
There were also situations where the necessary treatment was either partially covered or not covered at all, and determining the details of their coverage is often a guessing game.
Dealing with limited insurance coverage can be cumbersome for dentists, too. Dental insurance limits dentists' procedures, leading to treatment decisions based on a specific policy, not the patient’s needs.
But don’t get us wrong. There are benefits to getting dental insurance.
Nevertheless, choosing a membership plan that enables businesses to determine affordable dental benefits for their employees proves more advantageous. Here are the reasons why.
The treatment plan gives a strong emphasis on preventive care
It sucks the soul out of a patient knowing that their insurance can never cover a specific dental treatment. For employees requiring emergency dental care, this can be their worst nightmare. And employers are often doomed due to increased employee absences.
An employee dental membership plan quickly addresses this problem by focusing the treatment program or coverage on preventive dental care.
How beneficial is preventive dental treatment?
According to a study in Japan, overtime work had significant associations with non-attendance of preventive dental visits among male workers aged in their 40s and 50s.
Based on the same study, providing access to preventive dental visits in the workplace can help improve the oral health of full-time workers and those who work overtime.
Most dental membership plans for businesses strongly emphasize preventive care, which is at the core of oral health management.
In Culver City, for example, United Dental Care’s Preventive Care Membership plan includes:
- Two monthly doctor exams
- Two hygiene cleanings
- Two fluoride treatments
- Two periodontal screenings
- One emergency exam
- And required X-rays
This plan only includes a $34 monthly subscription and a $99 lifetime activation fee. Not only that, but the membership also offers:
- 50% off on periodontal maintenance
- 25% off on fillings, tooth extractions, inlays and onlays, root canal treatment, and dental crowns
- And 15% off on dental implants
In terms of payment options, United Dental Care provides financing alternatives to eligible patients through Sunbit or CareCredit, enabling them to enjoy a versatile payment solution. This option allows customers to disburse the expenses of their acquisitions over a predetermined duration, typically accomplished through a sequence of scheduled payments.
Preventive dental care in the workplace is crucial as it promotes overall employee well-being by maintaining good oral health reducing the risk of dental issues that can lead to time off work.
By encouraging regular checkups and cleanings, employers can help employees catch and address dental problems early, preventing them from becoming more severe and costly.
This proactive approach fosters a healthier workforce and contributes to higher productivity and lower healthcare costs in the long run.
Simple, affordable, and predictable
A new study shows that one in four employees with dental insurance report that they last had a dental checkup a year ago. This is attributed to the need for a more adequate understanding of their dental benefits.
According to Christopher Stevens, head of dental product management at Radnor, consumers may not take full advantage of their dental benefits because they need to learn more about their insurance plans.
He also added that many people have dental insurance that covers the cost of preventive care, which means they don’t have to pay anything for regular checkups and cleanings.
However, some of these people still say they don’t go to the dentist because of cost, which means they don’t understand how their dental insurance works.
They might think they have to pay for other services or treatments not covered by their insurance or need to learn how to use their insurance benefits.
This makes sense, considering how much effort companies put into explaining their employees’ dental insurance coverage.
In fact, according to MetLife’s study, employees don’t currently believe they get the information they need to understand their dental benefits and how to maximize them fully.
Dental insurance is often confusing because it contains different aspects and rules that vary depending on the plan, provider, and patient.
People get confused about their dental coverage because:
- They compare it to health insurance. They're entirely different because dental membership is more preventive than curative.
- People think dental insurance covers everything. It typically has a maximum annual benefit, meaning the insurance company will only pay up to a certain amount for dental services in a year.
- Dental insurance may have different rules for in-network and out-of-network providers.
A dental membership plan eliminates this confusion because it’s simple and transparent. It means your dental office creates and manages it in-house, not by an insurance company.
A third-party membership network may also handle the plan and resemble the way conventional insurance works, but this is without unnecessary red tape.
For instance, patients can conveniently locate network-affiliated doctors through the third party's website or hotline and access plan benefits by presenting a membership card. The reduced fees generally range from 10% to 60% lower than doctors' standard rates, depending on the specific plan the patient purchases.
Membership plans often include clear and straightforward terms and conditions. In other words, you get to know precisely what you are paying for and what your employees are getting in return.
Dental membership plans for businesses are predictable, unlike dental insurance, which can be expensive and limiting due to its maximums, deductibles, waiting periods, and exclusions. (The long list goes on!)
Once your employees are subscribed to a membership plan, they don’t have to wait for approval or authorization from their insurance company. They can access their dental benefits whenever they need or want to.
Things to consider when choosing a membership plan
As we highlight the advantages of this plan, it becomes clear that dental membership not only empowers employees with accessible and affordable dental care but also contributes significantly to their job satisfaction and overall productivity.
However, before implementing such plans, it's crucial to remember that not all memberships are the same. To make sure you’re getting the right deal, take note of the following:
Coverage and services
Evaluate the range of dental services covered by the membership plan. Ensure it includes essential services such as preventive care, basic procedures, and major dental work.
Determine if orthodontic treatment, cosmetic dentistry, or other specialized services are included, as these may be relevant to your employees' needs.
Cost and affordability
Examine the membership fees and assess whether they are affordable for your business and employees. Compare the cost of the plan to the potential savings on dental services. Make sure the program gives you a bang for your buck.
Flexibility and customization
Look for flexible and customized plans that will allow you to tailor the coverage to your employees' specific needs.
Consider whether you can adjust the plan as your workforce changes or if you can offer different plan options to meet diverse needs.
Member access and convenience
Evaluate the ease of accessing dental care through the plan. Consider factors like appointment scheduling, emergency care availability, and the plan's overall convenience.
Check if the plan provides digital tools or apps for members to manage appointments, view benefits, or find participating dentists.
Verify that the dental membership plan complies with applicable state regulations or laws, including licensing requirements and consumer protections.
Non-compliant third-party or in-house membership providers may suffer legal and financial penalties, resulting in the cancellation of their services. When this happens, it can hinder your employees from receiving the required dental benefits.
Integration with other benefits
Assess how the dental membership plan integrates with your existing employee benefits package, such as health insurance and wellness programs.
By carefully considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can make an informed decision when choosing a dental membership plan that best meets the dental care needs of your employees and aligns with your business objectives.
Partner with United Dental Care
Your approach to caring for your employees reflects the value you place on your company. The more you invest in your workforce’s welfare, the more they’ll be invested in your business.
No work or effort will appear too small if they’re done for the benefit of your employees. Dental benefits aren't merely administrative perks, though. They can serve as vital support for your workforce's well-being.
If you're seeking an in-house membership plan that delivers without leaving you with empty promises, contact us at United Dental Care in Culver City, CA.