Providing the right mix of employee benefits is an important business strategy for attracting and retaining quality employees. Group Dental Insurance is one component of that mix, and a highly-valued one at that.
There are a variety of plans available that can be tailored to the needs of your business. Dental plans are offered separately or as part of a total Group Health Insurance Plan. The employer pays all or a portion of the cost. Most plans fall into one of three categories:
Indemnity Policy. Employees are free to choose their dentists.
Preferred Provider Organization. Employees can choose a dentist from a pre-approved network, or use someone outside the network at the cost of a higher deductible and/or a higher co-pay.
Health Maintenance Organization. The most restrictive type, where employees must use a dentist within the network in order to be reimbursed for all or part of the cost.
What Group Dental Insurance Is Not
Group Dental plans differ from Individual Dental Plans (which are sometimes difficult to obtain). Group plans typically cost less than individual plans.
Group Dental plans also differ from discount dental, reduced-fee dental, and referral dental plans that some companies offer.
Most Group Dental plans do not cover orthodontic or cosmetic dentistry. If they do, they typically reimburse a smaller percentage of the work.
Who Needs Group Dental Insurance?
Sole proprietors, partnerships, and corporations (of all sizes) may choose to offer dental insurance to their employees. Some policies are available for companies as small as one person. Studies have shown that employees place a high value on health and dental coverage, and that satisfaction with benefits is a major contributor to employee retention.
Things To Think About
One of your biggest choices will be to decide what type of plan to offer (Indemnity, PPO, HMO) and how much of the cost your company will cover.
Compare policies to find out what procedures are covered, and to what extent. Many policies emphasize dental hygiene (regular checkups, cleanings, X-rays, fillings, crowns, etc.). Preventive measures are usually reimbursed more fully than actual treatments. Check to see if there’s a waiting period for crowns and dentures. Sometimes it can be a year or more.
Some Group Dental policies may require a certain percentage of employee participation in order to provide coverage.
Finally, the cost of your dental plan may be a deductible business expense.