Dental Insurance for Small Businesses

Posted on April 8, 2014 in Dental benefit information

With the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) law in effect, it's important for smaller Illinois employers to know that this change provides an opportunity to evaluate health benefits offered to employees.

While businesses with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees aren’t required to offer dental insurance according to the ACA, it is something that should be considered to remain competitive among other employers in 2014 and the years ahead.

Dental insurance is the third most requested employee benefit, behind medical insurance and retirement plans. Employees have come to expect dental to be part of a benefits package, and offering dental benefits may tip the scales when a prospective employee is trying to decide among company offers.

Aside from being a great recruiting and retention tool, there are many other advantages dental insurance can provide your business and employees.

Reduce lost work hours
Each year, more than 164 million work hours are lost because of dental problems, so employees' dental health affects your business, too. Preventive dental exams can help reduce lost productivity hours by identifying and treating problems earlier and, in some cases, reversing the problem before they become larger issues.

Have healthier employees
Studies show that 81 percent of people with dental benefits visit the dentist twice a year or more, while only 34 percent of people without dental benefits visit the dentist twice a year or more. Dental visits can help prevent, detect and manage oral diseases.

Keep medical costs down
Dental insurance that promotes preventive oral health habits may help keep medical insurance costs down. Regular oral health exams can help detect significant medical conditions before they become serious. In fact, more than 75 percent of oral cancers and more than 120 signs and symptoms of disease can be detected in and around the mouth and jaw.

Effects of the Affordable Care Act
In order to meet the requirements of the ACA, small business' dental plans require a pediatric dental benefit, one of the ten essential health benefits (EHB). Choosing a carrier that provides adult dental coverage with pediatric coverage is one way to keep family dental benefits together and your employees happy. An employer can meet the requirements of the ACA outside of the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace with a standalone dental carrier. Not only do employers not have to go to the Marketplace to get coverage, they also do not have to get pediatric dental coverage from a medical carrier.

While businesses can sign up for benefits through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, the private marketplace continues to provide valuable options. A broker can help you make a decision that will keep you and your employees smiling.