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How you can help employees budget for dental expenses

Posted on January 18, 2020 in Dental benefit information


business woman with laptop budgetingMany people resolve to take better care of their finances this time of year. You can support your employees in working toward that goal by helping them budget for dental expenses. Here’s how you can help reduce their stress and improve their health.

Provide dental benefits.

The best way to help employees budget for dental expenses is by offering great dental coverage. Dental benefits often cover 100% of routine preventive services like checkups and cleanings. These dental benefits also lower out-of-pockets costs by paying a portion of many procedures.

Help them understand what’s covered.

Educate employees about what their plan covers and what portion they may have to pay. Let them know if the plan has limitations and help them understand that not all services are necessarily covered. Encourage them to chat with you or the benefits provider when they have questions.

Here are some common dental plan limitations:

Annual maximum: The total amount a plan will pay for dental care for a specific period (usually a calendar year).
Coinsurance: The percentage of costs paid by the patient.
Copayment: A set dollar amount a patient pays for a service. (Most plans have coinsurance or a copayment but not both.)
Deductible: An amount patients pay toward covered services before benefits are paid.
Lifetime maximum: The maximum amount a plan will pay in a lifetime.
Waiting period: The time before a patient is eligible to receive benefits for certain services.

Encourage visits to in-network dentists.

Your employees save when visiting an in-network dentist. These dentists have agreed to set fees that are typically less than they would normally charge. Learn more about why your employees should use a network dentist and how they can find one.

Let them know how to calculate their needs.

Encourage employees to work with their dentist to develop a long-term treatment plan. Let them know they can ask their dentist for a pre-treatment estimate to get an idea of out-of-pocket costs. While most oral health issues should be addressed quickly, if an issue isn’t time-sensitive, treatment can possibly be scheduled for later.

Once employees know how much they may need to pay for treatments, they can calculate their annual budget for dental expenses. If possible, they should save even more to account for possible emergencies and other unplanned costs.

Make it easy to save for expenses.

If you offer a flexible spending account (FSA), make sure employees know they can save pre-tax contributions to spend on qualifying dental expenses. If you don’t offer an FSA, encourage employees to save with automatic transfers from checking to savings every month.