The Advantages of Stand-Alone Dental Insurance

Posted on November 18, 2014 in Dental benefit information

According to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), more than 98 percent of Americans with dental insurance have a policy separate from their medical plan.

Delta Dental of Illinois invites you to consider these reasons before you decide to bundle your medical and dental together.

Reason #1: A stand-alone dental plan can give your employees more choice.

As a stand-alone dental carrier, Delta Dental of Illinois manages the most extensive network of dentists in the country – including nearly 145,000 individual dentists. This results in more choice for enrollees, greater access to care, higher in-network utilization rates and more opportunity for your employees to enjoy the benefits of reduced fees.

Stand-alone dental carriers are committed to the one-to-one engagement it takes to build a large network of providers by recruiting and credentialing dentists directly. On the other hand, medical carriers often lease portions of their dental networks from a third party. This can limit oversight and may result in lower credentialing standards.

Reason #2: A stand-alone dental carrier can provide more rate stability.

As a stand-alone dental carrier, Delta Dental of Illinois strives to keep premiums stable by maintaining a strong network of dentists and promoting prevention-oriented plans designed to reduce overall treatment costs.

Our strong network allows us to deliver a sustainable dental benefits solution that ensures the needs of the provider, the employer and the employee are all being met to their satisfaction.

Reason #3: A stand-alone dental plan strives to offer savings over the long term.

Some medical carriers will entice you to bundle your dental benefits by offering your group a discount on the medical premium or by deeply discounting the dental premium for the first year. While this may seem attractive in the short term, these bundled discounts are not sustainable.

In the long term, there's no guarantee that the carrier won't increase the price of the dental insurance to offset the medical discount – or implement rate increases at renewal to recoup the difference.

Reason #4: A stand-alone dental plan encourages employees to utilize benefits.

Stand-alone dental carriers design plans focused on preventive care – often applying no deductible for preventive services while in most cases covering cleanings and regular check-ups at or near 100 percent.

Delta Dental of Illinois encourages your employees to maintain good health by using their benefits to seek the care they need now. Addressing small problems before they turn into chronic conditions can help avoid the need for more costly treatments down the road.

Reason #5: A stand-alone dental carrier provides specialized expertise.

Delta Dental of Illinois has a dedicated dental director on staff to assist with provider relations, review claims and protect against fraud – resulting in more accurate claims processing and access to high quality and cost-effective dental care services. This results in more accurate claims processing and ensures that members receive access to high quality and cost-effective dental care services. Plus, our dental director works with account management and sales to optimize dental benefit plans for specific clients.

Some medical carriers may not have on-staff expertise on the dental side because they are simply not as heavily invested in this specialized line of benefits. This can compromise the accuracy of their dental claims processing – and limit their ability to innovate.

Reason #6: A stand-alone dental carrier can take better care of your employees.

Delta Dental of Illinois reinforces its focus on prevention by making sure members get the most out of their dental benefits. This includes providing resources that empower your employees to achieve great oral health. Through our online libraries, risk assessment tools and more, we educate your employees and help them understand the importance of preventive care.

Ensuring your employees enjoy a healthy smile goes well beyond dental benefits alone. So while a bundled dental plan may provide coverage, it's unlikely that a medical carrier will take the time to develop as many dental-specific educational tools as your clients will get from a stand-alone dental carrier.

Reason #7: A stand-alone dental carrier can make it easier to manage your plan

Every employer wants to be sure that its dental benefits plan provides value to its employees. Delta Dental of Illinois uses sophisticated auditing and review systems that have evolved over many years to maximize the effectiveness of its dental plans.

We can help you recommend a plan design that best suits your situation. And, our ongoing reports will help you see how the plan is being used and know if the plan is meeting your needs – allowing you to more easily make adjustments as necessary.

Reason #8: A stand-alone dental carrier focuses on oral health wellness.

Good oral health is key to good overall health. Using dental claims data, we have reports that expand on utilization, offering actionable insights that go beyond reporting and into benchmarks and best practices for your group's dental plan designs. Delta Dental of Illinois' dental action reports can confirm or refute the validity of your current plan design, and offer insight into the effectiveness of their dental program. We can offer benchmarks against comparable groups that help you and manage plan success over time and allows them to start measuring the oral health of enrollees, allowing them to track progress.

Stand-Alone Carrier Deliver Outstanding Value

While bundling your clients' dental and medical benefits might seem like a convenient idea on the surface, dig a little deeper and you'll discover that offering stand-alone dental benefits will deliver a more outstanding value overall for your group.