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Dental insurance provides financial assistance for preventative and restorative dental health care.  Having dental insurance encourages you and your family to seek regular dental visits, which is important in maintaining good oral health.  A recent report by the Institute of Medicine found evidence that oral health complications can be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dental clinics are doing more nowadays than cleaning and filling teeth;  they also check the mouth for symptoms of cancer, anemia, osteoporosis, diabetes, and much more.  As Dr Jim Gowan says "people sometimes forget that the mouth is part of the body and links closely to their overall health."  The connection between dental health and overall health is so important to HealthPartners' that their dental plans  provide coverage to all children under age 12 and to adults with diabetes or are pregnant,  without any out-of-pocket cost.  In other words there are no deductibles or coinsurance to pay for this select group of members.   

There are several options in providing group dental insurance, and many insurers to choose from. The size of your group can determine some of your choices as it may be cheaper to bundle a package of dental, life, and disability coverage with a company like Guardian.  The cheapest employer option is to have a "voluntary" program which means the employer only sponsors the plan and premiums are 100% paid by the employee and deducted through payroll. The employer gets credit for providing a dental plan and the employee pays for it.  Insurers like Delta Dental require at least 5 employees participating, but other companies  like Security Life will work with a smaller group with their Magnum or Spirit plans. Premiums will usually be less if the employer is participating in the contribution, and there are usually more plan designs to choose from. Delta Dental has a plan for every group.  Like medical insurance premium contribution, dental premium is also tax deductible for the employer.  Depending on the size of the group and the design of the plan, an average individual premium is between $30-$40 per month and family premium between $75-$100 per month.  Some plans even offer  an employee + spouse rate or employee + child/ren rate.  If you are on the fence about dental insurance, consider the math.  If you go to the dentist twice a year for an exam, cleaning, and periodic x-rays, my dentist charges between $250-$300 per visit, depending on the x-rays.  If I pay $40 per month  in premium for 12 months or $480 per year, and I incur at least $500-$600 worth of services, it's a no brainer.  If in addition  I  have restorative work done, my benefit versus premium is stretched further.

We work with a variety of companies providing dental insurance, and I have mentioned only a few in this article.  Once we know more about the specifics of your group, we would be happy to get some quotes for you and discuss  the options.  Employees value having dental insurance, and in some cases more than having medical insurance. After all, we still go to the dentist when we are healthy;  it's good maintenance!

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