Offering group health insurance is often a big decision for small business owners because that decision comes with a significant price tag attached. But when it comes to voluntary benefits like dental coverage, the choice is easier. That’s because unlike medical coverage, voluntary benefits—as their name implies – are not required, so companies can add benefits options that support employees without a corresponding increase in expenses.
Employees often pay the full cost of voluntary benefits, but enjoy the advantage of group rates for the benefits when offered through their workplace. Yet three in ten employers don't offer dental insurance.1 As the job market heats up, it may be time to add dental coverage to your benefits mix. Here’s a look at why:
When workers are worried about how they're going to pay for things or handle a medical problem, they're stressed and distracted. Highly stressed employees are less engaged, less productive, and are absent from work more than those who aren't as stressed.2 Adding to the safety net by offering dental coverage can help employees focus on work, rather than wondering whether they'll be able to cover their child's braces or wisdom teeth removal.
Dental coverage isn't just a nice benefit to have. It's also crucial to your workers' health. Dental issues can become a big problem without regular checkups. Research has linked poor oral health in children to absences from school.3 And when children miss school, parents miss work—an average of 2.5 days per year.4
Then there are issues in adults themselves. A study from the Centers for Disease Control found that oral health problems resulted in 164 million lost work hours each year.5 Those without dental insurance are more likely to skip getting the care they need – citing cost as the top reason -- leading to bigger dental issues down the road.6
Providing access to dental coverage can result in employees seeing the dentist more frequently for preventive care, leading to better health overall and fewer absences from work.
Group coverage is typically less expensive than buying an individual policy, making many dental benefits less expensive for employees when they can access them through their employment. Three-quarters of employees say a company’s benefits package is extremely or very important in their decision to work for a company.7 Supporting your workers' wellness by offering dental coverage shows them they’re valued, and that you care about their health.
Dental coverage can start any time of year, not just during open enrollment. If your current medical provider doesn't offer dental insurance, you can get a quote from a standalone dental carrier. Do the same due diligence on dental plans that you've done on group health benefits. Research providers and services, and compare costs for routine services.
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