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Kicker: Recent Trends

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When recommending a dental program for your client, it is important to take into consideration the current environment. Recent trends show:

That for employer-paid plans, the average contribution by an employer for dental insurance has dropped to 50% of premium or less.

Typically employers will not pay any portion of the dependent premiums.

Voluntary plans will try to reduce cost by adding waiting periods, removing orthodontia as an option and moving periodontics/endodontics from a basic (80%) reimbursement to major (50%) reimbursement.

The lines between a true voluntary plan and a contributory plan that is 100% employee-paid have become blurred. With a true voluntary plan, benefits are more restricted, waiting periods are longer and the plan tends to pay a lower percentage of costs than with contributory plans. However, true voluntary plans typically require much lower participation rates10% or 15% of employees vs. up to 65% for contributory plans.

Source: Meridian Benefits Group

Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, November 24, 2004. Copyright 2004 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.