As companies struggle with skyrocketing health care premiums, all too often they look at eliminating ancillary benefits like dental insurance from their overall package.
Unfortunately, this approach is short-sighted. Today there is strong evidence supporting the connection between good oral health and good overall health.
This often overlooked connection brings to the forefront the need to get the message out to companies and business owners that preventive dental care and catching dental distress early will help avoid serious health problems down the road, which could in turn, impact health care premiums.
As an insurance agent, I am often questioned about the importance of dental benefits in the workplace. Below are 7 misconceptions in the business community about dental insurance, along with suggestions for sales agents to overcome the challenges of selling dental insurance.
1. I own a small business; therefore, dental insurance is not within my budget.
When it comes to small businesses, there often is an inaccurate perception that dental insurance is too expensive. On the contrary, many dental insurance companies now offer competitively priced plans or discount cards to address the unique needs of a small business owner. The key is finding the balance between quality dental coverage and affordable premiums or fees.
Additionally, small business owners face the risk of not being able to retain or recruit talented employees without a competitive benefit package that includes dental insurance.
2. My employees have medical insurance, so they don’t need dental insurance.
It’s important to remember that any infection in the oral cavity can quickly migrate through the blood stream to other parts of the body.
Because of the systemic relationship between oral health and overall health, companies that provide only medical coverage may eventually face higher premiums, as well as productivity and absenteeism issues if their employees experience dental problems that progress into medical issues.
I personally have had an experience that showcases the importance of dental coverage.
My father-in-law ran a small business for many years and never saw the value in purchasing dental insurance for himself or his employees. He was a borderline diabetic, but never having serious dental ailments and lacking dental insurance, he put off preventive dental check-ups. Eventually, periodontal disease set in, causing an infection that led to multiple complications. In the end, what could have been easily prevented through regular dental check-ups resulted in a 4-week hospital stay, heavy doses of antibiotics (which led to even further complications) and permanent blindness in one eye.
It’s a fact that more people seek preventive dental care when they have dental insurance or access to discount cards. An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure when it comes to dental benefits!
3. I’ll just lump dental and medical together to save money.
It may seem convenient or cost-effective to combine insurances, but health and dental coverage bundled as one tend to have less of a focus on dental coverage and provide limited benefits.
It is best for employers to choose a plan that covers the costs of all types of dental treatment-whether it is a routine checkup or an emergency procedure. For all dental plans, comprehensive coverage works best.
4. It doesn’t really matter what dental plan I choose. I’ll just go with the most reasonably priced.