The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial’s employee benefits group has upgraded its voluntary dental plan.

It loosened requirements for participation in the plan by accepting business with any level of employee contribution, at least 10 enrolled employees and employee participation rate of at least 35%.

It also changed its annual enrollment period to give employees and dependents a chance to elect the plan after previously declining coverage, without paying penalties that normally would apply when an employee joins after the new-hire period.

The plan now also waives waiting periods for all new employees without the need for employers to specifically request such waivers. Employees will now be covered at the time of hire.

Another change is a maximum carryover provision allowing participants to roll over to the following year any unused portions of their dental spending limits for any given year.

Sun Life, Toronto, says it will now also offer voluntary dental with all indemnity, scheduled, paid provider organization and maximum-allowable-charge plans it sells. It will also offer the benefit it as an alternative on its Dual Select plan, which presents members a choice between lower-cost and higher-cost options.