The job market might be getting a little better, but Gary Ballman still isn’t seeing employers rushing to offer richer dental benefits.
Since the economy ran into turbulence in late 2008, sellers of dental insurance and other health insurance products have talked about seeing employers reduce case sizes by laying off workers or restricting employee access to some or all benefits.
In some cases, insurers have found that growth has come from downsized employees struggling to buy individual products as replacements for the coverage they once had through their employers.
Ballman, a staff vice president dental product and development at WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis (NYSE:WLP), recently participated in a brief e-mail question-and-answer interview with LifeHealthPro and gave his thoughts on the state the dental market. Here is an edited version of the results.
What’s happening with sales?
We are seeing a trend in employees having to pay a larger share of premiums. For example, we are beginning to see a shift from 100% employer-paid plans to plans that share the cost between employee and employees, as well as to plans that are 100% employee-paid.