Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Author: Delta Dental (Page 3 of 27)

New Spanish videos are now available

¿Habla español? New Spanish videos are available for you to share with your employees. These videos will help your Spanish-speaking employees make the most of their plans and navigate Delta Dental’s online tools. You’ll find easy-to-share YouTube links and links to ad-free versions of the video that you can download and host on your company’s intranet. These videos are also available in English.

Online tools

This video walks employees through the robust online tools Delta Dental offers, including plan details, claim history, personalized cost estimates, the online dentist directory and other wellness resources. Resources behind the login process are currently only available in English, so this explanatory video is an especially valuable resource for Spanish speakers with limited English proficiency.

Get the video: Cost estimator and other tools


If your group’s plan doesn’t include the Cost Estimator, you can share this video instead. It covers all of the same online tools as the previous video, just without the personalized cost estimates.

Get the video: Online tools

 

Understanding Delta Dental’s networks

These videos explain Delta Dental’s three main networks.

For employees covered under a Delta Dental PPO™ plan, this video breaks down the advantages of choosing a PPO dentist and show them how to find a PPO dentist online.

Get the video: Understanding PPO networks


The Delta Dental Premier® network expands your employees’ options under a Delta Dental PPO plan. This video introduces employees to both the PPO and Premier networks, explains the differences and shows how to search for an in-network dentist.

Get the video: Understanding PPO and Premier networks


If you offer employees DeltaCare® USA, help them understand how this prepaid plan works and how they can choose a primary care dentist.

Get the video: Understanding DeltaCare USA

Updated wellness library offers a wealth of oral health info

Ensuring your employees are well-informed about their oral health is now easier than ever. Our newly redesigned wellness library features dozens of updated articles, detailed information about oral health conditions for both adults and children, helpful videos and much more, all with a fresh, inviting new look.

The available content covers a broad spectrum of useful topics, ranging from the importance of preventive care, to healthy habits that ensure teeth and gums look and feel great, to oral health issues to watch out for and their treatments.

What’s more, our wellness library addresses your entire extended employee family, with content that addresses everything from the oral health needs of toddlers, children and teens to healthy aging tips for seniors.

And of course, an important part of maintaining oral health is maintaining a diet that supports your smile and takes it easy on your teeth. Our wellness library features not only a wealth of informative nutrition content, but also provides your employees with a stellar selection of smile-friendly recipes, including snacks, drinks and desserts. We even offer recipes for special diets, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes and diabetic-friendly meals.

So make sure your employees don’t miss out! For the best in up-to-date oral health information, remind them to take advantage of Delta Dental’s wellness library. You can also share these resources with employees by posting them to portal pages, adding them to employee newsletters or sharing them on social media. Our website is also optimized for mobile devices, so this content is accessible anywhere, on any device.

And don’t forget that your employees also have access to Grin!, our fun, free quarterly dental magazine, chock full of interesting features, oral health tips, seasonal content and even more great recipes. They can subscribe with one easy click. And for your employees with children, there’s Grin! for Kids, too.

Finally, don’t miss out on our helpful wellness calendar, which is another way to provide your employees with a host of relevant wellness content ― all year long!

3 reasons your employees expect great dental insurance now

The pandemic has changed how we work, how we interact and how we think about our health and safety. Attitudes toward oral health have changed, too, and dental insurance has become more important than ever. 

Here are some of the top reasons why your employees expect great dental benefits now and how Delta Dental can help you provide them with what they’re looking for.

1. The pandemic has increased the need for dental benefits

Although dental offices are open and many patients have resumed regular visits, the pandemic is still taking a toll on the nation’s oral health.

Nearly half of U.S. adults reported delaying dental care due to the pandemic. And a 2021 survey showed a major increase, up to 71%, in stress-related oral health conditions during the pandemic, with more than a quarter of the dentists reporting an increase in cavities and gum disease.

Employees need strong dental plans to handle the health issues arising due to the pandemic. Comprehensive dental coverage can also help them reduce the chances for serious (and expensive) health issues down the line. 

With Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA plans, you can meet the demand with affordable, flexible plans with great features that encourage access to preventive care, like maximum waivers for diagnostic and preventive services.

2. Employers must boost benefits to combat the Great Resignation

The pandemic has triggered an exodus from the workforce that economists have labeled the “Great Resignation.” One of the top reasons employees are giving for leaving a job is lack of adequate benefits. 

As the pandemic reshapes the labor market, companies like yours must rethink and retool benefits to attract and retain talent. Employers who offer dental already know that employees consistently rank dental insurance as one of the most important benefits in making a job decision. Offering a comprehensive benefits package that includes robust dental coverage has become more crucial than ever.

You can help your company remain competitive by offering a dental plan that stands out. With Delta Dental, you can create or enhance plans with attractive added benefits that employees want, like coverage for popular but costly services such as implants and orthodontics.

3. Patients want teledentistry as an option

Fear of returning to the dentist caused teledentistry to boom during the pandemic, with more patients using the technology than ever before. For instance, Delta Dental’s synchronous and asynchronous teledentistry claims in 2021 were six times and two times higher than 2019 levels, respectively.

Many consumers grew accustomed to using teledentistry during the pandemic, and they want to have it as an option moving forward for its safety and convenience. Satisfaction levels with teledentistry services during the COVID-19 pandemic were 100% in the satisfied and very satisfied categories, according to one recent study, and 96% of participating patients in another study said they would use the service again.

When your employees are covered under a Delta Dental PPO or Delta Dental Premier plan, they have two options for free-to-access, easy-to-use teledentistry platforms.

And with Delta Dental, your employees can still see a dentist in person after choosing a virtual dentistry appointment. Delta Dental’s teledentistry options give your employees access to the technology they want now.

Your employees need great dental benefits in a post-pandemic world

Employees value dental benefits now more than ever. If you haven’t already, consider increasing current benefits to keep your workplace competitive in the new post-pandemic marketplace. Whatever your needs, Delta Dental is here to support your company with affordable, quality plans.

Make the switch to healthy workplace snacks

We’ve all seen it: When that afternoon energy crash hits, people start circling the workplace like hungry sharks, looking for any available chocolate stash or desktop candy bowl.

Support your wellness initiatives and help your team stay healthy by trading in the candy, cookies and chips for healthier options that can keep teams energized and in great oral health.

Update that vending machine

Ask your vending machine provider to switch out the sugary options for better choices like nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, popcorn, beef jerky, fresh vegetables like baby carrots and celery, string cheese or fruit (fresh or canned in its own juice). More and more vending machine companies are providing healthier choices, and newer machines even offer cooling systems to support fresh, perishable foods. One study found that simply the presentation of healthy options can influence people’s decision-making and encourage them to choose wisely.

Step up your fruit game

Do your employees say they’re desperately in need of a quick sugar boost? Fruits like bananas and apples do a great job of providing it, but with the added benefit of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B‑6 and fiber. While some fruits have high sugar content, they have fewer calories and fat and less available sugar than a chocolate bar. The fiber in fresh fruit also slows down sugar absorption and helps employees avoid those energy peaks and valleys associated with processed, high-sugar foods. Eating an apple, orange or other fibrous fruit can also help keep teeth clean and increases salivation, which can neutralize citric and malic acids left behind in the mouth.

So instead of a candy jar on the reception desk, how about a colorful basket of apples, tangerines, bananas and pears? A tiered wire or mesh fruit basket allows you to offer fruit without overcrowding, and it doesn’t take up any more countertop real estate than a traditional bowl. The wire mesh lets air circulate, slowing down the deterioration process.

Celebrate with healthy options

Even office traditions like birthdays and holidays can change to include healthier, tooth-friendly options. For your next office celebration, include some sugar-free chocolate cupcakes (an added bonus: these are also gluten free), and serve them up with a side of strawberry-banana ice cream. For a refreshing drink, mix up a pitcher of iced tea or water with cucumber or fruit slices.

Stay healthy at home

If your employees are working from home, you can still encourage them to take care of their oral health by snacking wisely during the workday. Here are some of the ways Delta Dental resources can help you remind employees about the importance of eating healthy:

Whether through wholesome choices in the workplace, sugar-free celebrations or reminders for remote workers, you can help keep your employees healthy and happy by guiding them toward nutritious alternatives for their workday snacking.

Pre-treatment estimates help employees manage their costs

Understanding the cost of dental care can sometimes be confusing. Many procedures that can be described in simple terms can have multiple costs associated with them. For example, to get a crown placed on a tooth, you’ll likely require multiple x‑rays, a root canal, a post build-up and more! For that reason, pre-treatment estimates can help employees avoid unexpected surprises.

What is a pre-treatment estimate?

Pre-treatment estimates (also known as pre-determinations or pre-authorizations) are written estimates provided by Delta Dental to members and their dentists. These estimates detail the cost share for a proposed dental treatment and are often requested before complex or expensive procedures, such as crowns, wisdom tooth extractions, bridges, dentures and oral surgery.

Pre-treatment estimates help employees understand and manage their costs by breaking down complex procedures into easy-to-understand, itemized lists. They show what portion of a bill is paid by the patient and what portion will be paid by their insurance.

Pre-treatment estimates are not binding, and factors may change in between requesting the estimate and receiving care that lead to costs being different than expected. For example, if a dentist recommends a filling to treat a cavity and too much time passes before an employee gets the procedure done, a root canal may become necessary. If employees’ coverage changes, if a patient ages out of a procedure with an age limitation, that could also affect the accuracy of a pre-treatment estimate. Pre-treatment estimates should be considered an approximation (although a very accurate one!) of the final costs of care.

How can employees get pre-treatment estimates?

There are four steps your employees can take to receive a pre-treatment estimate.

  1. The Delta Dental member (your employee) discusses the proposed dental treatment with his or her dentist and asks the dental office to request a pre-treatment estimate from Delta Dental.
  2. The dental office submits a treatment plan and supporting documentation (such as x‑rays) to Delta Dental for review.
  3. Delta Dental reviews the documents and the member’s benefits.
  4. Both the member and dental office receive a copy of the pre-treatment estimate from Delta Dental. This document includes a cost estimate based on the member’s plan type, eligibility, current plan benefits and the amount remaining in their annual maximum.

To spread the word about pre-treatment estimates, feel free to share this flyer with employees or place this poster in your workplace.

Pre-treatment estimates are available for members with Delta Dental PPO™, and Delta Dental Premier® and DeltaCare® USA plans. Because DeltaCare USA is a copayment plan, members will have access to a list of copayments for every covered procedure. Pre-treatment estimates may be less useful for DeltaCare USA members than for members with other plans.

Are there other resources employees can use to help them understand their costs?

Delta Dental members can also use their online account to view their current benefits and benefits usage, as well as to estimate costs. This online cost estimator isn’t as thorough as a personalized pre-treatment estimate, but it can be useful for getting a quick estimate for common procedures.

4 oral health problems teens face and how you can help

When you’re building your benefits package, are you thinking about teenagers? You may not have benefits-eligible teenage employees, but it’s likely your benefits package will be covering teenagers as dependents. Here are some common dental concerns that teenagers face and how you can develop a better benefits package to help your employees’ children.

1. Cavities

With teens’ love of snacking and their inconsistent brushing habits, it should be no surprise that dental decay is the most common chronic disease in young people. There are some easy ways to stop cavities before they start. Sealants are thin coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth that can prevent cavities for years, which means that sealants applied during childhood can help during the teen years.

2. Misaligned teeth

Permanent teeth replace baby teeth in older children, and the jawbones can continue to grow until the end of puberty. A misalignment of the teeth and jaws may get better ― or worse ― by the time the jawbones have stopped growing.

Without coverage, prospective orthodontic patients can expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 depending on their age. Delta Dental plans can help cut these costs in half. Orthodontic coverage is available under all DeltaCare USA group plans and can be optionally included in any Delta Dental PPO plan.

3. Impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and erupt into the mouth, usually in the late teens. Since the jaw is still growing, wisdom teeth are sometimes impacted, meaning they don’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally. Almost 5 million people get wisdom teeth removed every year in the United States.

Wisdom teeth extraction can be expensive. Consider having your plan cover a higher percentage of the cost of wisdom teeth extractions. If that’s not viable for your plan, a lower deductible can help families as well by letting them pay less out of pocket before they reach their deductible.

4. Eating disorders

About 9% of Americans will develop an eating disorder at some point in their life, often in their teenage years. Eating disorders are life-threatening conditions that can have serious consequences for oral health and overall health. They can cause nutritional deficiencies that effect the mouth, as well as sensitive teeth, frequent cavities and dry mouth as a result of purging.

Dentists can be a great ally in the fight against the effects of eating disorders like bulimia (PDF) by identifying signs of the disorder, like eroded enamel and damaged gums, and offering sealants and fluoride treatments. These treatments can help reduce the damage that stomach acid causes when someone vomits. Most plans cover sealants and fluoride treatments until patients turn 15. If you’re also handling your clients’ health care package, you may also consider covering mental health treatment that can help to treat the illness altogether.

What else can you do to support teens’ dental health?

While these problems aren’t unique to adolescents, it’s still a good idea to have these in mind when considering your company’s dental benefits. If you’re in a position to do so, consider sharing information that highlights plan features like teledentistry, which could be helpful for busy teens and their parents. You could also explore Delta Dental’s wellness resources and share a selection of helpful articles and flyers in an email or on an internal site.

Remember to be consistent! When communicating helpful information to your employees, using multiple channels can be confusing and difficult to keep track of. Find a simple routine for sharing, like posting information on an internal webpage with monthly or quarterly email notifications, so that your employees always know where to look.

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