More than a million people in the United States live with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the mouth is one of the first areas of the body that can be affected by an HIV infection. In honor of World AIDS Day on December 1, here are some tips for supporting your employees’ health.
It’s important to note that symptoms alone are not a diagnosis.
Support for employees
Thanks to advances in science and technology, people living with HIV have a better outlook than ever, but proper care and maintenance is still critical.
Encourage your employees to keep up with their regular dental appointments and brush twice daily and flossing. Most HIV-related mouth issues are treatable, yet at least 58% of people living with HIV and AIDS don’t receive regular dental care.
Talk to your employees about SmileWay Wellness Benefits. If a person who’s HIV positive has an eligible Delta Dental PPO™ plan and opts in, he or she may be eligible for added benefits, including 100% coverage for one scaling and root planing procedure per quadrant and 100% coverage for four of the following in any combination: prophylaxis, periodontal maintenance or scaling in the presence of moderate or severe gingival inflammation. If your groups don’t offer this benefit, consider adding it your group’s plan
Share dental resources with your clients. Delta Dental offers monthly wellness campaigns for benefits administrators that include informative articles, emails, flyers and more, including content for World AIDS Day.
One of the best things your employees can do to keep their smile bright and healthy is to make good use of their diagnostic and preventive benefits. Regular trips to the dentist can help catch little problems before they become big ones, thus avoiding potentially costly and painful dental problems.
When employees make use of diagnostic and preventive benefits, it’s also good for your organization. For example, if an employee has to take sick leave to get a root canal, that represents a loss of time and money for everyone involved (especially if the issue could have been caught when a filling would have sufficed).
Enter the preventive care reminder campaign
You can use the preventive care reminder campaign to help employees of self-insured groups make the most of their benefits. This is an email campaign for employees who haven’t generated any dental claims in the past seven months. As part of this campaign, employees will receive a series of three emails. These are:
An email reminding them to schedule an appoint for a cleaning and exam.
A congratulatory email after their visit applauding them for taking charge of their oral health. This email will also encourage them to set a reminder to return to the dentist in six months.
A reminder email to schedule another exam and cleaning (if they chose to set one).
Does this campaign really work?
Absolutely. Comparing claims data across different groups, we’ve found a substantial increase in preventive care utilization rates among employees who receive and open preventive care reminder emails compared to those who don’t.
The more employees who make use of their diagnostic and preventive benefits, the better it will be for both workers and your organization. Healthier smiles for your employees and more savings for your company. That’s what we call win-win.
Are you the benefits administrator of a self-insured group and ready to join the preventive care reminder campaign? Contact your Account Manager to sign up!
October is Blindness Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time to reevaluate some of your accessibility practices. Approximately 12 million Americans over 40 are visually impaired, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, 1 million are blind and 2 million have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of low-vision and blindness among adults over 50.
Not all visual impairments are obvious, so it’s important to offer options to your employees.
What you can do to help employees
Accessibility doesn’t necessarily mean committing to big digital and office modifications. Being mindful of blind and low-vision employees and their needs can create a better office experience for everyone involved. A little bit of awareness goes a long way in creating a safer and more dignified workspace.
Communicate important information electronically. While sending paper mail may be standard for some communications, visually impaired or blind employees may have trouble finding the information enclosed. Sending a screen reader–friendly email, text message or audio file may be a better option. Talk to your employees about their preferences. Large type may be suitable for some people with low vision.
Equip your office. Assistive technology in the office creates a more inclusive workspace and gives low-vision and blind employees the tools they need to succeed. Scanners, magnifiers, screen readers and Braille displays are all helpful resources.
Make your company’s website and intranet accessible. Even the simplest webpages can have coding that’s difficult for screen readers. Make your webpages easier to use for blind and low-vision employees by using alt-text for images, being thoughtful with colors and choosing descriptive phrases for linking.
Don’t assume you can pet an employee’s guide dog. Tempting as it may be, guide dogs have an important job to do. If an employee relies on a guide dog, understand that by petting it or offering treats, you may be distracting it from helping its owner. Always ask the owner before approaching their guide dog.
Resources from Delta Dental
Studies have linked periodontal disease to retinal degeneration and certain oral bacteria to glaucoma. For those with good to moderate vision, seeing their dentist regularly can help protect their mouth and their sight. When your employees need a little extra help with their benefits, Delta Dental is here to help.
Document translation. Written materials, such as plan information, can be translated to Braille or audio formats for blind and low-vision patients.
Customer service. For any questions about their coverage, members can simply call 866–530-9675 and speak to a customer service representative. Contact customer service to request material translations.
All people deserve equal care and dignity when receiving it. For more resources, visit the Perkins School for the Blind’s workplace accommodation tips.
Open enrollment can be difficult for employees to navigate, but they won’t have to go it alone. Flyers, videos and more are available to help your employees understand their coverage options, choose the right plans for their needs and make the most of their benefits.
New initiatives and resources available for this year’s open enrollment season.
If your company has virtual open enrollment software, you can get all the benefits of having an in-person event virtually. With flyers, presentations and more, a virtual booth session is the perfect educational source for employees who can’t make it into the office. (Virtual booth sessions with a live Delta Dental representative require a minimum of 100 attendees.)
Quality ratings for dentists
Choosing the right dentist can be tricky. The new DentaQual rating system provides a simple and objective rating system based on a dentist’s past performance. That makes it easy for employees to find dentists that deliver effective, appropriate and fairly priced service.
When your employees contact Delta Dental’s Customer Service, they can now get a convenient callback instead of having to wait on the line.
A redesigned website
In 2020, we rolled out a whole new design for our website and refreshed its content. This new design makes finding answers easier, whether choosing a plan, understanding benefits or just looking for tips on maintaining a healthy smile.
Smile On. If you have employees who may be retiring or ineligible for full-time benefits, Smile On is a great way for them to get affordable coverage that meets their needs.
New video content
These videos provide short and direct explanations of Delta Dental’s plans and features. To share these videos on your website or intranet, just click the videos to navigate to YouTube. Below the video you wish to share, click Share > Embed. Then copy and paste the code into your webpage or intranet site.
These videos also feature Spanish closed captioning. To turn on Spanish captions, click the settings symbol (the cogwheel icon), then click Subtitles/CC and choose Spanish from the list.
Delta Dental PPO™ network
Delta Dental PPO and Delta Dental Premier®networks
Online resources including the Cost Estimator
Resources for your employees
Material in other languages, including Spanish and Chinese, is available on request. Delta Dental members can also get translation and accessibility services through the Language Assistance Program.
Language should never be a barrier to receiving proper care. One in seven people in the U.S. speaks Spanish at home, yet Hispanic adults with limited proficiency in English receive about one-third less health care than those with English proficiency.
In taking steps to bridge this gap, Delta Dental offers a variety of language assistance options for both you and your Spanish-speaking employees with a limited proficiency in English. Whether your employees are looking to improve their health from home or in their dentist’s chair, there is a resource just for them.
Resources for benefits administrators
Our website, and all its offerings, can be found in Spanish. This includes plan information, wellness articles, videos and even Grin! magazine and is a perfect introduction to Delta Dental for new employees with limited English. You can assist your employees in finding the information they need about their plan by sharing helpful links that have already been translated.
Flyers are a great way to share important information on common issues and conditions with your employees. Many of our monthly wellness materials and benefits resources can be found translated and ready to print on our Employee Resources page, which is also available in English. Looking for a document that’s available in English, but not yet in Spanish? Let your account manager know and our team will be happy to make a translation available.
Resources for employees
Customer Service is available in Spanish, as well as English. To talk to a representative in Spanish, members can call 866–530-9675 and dial 8 when prompted. Answers to our most frequently asked questions are also available in Spanish on our website.
Interpretation services are also available for in-person dental appointments when a Spanish-speaking staff member isn’t available. To request this service, members should contact Customer Service at least 72 hours in advance of an appointment.
The online dentist directory is not only available in Spanish, but it includes information on which practices have Spanish-speaking staff. Members can use the Refine Search tool to find a Spanish-speaking dentist nearby.
Helping your employees find the right dentist to fit their needs has never been easier. Learn more about Delta Dental’s Language Assistance Program and how it can benefit your diverse team.
How do your employee search for a new dentist? Consumers often rely on reviews to help make decisions, but subjective commentary isn’t always the most reliable way to find a health professional. Dental patients deserve reputable sources based on facts. That’s where DentaQual, a new feature of Delta Dental’s dentist directory, comes in.
DentaQual is a ratings system that relies on actual data — rather than opinions — to help your employees navigate their options with ease and give benefits administrators like you confidence in Delta Dental’s offerings.
How DentaQual ratings work
When your employees search Delta Dental’s dentist directory, they’ll notice one-to-five-star scores. These DentaQual ratings are based on statistical analysis of claims data and developed by P&R Dental Strategies, a neutral third party and research company with over 20 years of experience.
The reviews are based on:
Procedure success rate
Commitment to best practices
This fair and unbiased feedback can help your employees feel more confident about choosing a dentist.
P&R Dental Strategies isn’t funded by insurance companies and provides reviews only for dentists with enough data available to make an accurate assessment.
DentaQual and your employees
As of April 2021, Delta Dental PPO™, Delta Dental Premier® and select DeltaCare® USA dentists within our 15 enterprise states and the District of Columbia have DentaQual ratings in their directory listings. Delta Dental’s dentist directory aims to make finding a dentist as easy as possible. Now, along with languages spoken, office hours and other crucial information, members can see DentaQual’s objective evaluations.
Better yet, DentaQual automatically refreshes scores each month, so members can always rely on the accuracy of their dentist’s rating.