Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Tag: employee benefits (Page 1 of 3)

Keeping dental insurance when budgets are tight

With today’s pandemic-related economic uncertainty and rising interest rates, you may find yourself with a benefits budget that’s stretched a bit thin. If you’ve considered dropping your group’s dental benefits to save money ― or don’t think you have the resources to add them ― we’ve got you covered.

DeltaCare® USA, Delta Dental’s DHMO-type product, offers comprehensive dental benefits for less than you might expect. These copay plans cover more than 400 procedures, so your employees won’t have to sacrifice quality care for affordability.

What it offers

Most DeltaCare USA plans include additional cleanings at reduced copayments, at-home teeth whitening, athletic mouthguards and porcelain crowns. And our orthodontic treatment in-progress provision allows new members to continue treatment with their current orthodontist, even if that orthodontist isn’t in our DeltaCare USA network.

Other advantages include: 

  • Tooth-colored fillings for any tooth
  • No lab fees or other hidden fees
  • No hidden charges for materials such as resins, metals or porcelain

What’s more, as a fixed copayment plan, DeltaCare USA offers your employees both convenience and simplicity:

  • No deductibles or maximums
  • No claim forms
  • Low or no copayments for diagnostic and preventive care

How it works

In most states, employees select a DeltaCare USA primary care dentist and pay their set copayment directly to the dentist. That’s it. Our primary care dentists even coordinate specialty care. An added bonus is that there’s no paperwork.

How it helps you

DeltaCare USA plans are easy to manage and offer predictable costs. Available resources include:

  • A comprehensive administrator support guide
  • A recently updated wellness library that includes a variety of helpful dental wellness content, including a risk assessment tool, wellness videos and dozens of articles

Remember, one of the biggest boosts to your budget is happy, healthy employees. Each year, over $45 billion is lost in productivity because of dental issues. When employees without coverage avoid going to the dentist or delay care, their dental issues often become more serious and may contribute to serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

So if you think budgetary woes mean dental coverage might not be in your future, consider DeltaCare USA. You’ll help your employees — and your budget — stay healthy.

Take the mystery out of dental expenses with the Cost Estimator

Your employees are busy enough, so trying to figure out how to budget their dental care shouldn’t become a second job. That’s why we created the Cost Estimator, a tool available for desktop and mobile that your employees can use to estimate quickly and easily what their next dental visit will cost.

What’s more, the Cost Estimator has just been refreshed with a new, accessible and mobile-optimized design.

How can the Cost Estimator can help my employees?

The Cost Estimator provides employees with a personalized estimate (based on the fee schedule from the last dentist from whom they received service) for an entire dental visit with a specific dentist. It calculates employees’ out-of-pocket costs based on their current benefits. Information is updated daily, so your employees can always count on getting an accurate cost estimate.

This versatile and easy-to-use tool offers employees a variety of useful features and information to help them make the most of their benefits and helps them become better informed consumers.

In the tool, employees can choose from a list of common dental procedures ― they can even specify which tooth needs treatment or what type of filling they’d prefer! After they select their procedure, the Cost Estimator calculates their estimated out-of-pocket cost. The tool subtracts both the network savings and the portion the plan pays.

Other tasks your employees can perform with the Cost Estimator include:

  • Adding procedures. If employees need to add services such as a cleaning or x‑rays to their visit, they can add them to their estimate to get the total cost of the visit.
  • Comparing dentists. Employees might be curious to see if they’d save by switching to another dentist. The Cost Estimator lets them compare up to five in-network dentists to find the best deal.
  • Selecting plan members. Employees can get cost estimates for anyone on their plan, such as spouses and children.
  • Reviewing benefits usage. Employees can access the benefits activity and history for everyone on their plan, and can also review their plan’s maximums, deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

How can the Cost Estimator help my bottom line?

The Cost Estimator provides members with transparency about their out-of-pocket costs. More cost transparency can mean fewer questions and less confusion about the value of visiting an in-network dentist. By showing the substantial cost differences between in-network and out-of-network dentist visits, the tool encourages in-network utilization — which can help members save and may help lower your group’s dental plan costs.

Is the Cost Estimator available to my group?

Yes! All Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® groups are eligible to sign up for the Cost Estimator. Talk to your Sales contact to find out how to add this service to your plan.

DeltaCare® USA members receive a plan booklet with their copayments for covered services, so this tool isn’t necessary for DeltaCare USA plans.

To access the Cost Estimator, employees simply click Plan ahead for a visit from the member portal. PPO and Premier members can also access a more limited version of the Cost Estimator through the Delta Dental mobile app, which features in- and out-of-network fees.


With the Cost Estimator, your employees can be confident not only about staying within their budgets, but also that they’re getting the best deal for themselves and their families. Be sure your employees don’t miss out on this valuable resource.

Get ready to brush even smarter

Going to the dentist for regular checkups is important for maintaining oral health, but what can people do at home to keep a bright and healthy smile? BrushSmart is Delta Dental’s free oral wellness program designed to help members power up their at-home oral care. Members who sign up get exclusive discounts and offers from trusted brands that specialize in dental products. This spring, BrushSmart is adding more partners and more discounts.

  • Oral‑B
  • Philips Sonicare
  • quip

Joining BrushSmart is great for your employees with Delta Dental plans. The engagement and rewards the program offers can help drive better oral health behavior and the focus on at-home care may help employees achieve better health outcomes. Let your employees know they can sign up online and take control of their oral health.

8 ways Delta Dental plans got better for your employees this past year

In a year like 2021, it’s easy to lose track of the updates that help your employees make the most of their Delta Dental plans. From telehealth to online resources, here are eight ways Delta Dental made it easier than ever for your employees to maintain a healthy smile.

1. Teledentistry lets employees use their benefits outside of the dentist office

In 2021, Delta Dental launched not just one but two teledentistry initiatives. Available under Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plans, Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult let members use their existing diagnostic and preventive benefits to see Delta Dental dentists remotely at no cost.

Toothpic is perfect for members who just need a quick check-in, and Virtual Consult is great for members with more serious concerns that may require a prescription for treatment.

2. New videos make understanding networks and plans easier

The world of insurance can be difficult for people to navigate. As a benefits administrator, you know the value of clear and easy-to-understand communication. That’s why we’ve put together videos that you can share with employees to help them understand the online tools and resources available to them and the differences between the plans we offer.

3. The Delta Dental Mobile App is getting more features and more user friendly

Delta Dental is relaunching the Delta Dental Mobile App for 2022. The new app is faster and more stable and offers useful features such as member ID cards, dentist directory and a cost estimator. It will also be available on both Android and iOS. The old version of the app will be unavailable starting December 20.

4. Delta Dental and VSP are partnering up for paired vision and dental

This year, Delta Dental partnered with VSP to offer vision coverage to Small Business Program (SBP) groups. This coverage is structured in the same tiers as regular SBP coverage, so it’s easy to understand what kind of options are available. If you’re an SBP group and you want vision coverage, you can now get it in one convenient invoice paired with your dental coverage.

5. New open enrollment resources are available

This past open enrollment season brought multiple new features to help employees understand and make the most of their coverage options. In addition to the videos and teledentistry tools already covered, these resources include a new focus on “virtual” booths for open enrollment periods conducted remotely, quality ratings for dentists and refreshed website and customer service experiences. Speaking of quality ratings…

6. DentaQual ratings help employees find dentists they’ll love

This year, Delta Dental added DentaQual ratings to our dentist directory. Your employees can use DentaQual ratings to compare dentists based on objective measurements such as procedures success rate, value and patient retention. These ratings offer a simple and transparent solution to the problem of finding a great dentist.

7. Customer service gets reimagined

After two years of development, design and implementation, we rolled out our new customer service initiative, CX Reimagined. CX Reimagined brought an emphasis on soft skills, like empathy, active listening and de-escalation. Since we rolled out the CX Reimagined initiative, more members than ever before have told us that they’re satisfied with their service and that they’d recommend Delta Dental’s customer service to others. That means that you can feel confident in the quality of customer service Delta Dental provides your employees.

8. Delta Dental’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed

Delta Dental Insurance Company’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed through March 2024.

“Achieving NCQA Credentialing Accreditation demonstrates that Delta Dental Insurance Company has the systems, process and personnel in place to conduct credentialing in accordance with the strictest quality standards,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA’s Credentialing Accreditation is a quality assessment program that focuses on consumer protection and customer service improvement.


These major updates from 2021 help make Delta Dental plans a choice that will help your employees maintain their oral health and lead to better attendance for your business. We’re proud to be your partners in keeping your employees happy and healthy. Together we shine, and we’ll see you in 2022!

What to expect in 2022 benefits trends

In the midst of the Great Resignation, benefits are more important than ever for groups and individuals alike. About 37% of employees would rather receive more substantial benefits than additional salaries or bonuses.

That means that in-office perks like free snacks or casual dress won’t necessarily cut it on their own. Instead, job seekers are looking for more specific, long-term investments into their financial and physical well-being.

Paid family leave and child care assistance

The lines that separate work time and home life blurred significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic and employees are looking for benefits that acknowledge the realities of life. Only 40% of employers offer paid family leave for both mothers and fathers and only 6% offer child care benefits, despite both parents working full-time.

The lack of reliably safe child care during the pandemic has employees looking for financial support when it comes to child care and paid time off to take care of their kids. To build a benefits package that supports your employees and their kids, consider rebates or financial help with the costs of daycare, or even adding more paid time off to care for young children.

Voluntary benefits

Historically, companies have offered blanket benefits and resources that give the same support to all their employees. Often, benefits packages are designed to satisfy employees in key groups, like emerging talent and leadership, while other employees’ needs are prioritized much lower.

Employees with mature careers and families to care for have different priorities in mind than those who are just starting out. In 2022, many employers are looking to design more flexible benefits packages so that all employees get more of the coverage they want, with less fluff. That means adding opt-in benefits like pet insurance, critical illness plans and increased mental health support.

Flexible work arrangements

Employees want to be able to design the work-life balance they need, rather than trying to fit in to what their company has previously set. The good news is that if you’re looking to hire in 2022, flexible work will be an easy way to drive applications and retain employees.

Flexibility is the fastest growing priority for job seekers. Jobs that offer remote work receive four times the applications than onsite jobs do, LinkedIn found. But flexibility and remote work aren’t just good for getting new applications — employees who are satisfied with their work schedules and locations are more likely to enjoy working for you and recommend your workplace, according to the same study.

Expanded health services

The pandemic solidly established the connection between employee well-being and productivity ― and employers took note. About 32% of employers indicated they were working on expanding and strengthening their virtual care or telehealth programs. Another 25% said that they would increase the mental health support services offered to employees. With these kinds of benefits becoming valuable, expect to see Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) increase in 2022 as well.

Investments for financial security

Did you know many people in America are living paycheck to paycheck? After roughly 9.6 million U.S. workers lost their jobs due to COVID-19, the stress of living without a solid financial backup has many people looking to boost their savings. Employees are looking to their employers for support when it comes to money, and they’re open to more than just a higher salary.

Employees indicate that financial benefits — like tools that automatically put part of their paycheck towards debt — would lead to less financial stress in their lives. Programs like emergency cash grants or loan programs have shown great results as well. In one study, 72% of employees who benefited from a hardship fund expressed they were more likely to stay with their employer and about 65% indicated that the fund greatly lessened their financial stress.

As you build your benefits package keep in mind that employees are looking for support from their employers. By providing flexible, specific benefits that keep your employees mentally, physically and financially strong, you’re investing in a happier and more productive work force.

This email series for self-insured groups promotes preventive care

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 emails

Help your employees make the most of their benefits with an opt-in email series. This email campaign, available for self-insured groups, targets 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:

  1. An email reminding them to schedule an appoint for a cleaning and exam.
  2. 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.
  3. A reminder email to schedule another exam and cleaning (if they chose to set one).

Does this email series really work?

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 interested in the preventive care reminder campaign for your self-insured group? Contact your Account Manager to sign up!

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