Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Tag: employee resources

Plan your wellness calendar for 2022

As your employees prepare for a productive 2022, you may ask yourself what you can do to help them stay informed and healthy this year. Well, you’re in luck! Delta Dental offers an assortment of themed wellness materials that enables you to offer employees relevant wellness content all year.

For a quick look at the topics covered in 2022, download the PDF.

Wellness is health approached from a holistic perspective. From holidays to awareness months, we offer plenty of opportunities to remind employees to take care of both their oral health and their total well-being. You can choose campaigns from Glaucoma Awareness Month in January to holiday health in December, and each campaign is supported by a variety of multimedia assets.

This year’s calendar includes the following new campaigns:

  • Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month (March)
  • World Oral Health Day (March 20)
  • Mental Health Awareness Month (May)
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)
  • National Brush Day (Nov. 1)

Whether you want to communicate with employees who are in the office or are working from home, whether your employees want to watch a wellness video or read a flyer, we offer materials to suit your needs. Visit the wellness calendar and you’ll find:

  • Emails
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Booklets
  • Infographics
  • Videos

Our new 2022 calendar is available now, and full of great resources and materials to share with employees. From January through December, let’s make 2022 a great year for oral health and total body wellness!

HIV/AIDS resources for employees

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.

Oral manifestations of HIV

As many as 80% of people infected with HIV experience oral manifestations. People with HIV may experience the following dental health-related issues, according to the American Dental Association (ADA):

  • Dry mouth
  • Thrush
  • White lesions on the tongue
  • Red band gingivitis
  • Ulcerative periodontitis
  • Karposi’s Sarcoma
  • Oral herpes outbreaks
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Canker sores
  • Susceptibility to infections and tooth loss

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.

Learn more about World AIDS Day and HIV resources.

3 ways to rethink your employee benefits communication strategy

During your open enrollment period, you probably receive a flood of questions from your employees about their health benefits. But questions and confusion about benefits don’t begin and end with open enrollment. And for most companies, confusion about benefits is a major problem.

  • Only 39% of employees fully understood their company health insurance policies, according to a recent survey.
  • Nearly 20% of employees said they weren’t sure they understood the benefits they signed up for.
  • Almost half weren’t sure what their annual health coverage costs were.

The same survey found that this confusion about benefits can overwhelm employees, to the point that they often give up trying to understand them.

  • Nearly 20% of surveyed employees said they didn’t do any research before choosing their health benefits.
  • More than 90% of employees said they simply sign up for the same benefits year after year.

As a result, your employees may be spending too much to over-insure themselves, or conversely might be compromising their health by passing on important benefits to try to cut costs.

This confusion can be bad for your company’s bottom line as well, wasting available benefits and contributing to rising health care costs.

With is in mind, it might be time to rethink your benefits communication game.

Benefits communication: It’s not just for open enrollment anymore

Certainly, reaching out to employees about their benefits during open enrollment is always a good idea. But remember that your employees probably have questions and concerns about benefits throughout the year, and particularly when they have to use them. 

Look for opportunities to educate employees while benefits are on their mind.

  • At the beginning of the calendar or plan year, you can remind employees about new benefits available to them or that their new deductibles and maximums have reset
  • At the end of the calendar or plan year, you can encourage them to use their benefits before their deductibles and maximums reset
  • During the summer, you can suggest that employees with children take their kids to the dentist before they return to school
  • When employees move, or their office moves to a new area, you can offer them tips on how to find a nearby in-network dentist
  • When they experience a qualifying life event, such as getting married or having a baby, you can explain how to add a dependent to their dental plans

Help your employees help themselves

A single 20-something employee with a pet iguana is going to have very different health care needs than a married 50-year-old with a large family. What they might have in common, though, is their understanding of health care plans and their lingo — next to none.

So rather than simply mailing out printed plan guides that most employees don’t read anyway, find resources that target your employees and their unique dental plan needs to help them choose a plan that right for them.

  • For example, Delta Dental offers answers to frequently asked questions, which includes information about dental plans, such as the difference between PPO and DHMO-type plans, explanations of networks and orthodontic benefits and many other topics.
  • Delta Dental also offers helpful videos that explain Delta Dental plans, networks and more.

And be as transparent as possible with costs. If you haven’t already, share specifically how much employees will pay when they enroll in different plans.

Make benefits a two-way street

As you strive to better educate employees about their benefits, don’t miss the opportunity to have them educate you as well. Given the chance, employees might provide you with valuable information about what they want — and don’t want — in their benefits. Give employees multiple forums to provide you with feedback. A few possibilities include:

  • Q&A sessions
  • Polls
  • Surveys

The questions and comments you receive can help you tailor your benefits communication strategies by uncovering new issues, such questions about virtual dental care options.

Remember, benefits communication is about more than open enrollment. Building a strong communications strategy is important for the health of both your employees and your company. By creating effective, personalized and tech-friendly communications, you’ll potentially save money and time, and ensure that your employees get the benefits they want and need.

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