Trimming Dental Utilization

The Issue

After a financial services client with a little over 100 employees had received a 10%, 14% and 12% dental premium increase over the past 3 years, we decided to suggest some changes to the company’s dental program design in an effort to reign in these sharp premium increases that were adversely affecting the company’s employee benefits budget.

The Solution

Studies have shown that regular dental visits, in addition to reducing future major dental claims, can also help to manage diabetes, lower heart disease risk and contribute toward healthy pregnancies. Given these positive impacts resulting from good preventive dental care, we proposed:

  • Covering preventive dental services at 100 percent with no deductible, twice per year (and more for those who need it)
  • Expanding the definition of preventive dental services and excluding these claims from counting toward the plan’s annual maximum
  • Encouraging the use of In-Network dental providers
  • Education of company’s dental benefits and increasing awareness of good dental care through employee communication and online risk-assessment tools.

The Result

Employees welcomed the enhanced dental benefits and although the initial increase in premium for the expanded benefits equated to a little over $220 per month, the benefits arrived when the following year’s renewal came in with no increase…producing a net savings of $4800.