Navigating Benefits

Choosing Employee Dental Insurance: Should the Workforce Play a Role?

  • A majority of employers believe offering benefits to employees is a critical component of attracting talent

  • Employees may not fully understand dental benefits, therefore they may not make use of them

  • The use of employee surveys can help companies make decisions regarding dental care and insurance

Posted by August 21, 2018

Employee dental insurance and regular dental care are considered the cornerstones of good oral health. But unfortunately, many individuals do not make full use of the dental benefits offered to them by their employers.

As noted by the Society for Human Resource Management, this is often because employees do not fully understand their dental benefit plans and what is covered. In order to increase enrollment and benefit usage, should your company let employees play a role in selecting dental care options? The short answer: Yes.

Here are a few insights that you can use to get your coworkers more involved in the plan design process.

Flexible Wellness Benefits Are Gaining Popularity

Benefit packages are evolving to keep up with the demands of employees. According to the joint 2018 Workforce of the Future Survey, 79 percent of employers “believe offering benefits to employees is a critical component of attracting talent.”

As talent becomes scarcer in many industries, organizations must do whatever it takes to create generous employee benefit packages that offer unique perks. For this reason, flexible wellness benefits—which provide employees the opportunity to customize benefits to suit specific needs—have been gaining in popularity.

Considering Employee Involvement

There are various pros and cons to giving employees a chance to choose the dental benefit options that will be made available to them. Getting the workforce involved in the process of selecting dental plans can not only give employees a sense of control over what’s offered, but can also educate them about how dental plans work. The more knowledge a worker has, the more informed his or her decision will be.

These days, employees are increasingly demanding more control over their benefit options. According Benefitfocus’ latest State of Employee Benefits Report, the preferences and needs of employees differ by demographic criteria. Dental plans and other voluntary benefits provide the advantage of scalability while addressing the unique needs of workers.

On the other hand, employees should not be involved in benefits planning or budgeting, which is handled internally by human resources. Keep in mind, a dental plan with affordable benefits (offered in at least two or three plan choices) will satisfy the requests of most employees.

How to Include Employees in Dental Insurance Decisions

There are several ways to get employees involved in the process of developing a strong voluntary benefits package. Here are three of the most common methods for including the workforce in benefits decisions.

1. Employee Surveys

Employees enjoy having a voice when it comes to their work experience. An employee survey can effectively gather information from workers to find out what they are satisfied—or dissatisfied—with when it comes to their benefit options.

2. Provider Feedback

The quality of the available dental services can have a lot to do with how employees view their benefits. While this information is confidential under HIPAA rules, some employees may be happy to share their experience with providers in the area (with a written and signed consent form, of course). You can use this information to select your company’s employee dental insurance.

3. Biometrics Reports

As employees enroll in health and dental benefits, the plan administrator can gather this data (with employee information concealed) for review. Employees can also voluntarily take part in biometrics data reporting, which shows how they are using their dental coverage. This information can allow your company to decide what plan features to keep each year, based on use.

In any case, organizations can empower workers to make their voice heard when it comes to the employee benefits they choose. Throughout the year, corporate education around dental care can open up the conversations about dental benefits and the overall well-being of the workforce.

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