In the current competitive marketplace, most businesses wish they might provide current and potential employees with comprehensive dental care benefits. “Dental plans rank as the 3rd most significant employee benefit, just behind health and retirement.”18 According to Cathy Smithwick, dental practice leader at Mercer Consulting, dental coverage is the “visible benefit because on average 75% of employees will work with a good dental plan.”19
Dental benefits not just increase employee satisfaction and morale, but they can also decrease the hours lost because of dental issues. According to Oral Health in America, “employed adults lost significantly more than 164 million hours of work each year because of dental disease or dental visits.”10
A recent study from NADP suggests that only 56% of the U.S. population has dental insurance.11 Therefore, inexpensive dental care solutions are highly coveted by both employers and employees. “To satisfy employee demand, more employers added dental to the benefits menu in recent years. One of the final holdouts, the federal government, will offer dental benefits to employees in 2006.”20
“Seven out of ten employers (71%) offer dental benefits, often with them whilst the differentiating factor in recruiting and retaining employees.”18 牙套種類 The investigation suggests that the bigger a business is, the much more likely they’re to supply dental benefits. “Among firms with at the least 10 employees, 56% offered dental coverage in 2003. Just one year later, that figure leaped to 67%, based on an annual survey of employer-sponsored health plans by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Dental offerings among large employers (500 employers and up) jumped from 90% to 96% of firms.”20
Unfortunately, many businesses cannot afford to pay all or section of their workers’dental benefits. “Mercer data show dental costs averaged $577 for many employers in employers in 2003 and edged around $598 in 2004, a 3.6% increase. Large employers, meanwhile, saw a 5.4% increase from $574 to $605.”20 According to Evelyn Ireland, Executive Director of NADP, “employers aren’t dropping dental coverage, but they’re squeezing the total amount of money they’re adding to it.”20 So as the expense of providing dental benefits for their employees continues to increase, businesses are passing these price hikes on to employees. “Probably the most obvious way for employers to control dental costs … is to produce employees pay more.”20
Kirk Rothrock, CEO of CompBenefits, believes that lots of businesses are shifting the expense of dental benefits for their employees.20 “The largest trend we’ve seen throughout the last three to four years is the move from employer-paid benefits to voluntary benefits,” he says. “Employers assert, ‘I can no longer afford to pay your dental benefits.’ ”20 The State of the Dental Benefits Market, 2005 confirms that “over 70% of the people is paying at the least a percentage of these dental premiums” and about 25% are investing in their entire dental premium.16
Many businesses are looking at discount dental plans, an inexpensive option to dental insurance, to defray the costs of providing their workers with valuable dental benefits. Discount dental plans present flexible, affordable dental benefits which are easy to implement and practically effortless to manage. They provide businesses with a great way complement their existing benefits and provide a more balanced benefits package. Many businesses are utilizing discount dental plans to supply dental benefits to the people which are rarely included in traditional dental insurance, including retirees, part-timers, seasonal workers and uninsured dependants.
Discount dental plans are much more affordable compared to the $600 many companies are currently paying to cover employees with traditional dental insurance. Furthermore, discount dental plans save businesses valuable company time with convenient dental benefit solutions free from tedious paperwork hassles. Giving employees the freedom to select their particular plan, businesses are relieved from the burden of picking dental benefits to match the initial, individual needs of these diverse workforce. Discount dental plans allow businesses to award their workers with the reassurance they deserve and the affordable dental care they desire.
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