UBP blog

09/28/2009

3 ways to enhance your dental plan’s value through communication

For employers who want to improve the value of their dental benefits, making plan changes is just part of the solution. Effective communication is the next step, and this means providing employees with the meaningful information and tools necessary to understand both their dental benefits and oral health risks.

According to a recent MetLife survey, only 1 in 5 employees know what their dental insurance does and does not cover. This lack of employee knowledge oftentimes results from lackluster employer communication of dental benefit offerings.

The following are three ways employers can enhance their communication of employees’ dental benefits.

   1.      Promote the importance of oral health and educate employee on oral health risks.

Data from MetLife’s survey also revealed that just 9% of employees believe they have beneficial information on oral health available to them. Yet, 28% of employees believe that this information would be of value in helping them understand dental benefit offerings. Employees who know most about their oral health are the ones that are most likely to utilize their plan’s covered dental services.

To educate employees on oral health and oral health risks, employers can create a pamphlet, memo or web resource, distribute it to employees and also make it readily available for them to access on a later date. 

   2.      Provide complete information on employee coverage.

The survey data also shows that only 35% of employees feel that they have all the information they need to make the best decision on their dental coverage. This means employers have a huge opportunity to educate the remaining 65% of employees with complete coverage information. That way, all employees will understand their benefit offerings, appreciate them and have fewer surprises about what is and is not covered when they get their Explanations of Benefits.

  3.      When communicating benefits, use multiple resource

Most employers believe that email and the company website are the most effective tools for communicating employee benefits. Although these tools are great ones to use, employers should not stop there.

Employers should also develop alternative ways to educate their employees on their benefits, dental benefits included. In-person and online seminars  as well as oral risk assessment tools are just a couple of the resources employers can use to round out their dental benefits education.

By applying these three methods, employees will feel the value of the dental benefits you are providing. As a result, their understanding and appreciation of the dental benefits they’re offered will grow.

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