Yvonne Gleeson, dental product manager at Cigna, tells Reward about the many benefits of a corporate dental plan

dentalplan

What are the main advantages of having an employee dental plan?

Dental plans are a very attractive employee benefit. They provide a great recruitment and retention tool for employers. It’s a tool that is easy to implement, install and maintain, and it’s relatively low cost.

For the employee, dental plans offer an affordable solution to dental care, reducing out of pocket expense for dental treatment.

Research shows that a good dental plan encourages people to make regular dental visits and get the treatment they need quickly.

A recent survey showed that in general, six in 10 people visit the dentist frequently, whilst in comparison, eight out of 10 people with a dental plan are regular visitors to their dentist.

A dental plan will also be highly valued and utilised, which will keep the workforce in good health. So, employees with a plan are looking after their oral health, and are less likely to develop unforeseen problems and take unplanned time off work.

What health issues can a dental plan help to prevent?

You can tell a lot about an individual’s general state of health from their oral health.

There’s a tendency to assume that oral health is just about teeth and gums – but it can affect other parts of the body as well. There’s now a known link between poor oral health and conditions such as mouth cancer, bowel cancer and heart disease.

Dentists have recently been asked to look for deteriorating oral health as a sign of dementia.

As the ageing population is now becoming a relevant workplace conversation – with people over the age of 50 now making up a third of the workforce – having a dental plan in place has wider benefits for an older workforce.

What elements of the plan are most engaging to employees?

Employees certainly view their employers more favourably if they’re offered a dental plan as part of their benefits package. Our research shows that:

  • 34% feel positive about their employer when they’re offered a plan
  • 47% visit the dentist more often
  • 21% are encouraged to take better care of their teeth
  • 63% don’t worry about unexpected dental bills.

The cost of dental care can be significant and unexpected. Cigna dental plans cover 100% of NHS treatments and help toward the cost of private treatment.

Our Healthy Discounts dentists provide 20% off covered and non-covered treatment, and our Full Cover dentists ensure full refunds on treatments within the plan`s core benefits limits.

It’s also important to employees that partners and children can be added on to their plans.

What is the cost and administration like?

Cigna’s dental plans start from less than £8 per person per month. Our most popular plan, DentaCare Level Three, is around £20 per person, per month. There are no additional administration costs or fees on top of that.

Administration of claims is minimal – to get started we just need employees’ membership data, and we can usually turn installation around in 48 hours. Our billing is fairly straightforward – Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services (BACS) transfer with invoicing monthly, quarterly or annually.

Dental plans are an affordable and easy way to engage employees and make them feel valued, as well as helping to improve their oral and even general health and well-being.

For more information on Cigna’s dental plans, call 01475 788779 or visit www.cigna.co.uk