SOURCE: Business Benefits Insurance

December 16, 2011 11:12 ET

New Dental Plans Give Coverage More Bite, Crown Employee Benefits, Business Benefits Insurance's Edholm Writes in Mass. Lawyers Weekly

ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - Dec 16, 2011) - Small and medium-sized employers should take a fresh look at their old dental insurance plan.

"If you haven't reviewed your plan recently, you'll probably find you can get a better deal for your employees," Jim Edholm, president of Business Benefits Insurance, writes in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

"What you're missing may be a real burden on your employees, when for about the same money you could get so much more," he writes.

Most newer plans offer "benefit carryover" that rewards good dental hygiene with larger benefits. For example, a $1,000 plan may specify that any employee who visits the dentist at least annually but who spends less than $500 in a year will have $250 added to his maximum benefit the following year, he says. Typically this will continue until the employee has accumulated $2,000 in his account.

"Now when that infrequent but expensive condition pops up, the employee isn't shut out of benefits before he gets even half of the dental benefit paid," Edholm writes. "So by practicing proper dental hygiene, the employee keeps more money in his pocket."

Also, some carriers pay for preventive benefits in full but don't accumulate them toward the annual maximum.

People with gingivitis should have dental cleanings done four times a year, but most old-style plans only cover two cleanings. Some of the newer plans allow quarterly cleanings with for employees with periodontal disease.

"Employees could avoid serious dental surgery and might even have lower health claims," he writes.

Other new benefits your plan include coverage for treating for temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), white fillings for posterior teeth, oral-cancer screening coverage, and different timeframes on crown and bridge replacement, Edholm notes.

The article is "It's Not Your Father's Dental Plan -- Updated Plans Offer Better Coverage."

For more information about dental plans, contact Edholm at JimEd@bbibenefits.com or call 978-474-4730.

A widely published and quoted expert on employee benefits, Edholm is president and founder of Business Benefits Insurance (http://www.group-insurance-guide.com) of Andover, MA. BBI has been guiding Massachusetts employers to cost-effective benefit selection and design for more than a quarter century.

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