7 reasons advisers should be talking about dental

30th June 2016

An adviser's expertise is integral to helping their clients align their employee benefits and wellbeing strategy. And when suggesting which benefits meet the three key wellbeing pillars of prevention, intervention and protection, here’s why corporate dental cover fits the bill perfectly for employers, employees and brokers alike...

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For the full article, take a look at page 18 of Health Insurance Daily's April issue 

1. Poor oral health causes sickness absence

It’s pretty simple to dismiss ‘toothache’ as a generic and minor problem when it comes to employee absence. But according to the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), around 415,000 people miss at least one day at work every year because of oral health problems, costing the UK economy an estimated £36.6m1.

2. Treatment can be unaffordable for some people

Unregulated private dental charges vary dramatically between dentists, which means that receiving private care can hit the bank balance hard. A survey by the British Dental Health Foundation in 2013 confirmed that it’s these expensive bills that act as a barrier from patients seeking the treatment they need.

3. NHS dentistry is feeling the pressure

As well as the rising costs, back in 2009, there were reports of people queuing outside dental surgeries for an appointment similar to January sales. At that time, the Daily Telegraph reported that 40% of the population had no NHS dentist while only a little more than half the population (58%) saw an NHS dentist in the preceding two years. Fast forward seven years, and the latest report from the government’s NHS Dental Statistics for England 2014/15 reveals the figures are worse, with around 56% of people visiting an NHS dentist in the year to 31st March 2015.

4. Employees want and use dental cover

Any employee benefits package worth its salt should reflect what staff want and dental cover rates highly on many an employee’s wish list. In fact, in the Reward & Employee Benefits Association’s 2016 Benefits Shift survey, dental insurance was the most popular flexible benefit option selected by employees.

5. Employers benefits from it

Regular visits to a dentist prevent minor problems from turning into conditions requiring time off sick, saving on the costs that result from short-term absence. It’s also a very useful tool in any discussion around pay rises. Despite their best intentions, not all employers can afford a salary increase year on year. Offering dental can be an effective and alternative way of rewarding staff. And when people are happy in their work and stay in work, productivity increases.

6. It's easy to understand and administer

While some benefits need a certain amount of investment by the employer, one of dental’s most attractive features to brokers and employers is that it’s extremely simple to integrate and use. After an initial communication to staff explaining the cover and costs, the claims process looks after itself.

7. It can cost employers next to nothing

Companies may be worried by the costs of providing employee benefits, but dental cover can be fully-funded by the employer, by the employee or part-funded by both. It’s up to the employer to choose whichever best suits their budget or wellbeing plans.

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1 - British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy 2016 - https://www.healthinsurancedaily.com/health-insurance/product-area/cash-plans-dental/article479224.ece


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