Prioritising oral health will be critical in 2021
Amazon e-vouchers gifted to policy members in recognition of surgeries being closed.
Over 100,000 e-vouchers already issued by Unum so far this year.
Sharp rise in cost of dental claims post lockdown.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives – how we work, socialise and how we keep healthy. This has led to a focus on maintaining good mental wellbeing and keeping physically active. But one area that’s been particularly hard to keep up in lockdown is good oral health with dentists shutting for parts of last year.
Many employees were unable to keep up an adequate dental regime last year amid the lockdown restrictions. In recognition of this, Unum Dental is giving policy members an Amazon e-voucher as they couldn’t access surgeries or use some of their policy benefits while dental practices were closed during the first national lockdown.
As of February, over 100,000 e-vouchers have already been issued by the employee benefits provider with the goodwill initiative planned to continue into March.
All Unum Dental members (including dencover and optical) active between 1st April 2020 and 31st May 2020 are eligible for the goodwill gesture, with the amount varying depending on their chosen level of cover and whether they added dependants to the policy*.
User data from Unum Dental shows a sharp rise in the cost of claims submitted from 1st July to 31st September 2020 as employees returned to the dentist after being unable to attend regular dental check-ups during lockdown.
In previous years, regular check-ups and hygienist appointments often helped prevent the need for more significant work – but Unum Dental saw a significant rise in the value of claims post lockdown compared with the claims earlier in the year. Rising by 22% in the last three months of 2020 when compared to the first quarter of the year – reflecting the increased cost of treatment required, as well as the need for additional PPE provision. These figures suggest this has contributed to the increased cost of dental care**.
*The e-vouchers being issued during January – March will have no impact on annual benefits. Members can continue to visit any dentist or optician and use their benefits as normal.
**This increase also considers the fact Unum Dental policies have covered the cost of PPE since November 2020. Cover levels, annual limits and exclusions apply (e.g. PPE can only be claimed where it appears on an itemised receipt).
All this illustrates just how important it is to prioritise oral health and Glenn Thompson, Chief Distribution Officer at Unum UK has listed some simple things to consider during the continued lockdown.