dental plan

Developing a good employee benefits package can be a daunting task when you run a small business. You must compete for the talented people your business needs with large companies that have the resources to create stellar benefit plans. One option that you should consider is dental insurance. A dental plan does not have to be expensive, and it provides real value to employees. Dental insurance is also surprisingly popular with workers. Before you decide if dental insurance is right for your business, take the time to learn what your options are.

Dental Insurance Is Popular

The most useful perks your business can provide employees are benefits they really want. The first things people talk about are usually retirement plans and medical insurance. The National Federation of Independent Business says dental insurance is often pushed to one side. However, most workers see a good dental plan in a positive light. Employees under the age of 30 tend to be healthy. They may be reluctant to pay health medical insurance premiums. These young employees often see the value of dental insurance. The NFIB goes on to point out that firms offering dental insurance experience higher rates of job satisfaction. This is exactly the response you need to attract and retain talented people.

Dental Insurance Won’t Break the Budget

There are many dental insurance providers to choose from. They offer plans that range from basic care coverage to premium coverage. Finding a plan that fits your budget is fairly easy. Basic plans cover procedures such as examinations, teeth cleaning, X-rays and extractions. Most dental insurance also helps pay for root canals, crowns and dentures. Premium coverage may even include braces and other orthodontic care.

Regulatory and Tax Considerations

Under the Affordable Care Act, most employers with at least 50 employees must provide medical coverage. However, the ACA does not mandate dental insurance. You will find dental plans for children on state and federal health insurance exchanges. This is because preventative dental care for children is considered especially important. It is not required, however. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees may be able to claim a tax credit for providing dental insurance to employees. An employer must pay at least 50 percent of the cost to qualify.

Health Benefits

Dental problems are generally not life-threatening or disabling. They can lead to more serious health issues if they are left untreated for example, regular teeth cleaning can prevent the development of gum disease. When your employees have dental insurance, they are more likely to get regular preventative care. The result is that they stay healthier. Your business will benefit because absentee rates will be lower. Plus, employees who are healthy tend to be more productive.

Types of Dental Insurance

You will need to choose a dental plan if you decide to offer employee dental insurance. Some plans pay a fixed fee for dental procedures. Payments may be made directly to dentists by the insurance provider. Other fixed fee plans reimburse the employee. Indemnity plans make the insured employee responsible for paying the dentist. The insurance provider then reimburses a portion of the cost. All of these plans allow the individual to choose a dentist. Some insurers offer managed care plans of various kinds. The common feature of managed care plans is that the insurer has a contract with dentists who provide care. An employee may or may not be able to choose the dentist.

There is no question that a good dental plan is a valuable addition to an employee benefits package. Nevertheless, it’s wise to ask your employees for feedback before you make a decision. The responses you receive will help you to choose the best dental plan for your company and your employees.

Dixie Somers is an Arizona-based freelance writer. Follow her @DixieSomers.