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You’re a founder, CEO or other HR / benefits decision-maker at a small to mid-size business. You’re at an exciting company that cares about employees and sees the team as the key to its success. Maybe your company has a young, millennial workforce and you want to show them you’re invested in them as people. You probably have some traditional benefits for the team (medical, retirement), maybe even some unique or innovative perks (free lunch, anyone?). You may or may not have dental benefits. But you probably should, and here’s why.

Competition for talent (bonus: increased loyalty)

If you’re in a hot market competing for engineers, designers, execs, etc. one simple way to differentiate is to offer a better benefits stack. Not only the quantity and quality of benefits, but the fit with your company’s culture as well. You want to make sure that not only do you extend benefits to the team, but be sure to communicate the value to future and existing team members. Show employees that what you offer will make a substantial difference in their lives (and your company a better place to work!). It’s well known that benefits are an important tool in attracting and retaining talent — a complete benefits package shows your team that you’re investing in them as the future of your business1. (Check out Harvard Business Review if you want to learn more). You may think that you already have a great benefits package, but BambooHR found that 74% of employees want better benefits and a MetLife study shows that almost half of employees say that benefits customized for their needs would increase loyalty2, 3. Within benefits packages as a whole, dental insurance is often overlooked as it has the reputation for being boring and expensive (though it doesn’t have to be that way!). However, they’re highly valued by employees as 95% of employers offer dental benefits and over 75% of employers have more than 75% of employees enrolled in a dental plan4. So what you have is a workforce that wants better benefits. Better benefits increase loyalty. And within the library of benefits options, there’s a high value placed on dental benefits. Seems like a good reason to offer dental benefits to the team, right? Moreover, dental benefits have a particular impact in showing employees that you’re investing in their well-being with something highly visible: their smiles. Better smiles, happier team members.

Low cost way to go “above and beyond”

Don’t assume dental insurance is expensive! Relative to salary and some other benefits, there are plenty of affordable dental benefits plans available; you don’t need to add the best dental insurance plan available (what does “best” mean anyway?”). Adding an affordable dental plan to your benefits stack can be a manageable expense, especially if you go with a simple, preventive-focused dental plan (perfect for a young, millennial team). Also if you prefer, dental benefits can typically be offered as a voluntary plan and cost the company nothing. Don’t worry, almost 25% of companies offer voluntary dental benefits and employees still appreciate the option to enroll5.

Prevention is king

This one is simple. People without dental insurance don’t go for regular checkups and preventive care as often as those with insurance6. More than a quarter of adults have untreated tooth decay and without benefits, they may delay proper care7. The longer you wait, the worse it gets, the more it costs and the more your employee has to pay. That’s no fun for anyone. Moreover, some dental benefits today aren’t just insurance, but rather focus on preventive care at home like BokaBox, Quip or our Beam Perks® wellness plan. These unique plans make it super simple and affordable for employees to always have what they need to brush at home. Who knew there were box services for dental goods?

Employees will work more

Well, indirectly at least. A report from the Surgeon General report showed that employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits8. By offering dental benefits, you’re encouraging proper preventive and diagnostic care (services typically covered at 100% so people are incentivized to go regularly). As a result, the number of serious issues can be reduced and since preventive visits often take less time than other services, your employees will be back to the office in no time. Plus, people are all rainbows and smiles in the office after a cleaning. Root canal? Not so much.

Dental benefits aren’t for every company at every stage, but they’re a highly valued perk by employees and definitely worth considering. If you want to learn more, subscribe or continue to check back for future posts where we’ll provide additional info on buying group dental insurance.

1Harvard Business Review: Who Will Build Your Future? The New Employee Relationship, https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/tools/16202_HBR_UNUM_Report_webview.pdf
2Bamboo Blog: Where’s The Breaking Point for Employees?, http://www.bamboohr.com/blog/employee-breaking-point
3MetLife: Employee Satisfaction With Benefits Reaches Highest Level in Over A Decade, https://www.metlife.com/about/press-room/index.html?compID=124347
4,5Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, ajg.com: 2014 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey http://www.ajg.com/media/1089295/2014-benefits-strategy-and-benchmarking-survey-executive-summary.pdf
6U.S. News & World Report Health: No Dental Insurance? Don’t Wait for Something to Go Wrong, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/05/20/no-dental-insurance-dont-wait-for-something-to-go-wrong
7Centers for Disease Control: Health, United States, 2014, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf#066
8National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: Oral Health in America, http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/SurgeonGeneral/Report/ExecutiveSummary
Brought to you by Beam Insurance Services LLC. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only; is not intended to be relied on as complete information; and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.
This material is not meant to be a sale of or an offer to purchase an insurance plan from beam®. Should you have interest in purchasing an insurance plan from or through Beam®, you should seek the help of a licensed professional.
Insurance products underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company† (NGL), marketed by Beam Insurance services LLC, and administered by Beam Insurance Administrators LLC (Beam Dental Insurance Administrators LLC, in Texas). Beam Perks® provided by Beam Perks LLC. Beam Perks® can be obtained separately without the purchase of an insurance product by visiting perks.beam.dental. Policy form series  numbers NDNGRP 04/06 or NDNGRP 2010.
†National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a.k.a. The Guardian, or Guardian Life.
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Author Chris Prochak

Chris is the CRO of Beam, a dental benefits company reimagining dental care. Chris loves tackling complex problems, innovating growth strategies and improving the dental benefits experience for everyone. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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