What Makes Beam Dental Benefits Different?

If you’ve been working with Beam Dental for a while, you know by now that we do dental benefits a bit differently. And if you’re newer to selling Beam, well, here’s a bit of a sneak peek. If you aren’t looking for details and just want an overview, skip straight down to the summary below.

Focus on prevention

Our Beam Perks program is the most salient example of Beam's comprehensive effort to improve the dental health of our members. By shipping a Beam Brush, Paste, Floss and new brush heads to our members, we’re ensuring they have everything needed for proper dental care year round. How often do you not replace a brush head or tooth brush itself because it’s not top of mind? We put those brush heads in front of members and encourage them to replace it every 90 days (no excuses!).

Beyond that, the actual dental plans themselves lean toward a focus on prevention. Little things like cleanings covered twice per benefit period, instead of every 6 months, as well as big things like coverage for occlusal guards for teeth grinders (bruxism). While many insurance companies don’t include any coverage for these night guards, Beam covers it as a standard because we recognize that these appliances are a long-term investment in our members’ health. If we can pay for a piece of plastic to prevent our members from grinding their teeth, why wouldn’t we?

Fewer "feel bad" moments

As a broker or HR, one of the worst experiences an employee can have is being told a procedure isn’t covered or even worse, having a claim denied because it isn’t included in the plan design. While Beam's plans are still insurance products and can’t cover everything, they are designed with a bias towards minimizing those “feel bad” moments of a member. Because of this, you won’t see things like a “missing tooth clause”, a Waiting Period or posterior composite fillings being downgraded.

While Beam’s network includes about 325,000 access points nationwide, we also want to ensure that members are covered at their favorite dentist, even if they’re not in network. Because of this, we prefer to offer 90th UCR plans standard (see The (Almost) Beginner's Guide to Dental Insurance for more details on MAC vs. UCR). While some dentists may still balance bill, the 90th UCR reimbursement level ensures that members have a positive experience with their coverage the majority of the time.

Simple and clear

A primary focus of Beam is on improving the member experience and communicating clearly to members. While we do some basic education around an effective date, we also aim to convey as much info as possible directly on the Benefits Summary and reduce ambiguity for members.

For example, we call out the OON reimbursement level right at the top of the OON coverage column rather than burying this in a text footnote. Here is an example of a coinsurance breakdown on one of our benefits summaries¹:

Benefits Summary - Plan Coverage

Similarly, we include the frequencies for common procedures right on the benefits summary! No need for a member to dive into their certificate (who really knows how to read those, anyway!?). Here's a sample "Frequencies & Limitations" section on one of our benefits summaries¹:

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 2.07.52 PM

¹The example benefit summaries shown above are only examples. Plans and benefit summaries are unique to your group. This example plan information is current as of 10/08/18. Plans and benefits summaries vary between groups and individuals - if you are a member looking for information on your plan, please log into the member portal.

While the above benefits are standard on all Beam plans, I want to reiterate that our plans are virtually fully customizable. Because of that, we’ve established a few different plan tiers which help simplify what’s covered to employers, members and providers. Here are a few highlights and example benefit summaries.

SmartPremium™ Ultra

Beam’s Ultra plans are some of the richest plans on the market, period. These plans can be written with up to an unlimited max and even as 100/100/80 or 100/100/100 coverage. If an employer wants to offer the most coverage possible to employees, a Beam SmartPremium Ultra plan is the way to go!

Here’s an example of a Beam SmartPremium Ultra plan².

SmartPremium™ Select

Beam’s SmartPremium Select plans are in line with the market’s traditional rich plans. These include coverage for Major services at 60% or higher and Basic at 90% or higher. Ortho is often included, both for child and adult.

Check out our most popular Beam SmartPremium Select plan².

SmartPremium™ Plus

SmartPremium Plus plans are in line with traditional industry standards such as 100/80/50 with a $1500 annual max. A key indicator of a Plus plan is that Endo, Perio and Oral Surgery are all covered as a Basic service.

This is a Benefits Summary for the most common Beam SmartPremium Plus plan².


Finally, our basic SmartPremium plans are the leanest plans Beam offers. The key difference here is that Endo, Perio and Oral Surgery are all covered as a Major service. These Smart plans are pretty customizable and can be offered as MAC plans as well to really bring down rates for employers looking to minimize benefits costs.

Here’s an example of a simple Beam SmartPremium plan².

Summary of Beam differentiators

While dental insurance isn’t the most complex product on the market, there’s a lot going on and Beam’s efforts are on simplifying and improving that experience for every one of our stakeholders.

To recap, here’s a quick summary of some of the ways in which we do that with our plan designs:

  • No missing tooth clause
  • Implants standard on all plans
  • No waiting periods
  • 90th UCR standard on all plans, upgradable to 95th UCR
  • Posterior composites covered
  • Included coverage for occlusal guards for bruxism
  • Cleanings twice per benefit period instead of every 6 months
  • Replacement periods for prosthetics every 5 years
  • Plan tiers-
    • Ultra: The richest plans Beam offers, up to 100/100/100 coinsurance with unlimited annual max
    • Select: Slightly richer plans than industry standards, with 100/90/60/50-2000 being the most common
    • Plus: Traditional simple PPO plan with 100/80/50-1500 coverage, but Endo, Perio and Oral Surgery covered under Basic
    • Smart: Traditional low cost PPO plans with Endo, Perio and Oral Surgery covered under Major in order to maintain low premiums


As always, if you want more detail on plans, reach out to your local rep any time!

²The example benefit summaries linked to in this post are only examples of Beam dental plans and may not reflect your own benefits. Plans and benefits summaries vary between groups and individuals - if you are a member looking for information on your specific plan, please log into the member portalExample plan information is current as of 10/08/18. 

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Chris Prochak

Author Chris Prochak

CRO, Beam Dental

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