11:02 AM

Dental Plans: An Opportunity Worth Taking

Last week, DentaQuest presented a webinar in partnership with America’s Health Insurance Plans on the opportunities for health plans to increase profitability, growth, and efficiency by offering dental coverage to their enrollees. Mike Enright; National Director for Commercial Sales; Shaju Puthussery, Chief Analytics Officer; and Linda Vidone, Dental Director, the positive impact dental programs are having on health insurers and their enrollees.

In the first open enrollment period of the federal health exchanges, more than 7 million people signed up for health coverage, of which nearly one quarter also chose to purchase dental plans. The interest in dental coverage reveals an opportunity for health plans— the opportunity to distinguish themselves among their members and potential members as a single resource for health and dental benefits that considers and covers oral health and overall health and wellness. As we know, good oral health is imperative to overall health.

Additionally, dental coverage is a cost-effective way to act early on significant chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies show that when people are engaged in preventive measures - brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and receiving biannual dental checkups – can better control other chronic health issues and require less extensive treatment.

Prevention is important. The below graph shows the average 5-year cost of care for children based on their age at his or her first dental visit. The sooner a child begins receiving preventive care, the less likely they are to develop oral health issues, resulting in fewer dental-related costs.

DentaQuest is hosting a concurrent session on June 12 at AHIP Institute in Seattle. If you’d like to learn more about us, visit dentaquest.com.