Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced a new dental insurance product that allows employers to provide dental coverage to their workers at no required cost to the employer.
Dental Blue Select features 100 percent coverage of preventive services, a lifetime deductible of just $100, competitively priced premiums and the choice of seeing any licensed dentist. As a “voluntary” dental product, Dental Blue Select may be funded entirely by employees or through a cost-sharing arrangement between employers and employees. Employees pay for their coverage through payroll deduction.
“Dental Blue Select makes it easy for employers to help their workers and their families achieve and maintain optimal dental health,” said Dr. Genie Komives, senior medical director of BCBSNC. “Medical research has established links between good dental health and good overall health. This product fits perfectly with our mission to help our members improve their health.”
Without dental insurance, people often neglect preventive dental care and may postpone seeing a dentist when problems occur. Research has indicated a possible link between periodontal disease â€“ infection of the gums and bones that support teeth â€“ and health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
More employers are recognizing the role dental health plays in general health. Employers are seeking to add dental benefits more often than any other new voluntary benefits option, according to a 2007 study from LIMRA International, a research and consulting organization for insurance and financial services companies.
BCBSNC is expanding its efforts in dental health. For example, under a separate initiative from Dental Blue Select, the company is collaborating with North Carolina dentists to develop the companyâ€™s most comprehensive dental network to use in future product offerings for BCBSNC members. The company also offers Dental Blueï£¨ and Dental Blue for Individuals group and individual coverage, respectively.
Dental Blue Select offers employers a choice of two plan options â€“ Standard and Enhanced. The Standard plan is ideal for customers seeking basic dental coverage at competitive rates. With Enhanced, members receive additional benefits, such as root canals and periodontics covered at 80 percent with no waiting period. Orthodontics also is available as an option with the Enhanced plan.
To qualify for Dental Blue Select, employers must have participation from at least 20 percent of their workforce and a minimum of 10 enrollees for the Standard plan and five for the Enhanced plan.
For additional details, visit http://www.bcbsnc.com/plans/smallgrp/voluntarydental/.
Dental Blue Select is being offered now to employers with an effective date of July 1, 2007.