The Voluntary Difference
Nearly every day there’s a new article or study indicating that even more workplace benefits are being offered on a voluntary basis, making voluntary benefits the fastest growing segment of the employee-benefits market. This is a significant paradigm shift.
So what exactly does “voluntary” mean, and what are Delta Dental’s strategies for this important market segment?
Delta Dental defines voluntary dental insurance as a plan where more than 50 percent of the premium is paid by the employee. Not surprisingly, the sluggish economy of the past few years has spurred an increase in the number of employers who are offering benefits on a voluntary basis.
It’s an interesting dynamic. Many employers can’t afford to continue absorbing the cost of their current employer-paid dental program, even though dental benefits are a tremendous investment in preventive healthcare. And employees want dental insurance; it consistently ranks as the No. 1 benefit employees ask for after health coverage. Dental benefits are good for employees’ health and productivity, so it’s imperative that employers can provide comprehensive dental coverage to their employees – no matter who pays for it.
Enter Delta Dental, and our broadened communication efforts and significant additions to our product portfolio. You may have already read about our product enhancements geared toward the small-group market, including a Table of Allowances plan and MAC (Maximum Allowable Charge) plan options for several existing PPO plans. These plans are also well-suited for the voluntary environment. As the state’s No. 1 dental-benefits provider, we want to ensure that the plans most appealing to agents, employers, and employees are available – and within budget.
Improved employee communications are imperative to success in the voluntary market. Choosing to purchase voluntary dental insurance is a major decision; more than ever we need to educate and engage the end user—the employee – on the product’s benefits. So we’ve unveiled a comprehensive suite of materials – email campaigns, payroll stuffers, posters, and more – that can be given to employees before and during the enrollment process. These materials carry employees right up to the enrollment meeting, where they’ll receive new enrollment packets specifically designed to answer the questions we most frequently receive in a voluntary setting.
As the voluntary market continues to evolve, we will continue to evaluate the market for the dental-benefits products best-suited for Wisconsin, and keep establishing best practices for the entire enrollment process.
We’re offering more products … more tools … more reasons than ever for the voluntary market to experience the Delta Dental Difference.
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