Dental and vision: Why you should present them to every client as a bundled offering
March 15, 2021 at 5:40 am
Through still referred to as ancillary benefits, dental and vision coverage are anything but, and their status is continuing to grow as “must-have” benefits for employers to offer their employees. With comparatively low premiums and simple plan designs, it makes sense to bundle these together for a streamlined offering.
For the past decade or so, companies with 50 or more full-time employees have been required to provide group health insurance to 95% of their employees because of the Affordable Care Act. Vision and dental insurance were not included in this mandate, which resulted in their being the exception, rather than the standard. Here’s why that perception is changing and why offering these benefits as a package deal is what’s best for employees and employers.
How proper dental and vision care can impact a workforce
Vision benefits that cover comprehensive eye exams can help improve employee productivity and reduce employer medical costs related to systemic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure, according to Versant Health’s white paper “Calculating the potential of a premium vision benefit”. The research indicates a possible $10 return for every $1 spent on vision coverage, specifically stating “While the ROI for both medical costs and productivity gains will vary from employer to employer – based on the workforce make-up in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, as well as region (state) and vision plan investment annually – a total ROI of approximately 10.6 to one can be expected.”
As much as $10 return for
every $1 spent on vision
Similarly, oral health exams and treatments can also detect a number of chronic conditions like cancer and diabetes, which can result in costly medical care. In an article from the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) titled “Why Offer Dental Benefits to Your Employees,” it also notes a significant impact on employee productivity, stating that adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year to dental diseases. Steps can be taken to mitigate the medical costs and productivity loss with early detection, and 75 percent of people with dental coverage reporting they had a dental checkup in the past year, according to the 2019 NADP Consumer Survey.
The bottom line is that good dental hygiene and vision care impact a person’s overall health and an employer’s bottom line. This preventative care can in turn result in less trips to the doctor after a significant health issue arises, resulting a win-win for both employers and their employees.
Despite the advantages, there is still a vast opportunity for dental and vision insurance sales across the country
We know that preventive care, which includes a person’s oral and eye health, is key to long-term wellness. And yet there is a vast opportunity in the marketplace still for these product offerings.
Nearly 67 million Americans had no dental insurance as of 2018, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. This means 21% of the population, or more than double the percentage who are medically uninsured, do not have dental coverage.
As of March of last year, a staggering 49.7% of the U.S. adult population, or roughly 163 million Americans, do not have vision coverage, according to The Vision Council Vision Watch U.S. Consumer Study – Q1 2020. The consumer study also points out that coverage is lower in the South, comparable in the West and Midwest regions, and greatest in the Northeast.
It’s important to note that not only do the dental and vision markets present a prime opportunity for overall business growth, but bundling this coverage is a smart move when presenting it to groups.
With bundling, everyone wins
Offering bundled dental and vision coverage provides benefits for the producer, the employer and the member. First, working with one contact at a single carrier saves time since there’s only one set of paperwork. This means a smoother administration process for you and frees up more time for you to do what you do best.
Next, offering dental and vision in a “one-stop shopping” model to clients who already have other types of coverage through a broker creates a cross-sell opportunity. Cross-selling bundled products can increase revenue, can strengthen existing relationships and build credibility and may expand your customer base. Both the dental and vision markets present abundant opportunity for you to secure additional business and gain trusted clients.
“Today’s employee expects vision and dental coverage in their benefits package,” says President of BrightBenefits Danny Bentley, “So it makes sense to bundle them together, streamlining enrollment and administration services behind the scenes. Doing so, delivers a more seamless experience to producers and to customers right up front and can provide savings to the employer in the long run.”
Rate guarantees, for example, are also an attractive feature of bundled dental and vision insurance, resulting in definite cost savings. According to the self-help website dentalforeveryone.com, it’s like “getting a bulk discount” when your clients purchase bundled dental and vision insurance through the same company. Since the insurance company knows it will be receiving two separate premiums from them every month, the carrier is more likely to lock premiums in place for a longer period of time when clients purchase dental and vision policies together.
When dental and vision are bundled, BrightBenefits will guarantee rates for 24 months, as opposed to 12 months for standalone products. When clients have one carrier, one contact, one invoice, benefits management overall is simplified for everyone involved.
Three ways clients benefit from bundled vision and dental
01. It simplifies the administration.
Businesses that don’t have staff dedicated to employee benefits will most
likely find bundled options easier to understand and manage.
02. It saves time and money.
Dealing with one carrier can be a huge time-savings, and longer
guarantees on rates results in cost savings to the bottom line.
03. Happy employees make for a happy workplace.
Oral and eye health are critical to a person’s overall health and wellness, which impacts productivity. Bundled options
that include vision and dental coverage fill gaps in typical health insurance coverage for a company’s employees in an
affordable way. It would likely cost an employee much more to purchase vision and dental plans independently.
Says Bentley, “We understand the importance of providing the most comprehensive insurance coverage so that each and every one of our clients can provide the best options to their employees. One of the best ways we can achieve this is by educating brokers on the most successful ways to sell our products. Right at the top of the list is how beneficial it is for them to sell dental and vision coverage in a bundled package.”
Bundling tips from a broker – HINT: Listen and advise; don’t sell
It’s important to remember that not every business knows or understands the benefits of offering their employees insurance outside of normal healthcare coverage. These employers look to their broker to be the expert on what is best for their employees, which presents a great opportunity to educate them on advantages of ancillary benefits.
Dominic Siciliano, President of Benefit Profiles, Inc. focuses on a few key messages when presenting a bundled offering. He says, “There are three critical points I make when presenting dental and vision as a bundled offering to my clients - First, it’s easy for those of us in this industry to take for granted just how vital oral and vision health are, so I make it a point to elevate the overall wellness advantages that these benefits provide to employees. Second, offering dental and vision coverage keeps the employer, particularly small businesses, competitive in recruiting talented staff. And finally, as the icing on the cake, I note the cost savings and efficiencies of a single carrier. In my experience, listening to needs of my client and then outlining the advantages above, builds trust and credibility and makes the decision almost a no-brainer.”