Superior Dental Care Warns Small Businesses: Not All Small Group Dental Plans are Equal
Cheap rates on dental plans can cost small businesses more in the long run, says Superior Dental Care
Small businesses are being offered lower rates than ever before for employer-sponsored dental benefits, but Superior Dental Care (SDC) says these low premiums come at a price.
SDC is urging employers with 2-50 employees to carefully review any dental plan they consider offering employees. Because underwritten dental plans are often costly for groups of this size, many insurance carriers offer pre-designed “small group” options through a community rating pool. But according to SDC, a predatory pricing trend is causing these plans to be under-funded as carriers carve into the coverage to afford the low rates—rates that the carrier ultimately can’t sustain.
“In the group dental benefits market, rate undercutting is becoming alarmingly prevalent—especially in the small business segment. Employers with 2-50 employees are being offered extremely low rates on dental benefits, only to discover that the plan doesn’t cover the essential services and procedures necessary for maintaining good oral health. By the time these services are added back to the plan, the rates are no longer the bargain advertised by the carrier. To make it even worse, some carriers are pairing these inadequate plan designs with smaller networks that give employees little or no access to participating dentists. It’s quite frustrating for companies to not realize what is missing until after they’ve purchased the plan for their staff,” said Shannon Ford, Director of Sales and Service.
Ford says some carriers have even developed complicated plan structures with hidden fees and severely limited support that make it difficult to understand what benefits employees are getting for the price.
“Unfortunately, many employers find out too late that the seemingly excellent rates they were offered for their dental plan don’t add up to the savings they were hoping for. By the time they calculate the extra fees, add in services that should have already been covered, and deal with staff complaints and frustrations, they’ve spent their savings!” said SDC’s President, Traci Harrell.
According to SDC, the predatory pricing trend has the biggest impact on small businesses where budgets are typically limited and unable to absorb unexpected costs that surface later.
“SDC encourages all employers, especially small businesses, to look beyond the rate on a page and truly consider the whole package of benefits being—or not being—offered. Purchasing bargain benefits often ends up costing much more than anticipated…not only in dollars, but in employee morale, time and frustration as well,” said Harrell.
About Superior Dental Care:
Superior Dental Care (SDC) was founded in 1986 by a group of dentists to create the first dentist-owned dental plan as an alternative to less effective and inferior plans. Today, SDC offers group dental and other ancillary benefits to companies throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. For more details about SDC, visit superiordental.com or call (800) 762-3159.