Insurance Broker Blog

Selling Dental Benefits Insurance in the New Healthcare Landscape: Individual vs. Group

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed into law, it changed (and is still changing) the healthcare landscape. Notably, the way insurance brokers marketed changed as well. Small groups became required to offer insurance. Employees and uninsured individuals could go to the marketplaces to shop for benefits. 

The way many consumers accessed and purchased health care shifted and brokers had to adjust in response. For example, while the ACA mandated medical coverage, adult dental coverage wasn’t a requirement nor was it subsidized. Now, more than ever, brokers should change how they sell individual dental plans

Individual Dental Insurance on the Rise

You’ve heard the buzz about the rise in healthcare consumerism. Americans are becoming more and more educated and involved in selecting insurance benefits. Public and private exchanges have fueled this movement even further. It’s no surprise then that individual dental plan enrollment is growing. Florida alone has seen a 200 percent growth in individual dental plan enrollment since 2013 according to the National Association of Dental Plans.

In addition to individual plans gaining market share, the way employers offer dental insurance in some markets is changing, too. Some groups are choosing to reduce coverage or have their employees cover more costs up front.

All of this change leaves a lucrative gap for brokers to fill that was previously nonexistent. In the past, consumers were not in the driver’s seat when it came to their healthcare and insurance needs. Now, they are. 

The Baby Boomers Boom

The market for individual insurance plans grows every year for another reason: baby boomers. 2011 saw many of the first baby boomers retiring -- this employment shift will only continue over the next decade or so. Insurance brokers can position their business to target this generational transition as boomers continue to retire and need supplemental plans. Boomers need dental plans because: 

  • Dental coverage is optional under Medicaid;
  • They are retiring from the corporate world to be self-employed or work on a freelance basis;
  • Coverage needs change with age such as dentures, implants, or otherwise richer benefits.

The market changes are growing year over year. As you plan your sales strategy for the short and long term, consider adding individual dental plans to your repertoire.  

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