Insurance Broker Blog

Top Open Enrollment Questions for Dental Insurance Brokers

Benefits enrollment can be a confusing time for employees. In fact, almost nine out of ten adults in the U.S. cannot understand general health information. And 51 percent of insured adults have difficulty understanding their health insurance.

This data presents a problem as employees commit to their dental benefits. And for better or worse, most of them must live with their decision until the next year.

On the flipside, this is a beneficial opportunity (pun intended) for dental insurance brokers. You can show employer groups why they need to partner with an enrollment expert like you. Bring your “A” game by planning to answer these top open enrollment questions! 

How much is the dental plan going to cost out of my paycheck?

You already know this will be one of the first questions. And the answer will depend on their pay schedule (weekly, biweekly, monthly). The question gets tricky if the employee group has different benefits per location or employee classification.

You will need to know the group’s dental schedule(s) of benefits like the back of your hand. Partner with HR before your enrollment meeting to find out how they want you to field this question.

What kinds of services does my dental insurance cover and what do they cost?

Most employees will want to understand these common dental services and the costs:

  • Braces
  • Cleanings: Explain the difference between regular cleanings and deep cleanings. This will include how many cleanings are allowed per year.
  • Children’s cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Root canals
  • Crowns: Remember to factor in any associated services and lab fees
  • Dentures: This will be particularly important if there is a retiree population of employees.
  • Sealants
  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Whitening

Commit these copays to memory. You will win them over with your knowledge of their benefits. It also never hurts to beef up your dental benefits vocabulary.

Why do I need dental insurance?

It is a fundamental yet loaded question. Here is research to will make it easier to answer.

  • Dental health is connected to medical conditions. They include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, lung disease and premature birth.
  • Dental insurance makes dental care affordable. It also increases the chance of people visiting the dentist and taking their kids.
  • Not having dental insurance can result in higher costs and work absences. An estimated two million people visit the emergency department for dental pain each year. By going to the dentist, employees can save the health care system an estimated $1.7 billion.
  • Having dental coverage helps fight tooth decay, the leading childhood disease.
  • Dental benefits can help combat the effects and cost of periodontal disease. This type of gum disease impacts two in five adults.

Can’t I work out a deal with my dentist and skip insurance?

Stressing the importance of the dental plan is critical to earning the employee’s trust. Most people will use basic preventive care. Calculate the dental plan savings for these services compared to a provider’s UCR rate (usual, customary, and reasonable). This will show the employee the value of the plan and the relatively minimal cost per pay period.

Sure “working out a deal” with the dentist might seem like a promising idea. But you never know the curve balls that life can throw. In the event of a dental emergency or a complicated (and expensive) procedure it's better to be safe than sorry.

Why doesn’t my plan pay for anything?

Some mistakenly believe that the term “covered” means they pay nothing for a procedure. So, you should clear this up. Follow up by sharing what they would pay for services with and without insurance. The Dental Cost Estimator tool offers cost comparisons. If the dental insurance carrier has similar resources, it is even better. This allows you to show the true value of the plan. It also gives each employee the chance to see the savings offered by the dental plan.

As a broker, you balance the skill of learning their benefits with the ability to educate. This prep work will allow you to manage any questions thrown your way. It will also help lower the stress for your clients and their employees.

Which dental plan fits my needs?

At the heart of this question is the employee’s request for help. They want to choose the best plan for them and their family. Here is a list of questions to help employees narrow down their benefits:

  • What are the dental needs of each person in your family?
  • What is your budget for coverage?
  • Would you prefer to pay more in premiums each month and lower costs at the dentist or vice versa?
  • Are there enough dentists in the plan’s network that are close by to you?
  • Is your current dentist a participating provider with the dental plan?
  • Do you want an affordable plan with the freedom to see any dentist?

Cover these bases and you will have the most successful enrollment season yet. For more tools click here to get your free open enrollment meeting tip sheet. It gives you the top presentation skills for benefit meetings.

Open Enrollment Tip Sheet


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