Dental health is an important part of overall health. Studies have shown that improved dental health correlates with improved medical health. And on the flipside, untreated dental conditions can become serious medical issues, which is why having a good dental benefit that provides access to care is an important part of any employee benefits package.
When looking at the details of dental benefits, there are dental savings plans and dental benefits, and they aren’t the same thing. The simplest way to think about it is that a dental savings plan is designed to provide coverage for specific costs or procedures within a provider network–this is typically used for planned or routine services. Dental insurance, on the other hand, is designed to spread the risk of needing dental care over a large population so that everyone has coverage for a low monthly fee. Both styles of plans come with some out of pocket costs, which is why Beta Health has partnered with Paytient to make it easier to access dental care.
In our podcast conversation, we talked with Brent about dental benefits, innovation at Beta Health, and much more.
Ready to dive in? Get some of the highlights from our conversation with Brent:
Where the Dental Benefits Industry is Headed
“I believe that we're at a really interesting place where the conversation around oral and overall health is really picking up. People are starting to hear it a lot more, people are starting to talk about it and research it a lot more, but there's still kind of a lack of connectedness because we separate medical and dental benefits in this country. I think as far as the benefits go, there's been a trend of providing certain benefits or trying to do things just for the sake of doing them, but without a real connection to the individual that is receiving them and providing benefits that are having a meaningful impact and creating a difference in the lives of those consumers. What we want to focus on and what we're trying to think about, is how can we underscore the connection between overall and oral health, and how can we focus on wellness as a product.”
“I think as the benefits industry continues to change, consumers are really going to want to understand what it is that they're getting, how it impacts their overall health, and how it's really connected to their whole body. What can they get out of it that just fits really well into their lives and what they're trying to achieve for themselves.”
The Importance of Price Transparency
“The other thing that we want to achieve here is transparency. One of the things I think about the medical industry that has been a huge complaint is that you don't know what it is that you're getting, you don't know what it is that you're going to pay when you go in, and so with the dental savings plan, you have a lot more transparency because our fees are listed right there upfront. So you know when you walk into the office what you're expecting to pay when you get a cleaning, if you have a cavity and you get it filled, if you have a crown, you know exactly what that is going to be, and that's the other really strong point about a dental savings plan. People can plan for those expenses and understand that going in and just have that conversation with their provider or with their family.”
How Employers Can Connect Employees to Great Benefits
“As an employer, you might not be able to afford it, but helping connect your employees to great benefits can help reduce the barriers to care that are going to be critical in helping get people the dental care that they need. We know that competitive benefits increase retention so it's a really important part of an overall benefits package. But I think going through that benefits process is helping employees understand why oral health care is so important. We've talked about how it's connected to your overall health, but employees can lose a lot of work hours if they have oral health issues that fester and they're not taken care of, or their children are missing school because of oral health care issues that they can't afford as well. So by making that as much of a priority as it is for overall medical healthcare benefits, it's a really important part of the comprehensive benefits package to help your employees stay healthier and more productive.”
What’s Next for Beta Health
“One of our biggest priorities is modernizing the customer experience. People really want that seamless way to access the benefits that they have paid for and so we are working to make it easier for our members to find a dentist to access care. And as part of that focus, we're launching a brand new website in quarter two, sometime in the May to June timeframe. We're working diligently on that and then the other thing is that we're always working to expand our network and provider access so we have our own network here in Colorado with over six hundred providers, and then we also leverage a national network as well. We're continuing to figure out how to expand and make sure that our members have the best access possible.”
Listen to the full discussion via the podcast player below or by clicking this link. If you'd like to connect with Brent, you can reach him via LinkedIn or learn more about Beta Health on their website, betadental.com.