It’s no secret that employees have long struggled to navigate the complexities of medical benefits available to them under their respective companies’ insurance plans. Dental care is no different. Many employees even find dental benefits more difficult to understand, given that they’re structured differently than medical benefits.
For example, unlike medical benefits, in which employees spend toward an out-of-pocket limit before reaching a deductible phase, dental plans typically have a coverage limit. Once the employee reaches this threshold, he or she becomes responsible for all additional costs. Most dental plans also include separate accumulators for each member covered under the plan, whereas medical plans typically feature a single accumulator for the entire family. Complicating matters even further are orthodontia benefits, which typically accrue towards a lifetime coverage limit.
So what does all this mean for employees?
In short, it means they’re on the hook for a larger portion of their oral health care. While most employers don’t list dental benefits as a major area of pain, it makes up a whopping 27% of employees’ out-of-pocket healthcare spend. Consumers’ financial responsibility also increases with each level of care. Fillings, crowns, and bridges each constitute rising out-of-pocket expenses, so it’s easy to see how critical it is that employees receive quality preventative care.
Our Castlight Dental product seeks to address these issues by offering employees a platform to become more sophisticated consumers of oral health care. By guiding employees to in-network providers, Castlight Dental prevents them from being exposed to unpredictable price variance. The product also features educational content and clearly displays benefit information for employees and their families.
For employers, it’s a great way to reach unengaged employee segments like Millennials. Many Millennials have a limited relationship with their primary care physician (if they have one at all). Millennials tend to have fewer needs that require medical care, yet they still need to take care of their teeth. Assuming a Millennial receives her bi-annual cleaning, she’s visiting her dentist more often than her physician. Activating younger employees through their dental benefits can be an effective way of fostering quality healthcare consumerism among this otherwise disengaged population.
As recent studies show, benefits satisfaction is an increasingly critical factor in employees’ decisions to accept a job and remain there. Castlight Dental, along with the entire Castlight platform, empowers employees with the information they need to fully leverage their benefits, helping to boost employee satisfaction and talent acquisition and retention.
Remember, Castlight Dental is an extension of our Castlight Essentials product, offering the same best-in-class user experience to help simplify healthcare decisions.