Employer sponsored health insurance is the most common benefit for larger employers to offer employees due to the difficulty of finding affordable health insurance and the rising costs of medical care. Outside of medical insurance, there are a couple of highly desirable employee benefits that are often overlooked by independent business owners that may not be currently offering benefits—dental and vision insurance. From an employer’s perspective, these benefits are much more affordable than the cost of medical insurance but are invaluable when it comes to retaining employees and keeping them healthy. Typical monthly premiums per employee are $14 to $30 for dental insurance and $5 to $12 for vision care. So, as an independent business owner, why should you want to consider including dental and vision as part of your more comprehensive benefits offering?
A Case for Dental Insurance and Care
First, let us consider the importance of dental insurance and care. Dental insurance is what almost all families want. Small businesses who employ a majority of secondary family income earners or young employees may not see much participation in an employer-sponsored medical plan, but they will often see active participation in a dental plan. Most people understand the value of dental insurance – even if used only for going to the dentist twice a year for cleanings – as opposed to a very expensive medical plan they don’t expect to use.
When it comes to dental care, cavities, gingivitis, and tooth loss are evidence of poor oral care. These dental problems may be the symptoms of larger problems relating to:
Two annual dental visits help with overall employee wellness and are important in identifying symptoms that a primary care doctor may not be able to see.
I Can See Clearly Now: A Case for Vision Insurance
Another benefit that is often undervalued is vision care. According to the Vision Council of America, “approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction.” In addition to glasses and contacts, vision insurance provides benefits beyond a yearly free eye exam. An eye exam can detect the early stages of high blood pressure, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
In the end, even if you don’t have any issues concerning your sight, it is a good idea to go see the optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam, as they may be able to diagnose a chronic condition.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Dental and vision benefit options are important for small businesses and franchise owners. Consider working with a benefits advisor to create a communication campaign that speaks to the hidden benefits of dental and vision care. Many employees may already see the value of going to see their dentist or eye doctor, but they may not be aware of that in so doing they may also be able to receive insight to their overall health.
For those business owners who currently do not offer either dental or vision or are thinking about providing employee benefits for the first time, offering these benefits may be a wonderful place to start. Here’s why:
1. This is a low-cost/high value benefit when compared to a full medical offering.
2. These benefits provide a more holistic approach to assessing one’s overall health.
3. The value of these benefits is often understated and is a great segue for many employers who wish to begin offering benefits to their employers.
You really cannot go wrong by making dental and vision care available to your employees. It will not only deepen the value of your employee benefits program, but will give your employees access to a comprehensive benefit that is aimed at improving their health.
Need help deciding what insurance policy is best for you and your employees? Contact Herb Catausan for a personalized consultation! Reach him at 1+(800) 821-7715, ext. 351, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can schedule a 15-minute conversation by clicking here.