As a small business owner, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into whether you should offer your employees health insurance. Offering a comprehensive benefits package is one of the best ways to recruit and keep the best talent for your business.
But, have you considered offering dental and vision insurance packages to employees as well? Even under the Affordable Care Act, employers are not required to provide dental or vision insurance, no matter the size of the business. However, offering either or both can provide substantial benefits for both your employees and business.
Here are points you should consider when determining whether you should offer dental and vision insurance plans to your employees.
Studies have shown workers rank having a comprehensive health benefits package at the top of their most-desired list.
In fact, a Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey showed that nearly 80 percent of employees prefer new or additional benefits instead of a pay increase.
With more and more businesses offering dental and vision insurance, not doing the same can make it more difficult to compete for the best talent. In fact, according to a 2018 Health and Workplace Benefits Survey, 68 percent of employers reported offering dental insurance.
Employees utilized the benefits as well - 79 percent of employees participated in an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan, and 73 percent in a vision plan.
While offering health plans is widely considered a key component in attracting and retaining high-quality employees, offering other benefits as well may be necessary to keep up with competition from other small business.
Healthy employees often mean a healthy business, since healthy workers tend to get sick less often and have higher morale as a group. Offering dental and vision plans provide additional health benefits.
Offering preventative care is one of the greatest benefits of dental insurance. Medical professionals often link oral care with overall health. For example, too much plaque can lead to gum disease, which is linked to other serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Though coverage varies based on the plan, dental insurance typically covers these procedures, either all or in part:
Preventative care, like cleanings and checkups
Basic procedures, like fillings or root canals
Advanced procedures, like bridges or crowns
Studies show that employees who have vision insurance are much more likely to schedule a preventative eye exam, than employees who do not have vision insurance. Like a dental exam, an eye exam can uncover more serious conditions such as high blood pressure and even brain tumors.
Like dental insurance, coverage varies based on the plan. Benefits may include:
Preventative eye exams that test for glaucoma, peripheral vision ranges and vision accuracy
Eyewear, such as glasses or contacts
Medical care for eye infections or scratches
Surgery for eye injuries or diseases
Costs For Employers
Offering health insurance benefits can cost several hundreds of dollars each month for every employee. However, dental and vision plans comparatively are much less expensive. Some plans can cost as little as $10 a month per individual.
While some plans require employers to pay part of the monthly premium, others do not. Even if an employer must contribute to the monthly premium, the cost to the employer may be only a couple dollars per employee each month.
However, if you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget, even a small amount can add up to substantial costs, depending on the number of workers your business employs.
It’s important to note that many dental and vision policies can be add-ons to group health insurance plans. This offers the added benefit of competitive premiums and fewer exclusions and limitations.
For more information on your choices, check out our article, Options For Affordable Dental and Vision Insurance.
Costs For Employees
Offering vision and dental insurance can also save your employees substantial healthcare costs in the long-term. Research by the HCMS Group found that employees who have access to vision benefits offered by their employers saved $5.8 billion in costs over four years. That’s because preventative care reduced more substantial healthcare costs for the employees, and in the long-run, prevented higher productivity losses and turnover rates for the employer.
That same study found substantial cost savings for employees when eye doctors identified early signs of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Savings for each of these conditions, per employee over four years, were at least $1,360 or more.
What Works For Your Staff
When selecting dental and vision insurance plans for your employees, there’s several relevant factors you’ll have to take into consideration to best meet both their needs and yours. Everything from the number of employees you have to where your business is located can have an impact on what plan might best suit your business. And, both dental and vision plans can vary widely.
A licensed insurance agent can provide individualized service, helping you sort through these needs to find a plan that also fits your budget. While insurance agents advocate for you, you can continue to advocate for your employees.
“Statements on this website as to policies and coverage's and other content provide general information only and we provide no warranty as to their accuracy. Clients should consult with their licensed agent as to how these coverage's pertain to their individual situation. Any hypertext links to other sites or vendors are provided as a convenience only. We have no control over those sites or vendors and cannot, therefore, endorse nor guarantee the accuracy of any information provided by those sites or the services provided by those vendors.”