EXCLUSIVE: Poll reveals pain points in dental health benefits strategies

dental health

A poll conducted by Unum among delegates at Employee Benefits Live 2018, which took place on 2 and 3 October 2018, has revealed that although 94% of respondents agreed oral health is an important component of a health and wellbeing strategy, 44% of employers do not offer dental cover.

Andrew Bower, managing director of Unum Dental, said: “This gap in cover shows there’s a discrepancy in perception and reality, and more should be done to understand what obstacles prevent employers from offering this important cover.”

The pulse survey also revealed that 23% of organisations see a dental cover take-up rate of between 1% and 5%, while 21% have a level of take up between 6% and 15%. The majority (88%) of respondents stated they would be interested in practical advice and tips from providers to help improve interest among employees to get the best return on investment.

Bower said: “Take-up rates continue to be an area where employers require help. [Employers need] a tailored enrolment and communications programme to ensure they’re communicating clearly, effectively and efficiently to get the best results.”

When asked about possible new or non-standard features of dental care they thought would appeal most to their employees, more than two-thirds (67%) selected access to teeth-whitening services, 21% opted for adult orthodontics, and 12% cited cover for employees’ parents.

Bower said: “Surveying attendees of Employee Benefits Live 2018 enabled us to get feedback on Unum’s recent product innovations. We were also able to prove our hypothesis about a potential new feature we’re currently piloting to enhance our offering and add even more value to our products.”

He added: “We’re thrilled to have a vehicle like Employee Benefits Live, which offers a unique opportunity to meet with senior decision makers and engage with existing and potential new clients. The next step, of course, is to incorporate that feedback into our solutions to ensure we’re adding the most value to employers and their employees as we innovate and enhance our offering.”