Following Denplan’s recent roundtable at Employee Benefits Connect, Roger Matthews discusses the future of Dental Plans and getting oral healthcare awareness higher up the company agenda
The roundtable event at this year’s Employee Benefits Connect was entitled: “How can improving oral health have a positive impact on employee wellbeing?” It focussed on issues including:
- The links between oral health and general wellbeing
- Dental is one of the only preventive benefits on the market – looking after employee wellbeing before the need of reactive intervention.
- Dental is a tangible, usable benefit, but has the capability to provide far more return on investment if engaged with effectively.
- How valued is dental care to staff and company decision makers?
Dental health and links to chronic disease
Periodontitis (gum disease) is the most common chronic disease among humans with some 43% of adults suffering from it in the UK. Once one reaches the age of 60 that figure goes up to 65% and this is not only causing a significant cost to the taxpayer, but is also completely avoidable with the proper oral healthcare. It is also a strong indicator of other, often chronic, health problems in adults such as heart attack, kidney disease, diabetes and stroke to name but a few. Despite this, dental insurance continues to be viewed as separate from overall healthcare benefits.
Dental is one of the few preventive healthcare benefits open to employees, as benefits such as PMI are used to treat illness – not to help prevent illness from occurring. Providing schemes such as Denplan encourages regular dental attendance and increases awareness of the benefits of good oral health and the wider impact on general wellbeing.
Communication is a key factor in enhancing the status of dental healthcare and more needs to be done to communicate to employees the value dentistry provides as a wider healthcare benefit. By moving away from the perception that dentistry is solely focussed on the mouth and educating employees through effective communications about the wider benefit of being dentally fit, a dental plan becomes far more relevant to a company’s overall health and wellbeing strategy
According to YouGov, 62%1 of employees without a dental plan would consider one if their employer offered it and 54%1 of people believe that dental it a tangible, usable benefit, with Denplan starting from as little as £4 per employee, per month.
It seems that employees are not alone in the demand for dental benefits either, with 46%1 of companies reviewing their benefits considering adding dental. Furthermore, not only do 83%2 of employers with a dental plan recognise that they enhance employee wellbeing, but 68%2 of them believe that a dental plan helps to manage staff absences.
It seems that there is not only significant demand for dental as a benefit among employees and employers alike, but there is also a significant need for increasing dental care access in the wider public health agenda. Why is it then that dental benefits continue to be treated as a separate entity to healthcare benefits? When the evidence so strongly shows that dental healthcare can be a key indicator in the detection and early diagnosis of many more serious illnesses – surely it is time to recognise that dental benefits should be used as a key preventive healthcare benefit, rather than a bolt-on for PMI.
1 Source: Denplan/YouGov survey, January 2014. Total sample size was 5,148 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
2 Source: Denplan decision-makers survey, January 2014. The survey was completed by 488 respondents. This research is based on a Denplan survey among employee benefit decision-makers in UK companies.
This year Wednesday 12th March marks the British Heart Foundation’s No Smoking Day. This is one of the country’s biggest health awareness campaigns, designed to encourage smokers to stub out cigarettes for good.
As well as being bad for our overall health and being a major cause of heart and lung diseases, smoking and tobacco are also linked to a variety of oral health problems including bad breath, gum disease, and more seriously oral cancer.
Regular visits to the dental team are essential to look after teeth and gums, and even more so for a smoker. Dentist are best-placed to help combat the effects of smoking, and to spot any other conditions that may need further investigation.
To find out more about No Smoking Day and for help and advice on kicking the habit, visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk
Adding another milestone to its list of credentials this week, Denplan is celebrating after receiving its 100,000th claim via its Corporate Online Services.
The service, which was only launched in 2012, allows employees covered by a Denplan Corporate scheme to submit claims and supporting material online, to be processed and paid directly into the claimant’s bank account within five working days.
Pam Whelan, Head of Corporate at Denplan, commented: “We’re incredibly proud of our Corporate Online Services as the claims system not only provides a quick and easy way for our customers to submit their claims, but it allows us to process them much quicker. It also dramatically cuts down on the amount of paper we use as a company and positively affects our carbon footprint, which is really important to Denplan.
“Reaching our 100,000th claim goes to show how popular the service has become and a testament to its ease of use. Denplan will always strive to provide the most relevant and innovative products and services to its clients and for a service which is only two years old I think this is a significant milestone – long may it continue.”
In celebration of the achievement, Denplan presented their 100,000th claimant, Jason Davies (Support Analyst at Symantec) with a certificate, a bottle of champagne and a bag of prizes. Upon receiving the prize Jason commented: “I’m so pleased to have received a prize for using this service. It’s the fourth claim that I’ve submitted online since joining Denplan and the service is always excellent. The online service is always rapid, efficient and easy to use and I hope to continue making good use of it in the future.”
To find out more about Denplan’s products and value added services, please go to www.denplan.co.uk or call 0800 838 951
It’s National Heart Month this February and we’re promoting awareness on the effects employees oral health can have on their heart.
There is increasing evidence supporting the links between poor oral healthcare and heart disease*. Dental problems can contribute to lifelong oral and general health issues but many are preventable, which is why looking after their oral health is so important.
Keeping dentally fit really isn’t that difficult or expensive and it can make a huge difference to how they feel about themselves. Regular dental visits can be the best way of avoiding costly and expensive treatment as well as keeping generally healthy.
To find tips on how employees can look after their heart, visit http://miteeth.co.uk
Join us at Employee Benefits Connect on 27th February at Westminster Bridge in London to find out how we are shaping the future of employee benefits. The one day event comprises a conference, roundtables and exhibition. It allows HR and Reward Professionals to network with peers and connect with leading suppliers.
You will find us on stand number C10.
Join our roundtable debate
In addition to the conference, we will be hosting a roundtable to discuss the role oral health has within employees overall wellbeing.
Our table will be hosted by Dr Roger Matthews, Denplan Chief Dental Officer and guest speaker, Professor Iain Chapple, Professor of Periodontology at Birmingham University. Iain is a leading speaker in the links between oral health and general health so this is the perfect opportunity for you to understand how providing a dental benefit for employees can have a much bigger impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Register via www.employeebenefitsconnect.co.uk to join our roundtable.
Denplan are delighted to welcome a further high profile client, Thomson Reuters, into their enviable portfolio under its Lucent product range.
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and transferred to Denplan from the 1st January 2014. They are offering 3 levels of cover to their employees: Denplan Lucent 2, 4 and 6.
Gary Williams, Corporate Sales Manager at Denplan, commented: “We’re delighted that Thomson Reuters decided to join Denplan. We were able to offer the personal attention they deserved and were seeking, as well as all the value added services available through Denplan. Our attractive proposition and employee communications support has resulted in the scheme doubling in size since transferring to us.
Regina McEvoy, UK Benefits and Welfare Manager at Thomson Reuters, added: “We transferred to Denplan at the start of this year. In that short time the number of lives covered has risen from 700 to more than 1,400. We’ve been very pleased with the service from Denplan so far as we hadn’t seen our account manager from our previous provider for a number of years. Having Denplan come in to help us with the implementation process and help with marketing the product internally was a new and welcome experience.”
Having reviewed their Wellbeing range of products, Denplan have now announced the re-launch of their Lucent Range.
Using feedback from clients and intermediaries as well as its regular assessments of the dental market, Denplan has been able to increase all the benefit limits across the Lucent product range, by as much as 200%. It will also now include cover for implants as standard and feature two completely new levels of cover. Other benefits include the level of cover for Mouth Cancer being raised to £20,000, increased hospital cash benefits, increased cover for call out fees and unlimited cover for telephone consultations.
Head of Corporate at Denplan, Pam Whelan, commented: “Following feedback from our members and intermediary contacts, we’re confident that our re-launched Lucent product range is not only tailored to meet their needs more fully, but offers industry-leading levels of cover. We’re still committed to providing the same excellent service that keeps employees engaged with their benefits, and our specialism in the dental market allows us to encompass the very best enhancements available, keeping our products current, usable and unique.”
For more information about the Denplan Lucent range, visit www.denplan.co.uk/lucent2014