It’s no private matter anymore that employees are citing dental insurance as the third most important benefit when applying for a new job. As the scope of business practice improves, and employers seek to attract the most suitable talent for open positions, some are now considering what the benefits of group dental insurance can offer both their business and their employees.
While American businesses are currently feeling the brunt of the Great Resignation, it’s not only multinational corporations and medium-sized organizations that are changing the game when it comes to employee benefits.
Some industries such as the hospitality and restaurant industry, which may be facing record numbers of labor shortages, are looking to heavily upgrade their current employee benefits. Hoping to attract a stronger and more resilient labor force, with progressive employee compensation packages.
It might seem like something that most companies already offer their employees, but having access to the best dental insurance can impact the entire workplace environment. While employee demands haven’t been unchanged in recent years, employers are now looking for more innovative ways they can establish high-quality health insurance plans.
So, if you’re a business owner, or perhaps a startup employer, here’s a recap of the benefits for group dental insurance in employee policies.
Increased Annual Working Hours
A research study from 2018 revealed that on average around 320.8 million work hours were lost in one year in the United States. Poor dental health and lack of dental insurance have driven employees to miss out on working hours which could otherwise be better used.
The same study indicates that of the 320.8 million lost working hours, more than 94 million hours were lost for emergency consultations and surgeries, 159.8 million hours for planned routine care and checkups, and around 68.6 million hours for cosmetic care.
These lost hours can attribute to thousands, if not millions of dollars worth of working hours that could have translated into more productive working hours.
Consider how much time some employees would need to take off work, planned and unplanned to visit their local dentist or orthodontist to undergo routine checkups or perhaps cosmetic surgery. While we cannot deny that these procedures are imperative to employee health and wellbeing, employers should consider how much of these hours could have been plunged back into the business.
Sick Days and Paid Sick Leave
As mentioned, we should consider employee health and wellbeing above anything else when looking at how employee benefits are designed. A study found that employees take about 6.5 sick days per year, which in the grander scheme of things doesn’t sound like a lot.
Offering employees better health and dental insurance means that although they are allocated these sick or paid leave time, these interventions are costing some employers about $22.5 billion per year.
Having a group dental insurance plan means that employees will be able to have access to better orthodontic care, frequent checkups, and routine cleanings. This all boils down to how far employers are willing to go to ensure their employees can have an improved working experience, while not having to carry the stress or health or dental-related issues.
Improved Job Satisfaction
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Employee Benefits Summary, around 40% of private employees, and 60% of state and local workers currently have access to dental care benefits.
A majority of private American firms are still struggling to offer employee dental care benefits, which in essence can translate into how satisfied workers will be in the workplace. Around 36% of employees who receive health insurance from their employer are less financially stressed, as opposed to the 51% who don’t receive any form of health benefits.
Employee stress and lack of job satisfaction does not only affect their mental health and wellbeing but also costs employers more money. Having better dental insurance is just one of the main reasons some employees may feel that their employers aren’t doing enough to cater to their needs.
Group dental plans may cost a bit more, and while they can be partially funded by both the employer and worker, it can lower annual premiums and help to increase job satisfaction over time. Employees want to know and feel satisfied with their current position, regardless of monetary compensation or related interests.
Better Health and Wellbeing
While no one truly enjoys being sick or booked off at home while you could perhaps be spending time with friends, family, or even advancing your career; better group dental plans help to increase employee health and wellbeing.
Upgrading employee health and dental benefits will again link in with job satisfaction, the number of hours lost to undergo dental-related routines, and money lost due to employees having to take physical time off from work to ensure they can take proper care of their teeth.
Most of these benefits are interlocking when we view them from the inside, and it shows how big of a difference dental care benefits can make to an employee’s overall wellbeing.
It’s not just about having access to a frequent dentist or orthodontic checkups. It comes to how employers are willing to treat their workers and have a sense of understanding and compassion to help advance their lifestyles and health conditions.
There truly should be no limit to how much time and effort employers should spend when establishing a group dental insurance policy. It’s simple, the better the benefits, the more inclined some workers may be to stay in their current position and remain patriotic towards the company.
Lowering Dental Procedure Costs
According to a Willis Towers Watson survey, around 39% of employees aren’t in the financial position to come up with $3,000 if an emergency occurred. While this may seem like a small amount, financial stress is one of many factors that negatively impact employees.
Having these group plans in place gives employees access to better quality dental care procedures, lowers costs for cosmetic procedures, and with annual preventative care, more senior or expensive procedures can be minimized.
Despite having access to health and dental benefits, if any, more than 49% of employees who may be struggling with financial stress have reported experiencing heightened levels of anxiety or depression.
Yes, these elements can again tie in with employee wellbeing, but offering a group dental plan means that employees will have to endure less financial stress which in the long run becomes a bigger issue to their overall workplace satisfaction.
Employees who have access to better health and group dental benefits are likely to be more satisfied with their current job and increase employee morale. Building a better work environment is not only about the physical or surface-level tools or resources employers offer their workers, but also how their wellbeing is taken into consideration.
Although there’s still a majority of private and public entities that still do not offer group dental plans, due to expensive costs or minimal financial resources, having these benefits when possible makes it easier to retain workers and increase their loyalty.
There is clear research that supports the notion that if employers assist employees with dental and health benefits, their levels of financial stress can be decreased over time.
While it may still be some time before we can have access to a universal dental care system that works not just for those who can afford it, employers still play a vital role in the overall wellbeing and dental health of their workers.
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