Looking for a way to help employees stretch their benefit dollars and get more coverage for the dental care they need?

Consumers often incur out-of-pocket costs for dental services, which can make it challenging to maintain the care they need. A recent study from KFF, an independent non-profit organization focused on national health issues, showed that 35% of people delayed necessary dental care due to cost. The same survey also found that four in ten adults currently have debt due to medical or dental bills.

Individuals with dental insurance are more likely to see their dentist and thus benefit from prevention and early treatment. But giving individuals more flexibility in how and when they receive dental care can help with managing affordability. Enter Sun Life Preventive Rewards, a new twist to help encourage greater use of ongoing preventive care. The Preventive Rewards option incentivizes people to get regular cleanings by adding money to the annual maximum amount covered by their policy when they maintain preventive care.

Preventive dental care can help individuals reduce their risk for larger, more costly issues. Individuals can reduce their likelihood of tooth decay or gum disease simply by seeing their dentist regularly. Dentists can also help to spot other illnesses sooner to help their patients not just with their dental health, but their overall health. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, individuals without dental benefits report higher incidences of other illnesses, including:

  • 67 percent were more likely to have heart disease;
  • 50 percent were more likely to have osteoporosis; and
  • 29 percent were more likely to have diabetes.

Here’s how Preventive Rewards works…a member gets preventive care, things like cleanings, exams, and bitewing x-rays. The amount of those preventive paid claims will be added to their annual maximum for the next year. Members can continue adding dollars to their Preventive Rewards account until they hit their maximum. The dollars then can be used on any preventive, basic or major covered service (excluding orthodontia).

For groups that have a different type of rollover plan, we are happy to convert those dollars into a Preventive Rewards account. The added benefit of Preventive Rewards is that, even in years when a member has some larger expenses, they can still earn more dollars for their Preventive Rewards accounts. Our plan option does not limit members to only adding dollars in years when they don’t hit a threshold amount. We want members to get preventive care and use their benefits, so we continue to add dollars (up to the account maximum) any year a member gets preventive care.

Try our online calculator to create your own examples of how Preventive Rewards can bring value to your employees.