According to Dun & Bradstreet, this is the tightest labor market in the last 30 years. Benefits are a valuable recruitment and retention tool, but with escalating costs offering them isn't easy. The cost of dental care continues to increase faster than other expenses, as dental care expense rose 76% between 1987 and 1997 compared to a 40% increase in the overall Consumer Price Index (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) It's a matter of supply and demand: The number of dentists in America is decreasing, so the cost of dental care and dental coverage continue to increase.
Many dental carriers promise to cut your costs. Often, they cut costs by cutting corners—and your employees are surprised when their coverage isn't what it appears to be. CIGNA Dental provides our clients with quality coverage that's affordable, so you'll achieve the savings your CFO is looking for without sacrificing the quality your employees deserve.
Problem: Plan not delivering
Imagine this: your company just hired a new CFO. She comes from a competitor, another growing retail chain with about 800 employees. She invited you to lunch to get acquainted. But you realize quickly that there's more on her agenda than a tuna fish sandwich. "I'd like to do a complete review of the benefit plans," she says. "Particularly the dental. We could get away with not offering that." She takes a tiny bite, looks at you, and smiles. "We didn't offer dental at my old company."
You need to demonstrate that the dental plan has bottom line value. You can see the perfect exhibit: It shows the affordable cost of providing the dental plan, utilization of the plan, employee satisfaction statistics. You'd show how many employees requested it on the employee survey, and how much more satisfied they were after you introduced the plan. Maybe even turnover rates from before and after.
The problem is you're not sure you can demonstrate the value of this plan. Your company is located in South Florida, where the cost of dental plans is medium to high. You introduced the current plan two years ago, after an employee survey indicated it would be an important retention tool. It's a coinsurance plan that covers 100% of the cost of preventive procedures like cleanings, 80% of basic procedures like fillings and root canals, 50% of major procedures like crowns and 50% on braces. There's a $50 deductible on all types of treatment, a $1,000 annual maximum, and a lifetime maximum of $1000 on orthodontics. The company is paying 50% of the premium, and employees pay the other half. Half of your employees have enrolled—half chose single coverage, and half selected coverage for their families.
But the plan you picked isn't exactly delivering what was promised. The premium rose 17% last year. Employees are constantly complaining. A lot of times, they tell you, it looks like something is going to be covered but it turns out only a cheaper alternative treatment is allowed. They can't even get a cleaning without paying the $50 deductible. When you call the dental company to get the kind of information you know this CFO will demand, you find out your account executive has left the company, and that the new person is just getting up to speed. "I'll call you in a few weeks," he promises. Yikes!
Solution: Better access, value and affordability
You call your benefits broker, and request a CIGNA Dental quote.
The CIGNA Dental Care plan has all the advantages you need to impress the new CFO and keep employees happy. With a wide variety of patient charge schedules to choose from, CIGNA Dental works with you to pick a standard plan design to meet your cost objectives. The plan design is comparable to your current plan, so you assume the same number of employees will enroll for single and family coverage.
But switching to the CIGNA Dental Care network plan with a benefit value that's comparable to your current plan can actually save you over $186,000 next year in premiums. It's comparable in that it offers the same procedures as your current plan, but (even at the lower premium) it's richer because there are no deductibles or dollar maximums. The CIGNA Dental Care plan is a guaranteed cost plan, so there won't be any surprise claim costs if your employees go to the dentist a lot. Definitely a way to make points with the CFO.
For your employees, there's plenty of network access—the largest DHMO network in the country; in fact, there's lots of choice for your employees in most every store location. And if it turns out you open a store where there's no CIGNA Dental Care network, you can add CIGNA Dental's PPO and indemnity options to meet the needs of those employees. CIGNA Dental Care's quality management program means dentists in our nationwide network go through the same stringent credentialing process—including a visit to their office.
Fees are fixed and published in advance on the patient charge schedule, so members know exactly what they'll pay—even for approved specialty care. Since there are no deductibles, coverage will start with the first exam or cleaning. If their kids need braces, the typical 24-month treatment is covered affordably.
The CIGNA Dental Care plan has lots of innovative features that make it easier for employees find and select dentists, understand their dental care needs, and use the plan. For example, our Dental Office Locator provides 24-hour, toll-free phone access to an up-to-date list of nearby dentists, either read or faxed immediately. Members can even change dentists by phone any time of the day or night. Our Web site has plenty of dental wellness information, including a dental glossary! We even use the renowned Gallup Organization to conduct member surveys all year round, so we always know how satisfied your employees are.
Implementation: Understanding your needs
Implementing your new CIGNA Dental plan is easy. Unmatched experience helps us understand your needs, and those of your employees. Tools include everything from brochures that address emerging research about the link between dental disease and heart disease, to fee overviews that show employees exactly how much they'll pay and how much they'll save with the CIGNA Dental Care Plan. We'll attend enrollment meetings and health fairs to make it simpler for you. We will work closely with you to provide the best communications solution to your employees.
Impact: 87% satisfaction
Your CIGNA Dental client manager visits you in the middle of the year, and you talk about how the plan is doing.
- Overall, 87% of employees are satisfied with their plan.
- 91% say they'd recommend their dentist to a friend or relative.
- Our Member Service reps answer calls in an average of 30 seconds, and resolve 95% of them in one call.
- Premiums are more than 40% lower than a comparable PPO or indemnity plan—you're on track to save $186,000 in premiums!
Your CIGNA Dental Care plan really makes a difference, in measurable ways. Even your CFO is impressed with the data.
Conclusion: Always looking for a better way
In short, CIGNA Dental puts 35 years of experience in dental benefits to work for you. We don't just learn from the past, we continually look for a better way. That's what true leaders do. Tell us your definition of a business leader at www.cigna.com/dental. For details about how you can put our leadership to work at your company, call your benefits broker. Or call us at 1.800.257.5800.
CIGNA Dental refers to the following operating subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation: Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and CIGNA Dental Health, Inc., and its operating subsidiaries. The CIGNA Dental Care plan is provided by: CIGNA Dental Health Plan of Arizona, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of California, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of Colorado, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of Delaware, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of Florida, Inc., a Prepaid Limited Health Services Organization licensed under Chapter 636, Florida Statutes, CIGNA Dental Health of Kansas, Inc. (Kansas and Nebraska), CIGNA Dental Health of Kentucky, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of Maryland, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of New Jersey, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of New Mexico, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of North Carolina, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of Ohio, Inc., CIGNA Dental Health of Pennsylvania, Inc., and CIGNA Dental Health of Texas, Inc. In other states, the CIGNA Dental Care plan is underwritten by Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and administered by CIGNA Dental Health, Inc. The CIGNA Dental PPO is underwritten or administered by Connecticut General Life Insurance Company with network management services provided by CIGNA Dental Health, Inc., and its operating subsidiaries. The CIGNA Traditional plan is underwritten or administered by Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. All underwriting data based on 4Q99. All cited statistics are based on 1999 internal analysis.