Three Tips on Communicating the Benefits of a Dental Plan
With a wide range of health and wellbeing benefits to consider, how do you engage your employees to take up a dental plan?
How can you ensure they understand how the dental plan works, how to use it, and perhaps, most importantly, help them understand the wider benefits of good oral health and being dentally fit?
Here are three tips to help you communicate the benefits of a dental plan to your employees.
1) Use it to highlight the importance of good oral health (and its impact on wider health too).
It may seem obvious, but many of your employees are probably not aware of how important it is to look after their oral health. Introducing a dental plan is almost a vehicle to achieve it, but ultimately we have to start changing behaviours and making people aware. It’s about education and informing and making everyone aware of the importance of good oral health. Dentistry isn’t solely about the mouth and increasingly, studies are finding connections between our oral health and our overall health.
Links are now widely recognised between gum disease, and more serious conditions including diabetes, strokes and heart disease. Last month, a new American study was released suggesting that postmenopausal women suffering from periodontal disease (gum disease) are 14% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to women who didn’t have gum disease. If the women had a history of smoking, the risk of breast cancer was even higher.
Scientists behind the study suggested that bacteria from periodontal diseases may enter the body’s circulation and ultimately the breast tissue. However, the study said further research is needed to establish a causal link.
Dental problems can not only contribute to lifelong oral and general health problems, they can also affect people’s ability to eat, sleep, work and socialise effectively. This is why it is so important for companies to encourage their employees to look after their oral health, and to have regular dental appointments.
2) Regularly communicate the benefit and use campaigns to help you.
If you want employees to use the dental benefit, they need to know exactly what is included in their plan. Dental benefits can be offered to employees and funded through a range of different options – from company paid, via salary deductions, or offered on a voluntary basis. Availability can be communicated through your flexible benefits scheme, or through engaging content via posters, leaflets, or desk drops.
Bespoke employee communications can also help maximise engagement and produce higher benefit take-up rates, which is great for both the employee and the organisation. There are a number of national health and wellbeing campaigns you could run - such as Dry January, National Smile Month (16th May – 16th June 2016), Mouth Cancer Action Month in November and Stoptober.
Your provider should be able to help you promote these campaigns, along with supplying relevant literature, which focuses on the oral health implications as well as the overall health and wellbeing benefits.
3) Let your employees know where they can find their nearest dentist.
Your employees will need to know how they can find their nearest dentist and ideally one close to the workplace as this minimises time away and is also often more convenient as they can go during their lunchbreak or straight from work. Look for a provider who can offer a large network of dentists, and ensure you communicate the nearest practice locations to your employees – for example check to see if they have an online Find a Dentist search facility your employees can access.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it should provide some ideas for helping to maximise the return on investment for your dental benefits – to the benefit of both the company and your employees!
This article was via REBA Global.