Find the Best Dental Insurance Brokerage for Your Client
Dental insurance plans are imperative for your client to get the dental care they need that is not covered by health insurance. The right dental insurance reduces the cost of standard procedures and covers preventative care like cleanings and checkups, making it easier to maintain dental health. With regular checkups, your client will be able to anticipate if they may need more costly procedures like implants and dentures.
Offering dental insurance alongside health insurance to your clients can deepen relationships and increase retention rates. Working with an insurance brokerage agency is the best way to get access to multiple carriers and easily customize dental coverage to your clients.
What are the different types of dental insurance?
Dental insurance policies may be provided by an employer as part of a benefits package or purchased as an individual plan.
Group dental insurance is a type of insurance product offered as a benefit by an employer to employees. In other words, a business or other employer purchases a dental insurance policy and offers coverage under the policy to employees. The employer is the policyholder, and they make all the decisions about the specifics of the plan.
Individual dental insurance is a policy purchased by an individual to cover themselves and their family. The most common types of individual policies are DMO and PPO:
Dental Maintenance Organization (DMO) plans are similar to Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans for health insurance. Under this plan, the individual has fixed copayments and chooses a primary care dentist from whom they must get a referral if they would like to see a specialist, such as an orthodontist or a periodontist.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans allow the individual to receive treatment from any dentist that accepts their PPO plan with no need to get a referral to see a specialist. While there is no co-pay, out-of-pocket costs are higher since the PPO plan only covers costs after a met deductible.
Is dental insurance right for my client?
Your current and potential clients may be already looking for dental coverage, especially if they are retired and no longer have group health insurance coverage through an employer, as traditional Medicare does not cover most dental care.
Dental insurance should be considered by everyone who does not have coverage. Procedures can be expensive if paid out-of-pocket. You can explain the benefits of dental insurance coverage through the 100-80-50 rule:
- 100% of preventive care is covered, including routine exams, cleanings, and diagnostic services, such as X-rays.
- 80% of basic restorative procedures are covered, including common procedures like fillings and root canals.
- 50% of major procedures are covered, including crowns, dentures, and complex oral surgery.
How do I find the best dental insurance policy for my client?
When selecting the best dental insurance for your clients, there is no specific formula to calculate the right amount of coverage. You need to consider your client’s unique situation, including their goals, finances, health, and lifestyle. Their plan choice may vary based on the frequency of need to visit a dentist. For example, if they have several issues and need to visit the dentist often, they will want a higher-level benefit plan.
You also need to understand the nuances of dental insurance, especially the cost, network size, benefit amount, and waiting periods.
Most plans have monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-pays that may impact the costs. The lowest price is not always the best choice for your clients. The lower price could mean less coverage or fewer network options. Dental plans typically do not cover pre-existing conditions or cosmetic services, and some plans may have other exclusions.
Find plans that have a sizable network and a high benefit amount. Ideally, choose the program that has the client’s dentist in their network. Your client will get much better discounts with an in-network dentist.
Finally, most dental insurance plans have a waiting period. These waiting periods vary between plans and the classification of benefits. For example, major dental procedures, like dentures, may require a 6-12 month waiting period. Benefit types are classified as follows:
- Type 1 Benefits – Preventative care
- Type 2 Benefits – Basic care like fillings
- Type 3 Benefits – Major services, such as crowns and dentures
There is often a trade-off between the waiting period and the benefit. For example, if there is no waiting period, there will usually be a reduced benefit. Other plans will waive the waiting period if the insured has proof of prior credible coverage with no lengthy gaps in coverage. Some dental plans also offer a reduced benefit amount that increases over time, so the longer you have it, the higher the benefit for each category.
Don’t overlook the details. As an agent, be sure to clearly explain waiting periods associated with a plan to new clients at the time of sale. For example, major dental procedures, like dentures, may require a 6-12 month waiting period. Also, be sure to explain the deductibles. Understand the annual maximum benefit (ex.$1500, $5000, etc.).
For whatever reason, these finer details often get overlooked in the sales process.
Finding the right balance of cost, benefits, network access, waiting period, and other variables is crucial to meeting your clients’ needs. An insurance brokerage agency can help you work through these complex details and explore a wide range of products and carriers. Working with an insurance brokerage can be the difference between purchasing a tailor-made policy or an inferior product that will not provide the needed coverage.
How do I find the best dental insurance broker?
There are several ways to find high-quality dental insurance brokers. Start by asking your network for referrals. You can connect with NAIFA, a trusted nonprofit association for insurance brokers and financial advisors.
You can also do your research by prospecting several insurance brokerages in your area. We recommend looking for these qualities in a broker:
- Responsiveness and attentiveness. Are they knowledgeable of the products and solutions available to serve you and your clients’ needs?
- Tech-savvy. Do they know how to use and leverage technology?
- Back-office support. What happens after an application is submitted?
- A good team instead of just a good salesperson: make sure that the service is as good as the pitch. Service can make or break a relationship.
- Do the owners invest back into the agency or focus on paying themselves?
You can also learn a lot about the brokerage by calling them up and asking pertinent questions, such as:
- How long have you sold dental insurance?
- Have you had any complaints with the state?
- Who are your primary carriers?
- What are the carrier ratings?
- What types of products are the affiliate carriers selling?
Do your homework and determine if the brokerage gravitates towards products with the most commission. Most importantly, visit the agency. Do an onsite visit and speak with the brokers in person.
EMG can help.
As a brokerage general agency, EMG handles everything from submission to commission. When it comes to dental insurance, there are many options to choose from, each with its structure, onboarding process, and requirements. With choice comes complexity, but we focus on making the complex simple. Our insurance brokerage has access to a versatile set of dental plans offering wide-ranging benefits, top-tier pricing, and partnership options. We will work closely with you throughout the process to customize solutions to the unique needs of each client.
Connect with us by phone, online, or in-person, or schedule a consultation with your sales director today on how to grow your business.