Survey: Value matters when buying dental benefits

November 2, 2011

When it comes to purchasing dental benefits, money matters but value counts, too, according to a recent Delta Dental survey.

The survey, conducted by Delta Dental of California, Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and Delta Dental of New York, Inc., compiled responses from more than 200 benefits consultants and brokers nationwide on topics such as the economy, health care reform, dental plan design and choosing a carrier.

Some of the key findings:

  • When it comes to selecting a dental plan for their clients, nearly all respondents (99.5 percent) ranked value as important. The other top three primary factors were customer service (98.5 percent), competitive pricing (98.5 percent) and network access (97.4 percent).
  • Compared to a similar survey conducted last year, fewer respondents said the economy was having an effect on dental benefit purchasing decisions.
  • One in three respondents said health care reform would have no effect on clients’ dental benefits plans, while 36 percent forecast that clients would elect to change employee contribution levels for dental benefits plans.
  • Respondents said that small client groups will be impacted by health care reform more than large ones, with fewer small groups purchasing dental plans and more clients wanting to move to a voluntary dental benefits plan.

“While price remains top-of-mind for most clients, these survey results reinforce our belief that clients really do look at what they’re getting for their money,” said Belinda Martinez, Delta Dental’s senior vice president for Sales and Marketing. “The survey suggests to us that we should continue our focus on providing exceptional customer service and access to the nation’s largest dental networks because these things matter greatly to purchasers.”

Delta Dental of California, Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and affiliates, along with Delta Dental of New York, Inc., provide dental benefits plans to nearly 25 million people in 15 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All are part of the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, Ill. The association collectively covers 56 million of the 166 million people nationwide with private dental insurance, making it by far the largest national system of dental plans.

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