The power behind the plan
When considering a new dental plan, the first thing clients often ask about is network size. While the number of dentists is an important consideration, take the opportunity to dig into and evaluate other factors that can make a big difference in driving satisfaction and savings(1) for your clients and their employees. It's a combination of network size, discounts, quality, and cost protections that provides real value.
Discounts are important, but network utilization is another critical factor. And when you take both into account, you'll find a reliable measure of network strength and value. It shows how often discounts are used and the impact on plan costs and employee out-of-pocket expenses.
Ask this: What is the average in network discount and in-network utilization (measured by 3 digit zip)?
MetLife has network discounts that average 30-45% below community average charges(2). And a high in-network utilization rate of 67% nationally (averaging 16% higher than others)(3). This means deep discounts on the dentists that employees see most often — which can help drive down plan costs and out-of-pocket expenses.
High quality providers
A network is only as good as the quality of the dentists who participate. The credentialing, education, and monitoring of network providers is essential to ensuring a stable network in which employees receive appropriate and consistent care.
Consider this: How does the carrier review and monitor dentists' practice patterns?
MetLife ensures dentists are right for the network before they even join. In fact, 6% of applications are rejected up front (other carriers' average 2-3%)(2). MetLife also conducts rigorous reviews that analyze licensing, sanctions, malpractice history, and practice patterns. Once accepted, dentists are re-credentialed every three years and continually monitored(4).
Comprehensive cost protections
Having comprehensive cost protections in place prevents dentists from inappropriately billing patients for dental services at the point of claim — helping to prevent the erosion of discounts and value.
Consider this: Does the carrier extend discounts when services are not covered(4), and when maximums, age, and frequency limits have been exceeded?
MetLife holds network dentists to the deep discounted fee schedule, so no balance billing occurs (even if a plan participant exceeds the annual maximum, frequency, age limitations, or receives a non-covered dental service)(4).
Check out MetLife's latest infographic for 5 smart moves your small business clients can make to ensure their dental plan is working hard for their business and their employees.
1. Savings from enrolling in a dental benefits plan will depend on various factors including the cost of the plan, how often participants visit the dentist, and the cost of services rendered.
2. MetLife data, 2016.
3. Ruark Consulting Dental PPO Network Study, 2016 edition.
4. Subject to state regulations.
For questions, please contact a member of your B&P Sales Team - 888.722.3373.