January 25, 2008, Newsletter Issue #99: Group Dental Plans and Braces

Tip of the Week

A group dental plan costs less per person than individual plans, the coverage offered by both types is about the same, and a group plan can cost a small business next to nothing (as little as $15 per person per month) to offer. So what's the catch?

Aside from the obvious and unavoidable disadvantage that group dental insurance cannot be tailored to every individual in your organization, it is also unlikely to provide as much coverage for certain procedures. For example, a group plan will typically cover a lower percentage of the cost of orthodontic treatment or not cover it at all.

If your employer offers a group dental plan, you should read the plan's details carefully to decide if you want to opt out. For instance, if you're planning on getting braces and your group policy doesn't cover them, then you need to find either supplemental coverage or a way to supplement your current coverage in order to make braces affordable. Many employers allow an employee to enroll in his or her own dental insurance and will then reimburse the employee whatever the company would pay for inclusion in the group policy, so you can potentially have your own policy and still have it partially covered by your employer.

If your employer's group dental plan is insufficient for your needs, you should consider this to plug in the missing coverage gaps.

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