What is the average cost of dental insurance?

January 9, 2017
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Category: Answers

2018 HSA contribution limit

The cost of dental insurance varies considerably based on the number of employees, coverage, and location. Though, an average cost that a smaller employer in California would pay to provide dental insurance ranges from $20 and $50 per person per month. The employer can contribute towards the premium to lower employee costs and encourage higher enrollment. So employer and employee costs would vary based on that.

The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) reports that roughly 50 percent of employers of all sizes offer dental benefits.

Typical Coverage

Those costs apply to the most common type of dental insurance, which is referred to as “100-80-50” Dental PPO style plan — this means that the plan covers up to 100 percent of fees for cleanings and normal preventive care. It usually covers up to 80 percent of the costs for “Basic Services” which includes restorative care like fillings and simple procedures. Beyond that, only up to 50 percent of dental fees are normally covered for “Major Services” including procedures like crowns and reconstructive bridges.

The American Dental Association estimates that those without any dental coverage are paying approximately $370 per year out-of-pocket for annual exams, cleanings, and X-rays. So having employer-sponsored dental insurance can save employees a lot of money.

Dental Plan Options

For employers, offering dental insurance is a good option if they want to attract top talent. Employers do not have to completely cover the premium costs of the dental plans. An employer can lower their costs by only contributing a certain percentage to the premium costs of certain plans thus giving employees options to opt-in or not. Employers can also offer plans where employees pay full costs but the company gets better rates by administering the plan and taking care of employee payroll deductions.

How to Find More Information

With such a wide variation between different circumstances, the best way to get information about average dental insurance costs for your organization is to contact an insurance broker, such as one at Zenefits.

Helpful Links:

Questions on Dental Plans – The American Dental Association answers why an employer would want a dental plan and what questions they should ask the provider.

Dental Survey Results – Survey results on employers and their dental coverage.

Changes to Dental Plans — SHRM’s review of changes to dental plans due to the Affordable Care Act.

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