The Future of Colorado Dental Care Lies in Digital Transformation

How modern dental care and insurance is being digitalized in Colorado.

Small Business Insurance

Original Source: Colorado Biz Magazine

The dental benefits landscape stands to gain significantly from digital transformation, particularly in Colorado where access to dental healthcare is alarmingly low across certain patient populations.

Presently, 1.3 million Coloradans — that’s a little over one-fourth of the state’s population — lack access to dental insurance. These statistics can reasonably be classed as bleak.

This disparity must be addressed: affordable dental care significantly decreases the onset of harmful oral health conditions and can help increase the number of Coloradans with access to proper dental coverage. Implementing a consistent cadence of preventive care and clinical intervention in childhood is particularly important for establishing healthy habits and achieving early disease detection. The implications of increasing access to dental care for patient populations are far-reaching. Improving patient access to dental care results in healthier Colorado residents, higher job retention for employers, and reduced healthcare costs overall.

Increasing patient access to dental health insurance in Colorado must be a priority in the coming years to reduce health disparities and bolster the quality of life for all Coloradans.

Admittedly, people might be hesitant to visit the dentist. The hefty premiums, confusing benefit details, and uncertainty of what it might cost keep many Coloradans from routine dental appointments. But it’s an integral puzzle piece that completes the picture of a healthier life.

Better dental benefit options mean healthier Colorado residents and employees.

Dental insurance ranks as the third most important benefit to employees, and offering dental insurance to employees can both improve employee retention and employee health.

Having good dental hygiene reduces the chances of gum disease, which can be detrimental to an individual’s health, nutrition, and appearance.

Gum disease exacerbates a host of other chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. It can also cause tooth loss over time, which impedes what a person can eat, how they speak, how they look, and how they feel about themselves.

While visiting the dentist with reasonable regularity may take some time and effort in the short term, it saves employees and companies a ton of time in the long term. One report from the Surgeon General found that employed adults miss more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental emergencies.

Offering dental benefits as part of employees’ benefits packages enables them to access vital preventative care and reduces the chances that dental emergencies will arise. By extension, access to dental insurance also decreases the number of productive hours employees lose each year due to oral health issues.

The dental insurance status quo is dated.

The term “dental insurance”, while universally accepted, is a misnomer. Insurance generally denotes a buffer against steep financial expenses that patrons pay overtime to protect themselves against the high cost of unexpected crises.

But that’s not really what “dental insurance” is. Unlike medical insurance, dental insurance does not cover any serious problems or procedures. Today’s dental insurance is only meant to pay for routine maintenance procedures like cleanings and checkups – it does not offer protection against serious and costly oral health issues.

Typically, traditional dental insurance has an annual maximum of $1,000 to $2,000 in coverage, and also requires co-payments for all major services. But emerging tech-led dental platforms are changing the status quo.

With these next-gen dental benefit platforms, plans can be customized and upgraded based on each group’s needs. Additionally, there’s no added risk of emerging dental emergencies. These platforms empower employers to set limits and know their precise rate of utilization. And importantly, employers keep all unused benefit dollars.

This last perk is particularly important in light of a 2020 internal study, which found that only 9% of Americans use their entire annual maximum. This allows traditional insurance companies to retain unused benefit dollars.

Next-gen dental benefits platforms don’t work that way. They let employers keep the excess and save on State and ACA taxes, claims processing fees, and insurance capital reserves.

It’s time to change the status quo of dental insurance with modern technologies and innovation.

Colorado dental benefit options are transforming the oral care landscape.

Colorado is leading the charge for the digital transformation of the dental care industry. This digital transformation is taking place in the form of a SaaS solution that enables employers to build, launch, and administer their own dental plan without the need for traditional dental insurance companies.

Leveraging an end-to-end platform to build custom dental plans lowers the cost of plan administration and claims processing. It also offers members access to greater transparency and discounted rates.

With flexible customization options, companies of every size and budget can tailor their plan to meet their specific needs, with significant cost savings. As a result, employees can get better benefits at a lower cost.

Companies and individuals can choose plans designed to meet the needs of associates, part-time workers, and contracted workers.

Overall, self-insuring benefits through an innovative digital platform help companies deliver better benefits to employees for a lot less.

Digitizing the dental benefits process provides a better and more modern end-user experience for employees, translating to higher adoption rates and fewer frustrations.

Ram is a serial entrepreneur with nearly 30 years of experience in technology development, senior management, marketing and sales in the US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Israel and India. Identifying the need for change, Ram founded Bento in an effort to create a better experience and provide affordable oral care for all Americans. Prior to building Bento, Ram successfully built multiple startups. Ram was the Founder and CEO of Cimaron (acquired by AMCC), Founder, CEO and Chairman of CHiL Semiconductor (Acquired by IR, IR then acquired by Infineon) and Chairman of the Board at Sanovi (Acquired by IBM). Ram has also served senior positions as Sr. VP, GM & CTO at AMCC, Sr. VP at IR, and Architect at AT&T Bell Labs.