Tom Eidem 5 articles

You know that a robust benefits package is essential for retention and recruitment. And if cost was no object, you’d offer employees all the benefits they could ever possibly need or want. However, there are limits to your benefits budgets, and there are times when you must make tough financial choices for the good of the organization.

On average, employee benefits account for 30% of total compensation. So, it makes sense that a robust benefit package may be out of reach for some organizations. If costs are a barrier to offering benefits like dental, vision or added life insurance, consider offering employee-paid voluntary benefits. Below I share more information about voluntary benefits and how voluntary dental plans are valuable to both employers and employees.

What are voluntary employee benefits? Hint: Many are considered necessary by employees

Voluntary benefits are the optional benefits that your employees can voluntarily choose as add-ons to the core benefits package your business offers.

Voluntary benefits are paid for mostly or completely by employees – anywhere between 51% and 100% of the costs. With a voluntary dental plan, employees typically pay 100% of the premium without a contribution from the employer.

Voluntary benefits are sometimes known as supplemental benefits or fringe benefits.

Companies are offering a wider range of optional employee benefits

A quality benefits package is a significant consideration when people are seeking employment. So, it’s no wonder that companies are becoming more creative and comprehensive with their benefits options.

These days, voluntary benefits run the gamut, appealing to all aspects of a person’s life and may include financial fitness, legal concerns, travel and pet care. Top voluntary benefits include:

  • Supplemental health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Employment assistance program
  • Gym memberships
  • Pet insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Legal counseling
  • Identity theft protection

While there’s an increasing variety of voluntary benefits, health and wellness benefits remain some of the most attractive voluntary benefits for current and prospective employees.

Voluntary dental benefits: Good for everyone

Dental insurance for employees helps them save money and stay healthier. People are about twice as likely to go to the dentist for preventive care if they have insurance. By getting regular dental care, your employees may be able to avoid more serious (and costly) dental problems. And if they need a root canal treatment, a filling, or a crown, having insurance will help defray the cost.

It’s also important to remember that the value of a healthy mouth goes far beyond strong teeth and gums. All parts of the body are connected and if there’s something wrong with a person’s mouth, it can affect their overall health.

How providing voluntary dental benefits supports employees

Let’s assume that your organization isn’t in a position to fund a dental plan. So, does it really make sense to offer a voluntary benefits plan if employees need to pay all of the premium?

The answer is a resounding “yes.” Here are a few reasons why a voluntary benefits plan for dental offered by your organization will likely provide employees greater value than anything they’d find on their own:

  • Better rates – Since premiums are based on group rates, your employees will likely pay a lot less for their dental coverage than the plans that they might find on their own.
  • Uses pretax dollars – Employees can save money by paying the premiums for voluntary health benefits like dental insurance with pretax income. However, some voluntary benefits (e.g., ones that aren’t health-related) would come from post-tax dollars.
  • Saves time – Your employees work hard. No matter how much they love their job, they probably just want to relax when they get home – not spend their time choosing a dental plan.
  • Less stress – Your employees may not know where to start looking for an individual dental plan, and stress about getting the best coverage at the best rates. By providing voluntary dental benefits, your employees can feel confident that they’re getting a high-quality plan at a good cost.
  • Better convenience – Who wants another bill to pay each month? Most employees will appreciate the convenience of having the premium automatically deducted from their paychecks.

How offering voluntary dental benefits supports your organization

There really are no downsides to offering employees voluntary dental benefits. A voluntary benefits plan for dental doesn’t need to cost the organization anything. What’s more, you’ll gain good will and appreciation from your employees.

Some specific benefits include:

  • Employee recruitment and retention – Most employees consider dental coverage an essential part of a benefits package. If your organization isn’t in the position to defray the cost of dental benefits, offering voluntary benefits is a way to ensure that employees have access to the healthcare coverage that’s meaningful to them.
  • Employee appreciation – Your employees may opt out of voluntary benefits. But they’ll likely appreciate the fact that you’re offering them.
  • A healthier, more engaged workforce – When employees feel better, they are generally more productive and less likely to miss work.

Here’s why employers should offer voluntary benefits: It’s a way to support employees’ dental health without the cost

You likely know that a robust benefit package is critical for attracting and retaining top talent. It’s one of the reasons why employers invest heavily in health plans for employees.

Employee-paid voluntary benefit plans can be a great way to create a competitive advantage. Voluntary dental plans can save your employees lots of money, especially when you choose a plan that offers extensive coverage at a reasonable cost. For example, HealthPartners dental plans provide 100% coverage on biannual checkups and hefty discounts at 130,000 dental providers across the country.

Find voluntary dental benefits that are right for your organization and employees

Want more insight on choosing an affordable plan that keeps your employees happy and healthy? Do you have questions about dental insurance rates? Our how-to guide will give you the knowledge you need to pick the right dental plan for your business.