Do You Indulge in Chocolate Bunnies and Sugary Sweet Treats During the Spring Season? If So, Don’t Overlook Your Dental Care
A New Survey from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s Parent Company Finds Majority of Americans Look to Dental Networks to Save Money; Provide Greater Access
Written By Mark Kishel, M.D., Medical Director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
During a time of year when many Americans will “pay the price” for eating sugary sweet treats, a new omnibus survey from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa)’s parent company found that Americans are looking for ways to cut back on expenses. In fact, according to this survey, many consumers (72 percent) are looking for ways to save money on their dental expenses and wish the tooth fairy could cover their bills before and after Easter/Springtime.
“This is the time of year when people should schedule a check-up appointment with their dentist and get into the habit of practicing regular preventive care,” said Dr. Mark Kishel, Medical Director, BCBSGa. “It’s important to maintain regular and routine preventive dental care, especially for those who have a sweet tooth. In short, preventive dental care can bring attention to and/or prevent chronic health issues that could cost you more money down the road, if left unattended.”
Three quarters of survey respondents agree that it is important to have dental insurance to maintain good oral health. Despite this, two-thirds (67 percent) admit that without insurance, they are less likely to visit the dentist.
Dental networks offer greater access to dental services and cost savings. In fact, half of all Americans who participated in the survey (52 percent) report that they save money by using these networks. BCBSGa offers Dental Prime and Dental Complete plans, which covers preventive services 100 percent when members see in-network dentists. In addition, most of the company’s dental plans cover other services like composite (tooth-colored) fillings and extra cleanings for members who are pregnant or living with diabetes. Some of its dental plans even offer coverage for dental implants – or annual maximum carryover, where some unused benefit dollars may be carried over from one year to the next.
BCBSGa also offers dental plans that provide greater access to general dentists and specialists – in fact, the dental networks it offers are among the largest. Like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, BCBSGa plan members can access their information 24/7 to review benefit and claim information, search for dentists and other services.
“Our enhanced dental plans can offer consumers greater access and help them save money. We can still give the tooth fairy a run for her money,” said Dr. Kishel.
Additional survey results regarding attitudes toward dental networks and the benefits of dental networks found:
• If Americans could request anything from the tooth fairy, half of the survey respondents would request she pay for their dental bills (52 percent), followed by whiter teeth (42 percent), no cavities (37 percent), healthier gums (33 percent) and straighter teeth (24 percent).
• Americans look to dental networks for cost savings. Nearly half of those surveyed (45 percent) said their dental network helps them save money in less out-of-pocket expenses.
• Nearly four in 10 Americans who participated in the survey report that having an extensive dental network means greater access to providers (38 percent), more access to dental specialists (38 percent), more services covered in-network (38 percent) and the convenience of having a dentist nearby (36 percent).
• On par with social networks and professional networks, dental networks are also valued by Americans. One in five survey respondents with dental insurance report that their dental network is most important to them.
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About the survey:
The omnibus survey was conducted online among a national sample of 2,500 Americans ages 18+ (balanced to Census). Fielding took place in October 2011 by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS). The survey has a margin of error of ±2.0 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, meaning if the study were replicated, the study findings would be within 2 percentage points 95 times out of 100.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin or check out the Our Health Connects Us campaign site at http://connects.bcbsga.com/.