As medical treatment for chronic health conditions drives health insurance premiums, it is increasingly clear that poor oral health is linked directly to chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pre-term births.
Based on recent research that links periodontal disease to systemic health, employers are considering benefit programs that would help personnel improve and better understand the importance of their oral health, according to reports.
According to findings from research by OraMedica, those with access to dental care may be discouraged by fear of the dentist, increasing out-of-pocket expenses and health care illiteracy for their conditions — contributing to the increase in health care premiums for employees.
Several dental insurance carriers are currently expanding their coverage for diabetics and pregnant women to include additional dental hygiene cleanings, in an effort to increase disease prevention, according to OraMedica.
To assist employers and consumers alike with the ongoing issue of health and wellness and its link to oral hygiene, OraMedica is launching a new employee benefit program that provides health-conscious dental information to help with treatment decisions, information regarding preventative measures, as well as dental and medical costs.
The HealthyGates Dental Consumer Advocacy Program includes:
- A 3,000 word glossary of dental terms
- Holistic dental health care tips
- A comprehensive guide to procedures
- Fee schedules
- Insurance optimization
- Dental risk assessments
For further information, OraMedica has released a paper entitled “Reining in Runaway Healthcare Costs: A Dental Advocacy Approach” a report which can be downloaded here.