Guest Columnists

Making the case for dental benefits

Katie Milden, DDS, treats a patient at her office in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015.  (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Katie Milden, DDS, treats a patient at her office in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
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The numbers don’t lie in this classic cause-and-effect scenario. According to a recent national study by the Delta Dental Plans Association, adults with dental coverage are 50 percent more likely to visit the dentist annually. Adults who report good oral health are almost twice as likely to report good or better overall well-being.

What can you do to be a part of these positive statistics? Just enroll for dental coverage during your employer’s open enrollment period or on the Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace (www.healthcare.gov).

From now through Jan. 31, 2016, the Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace is accepting enrollment for health care benefits, including dental from Delta Dental of Iowa. Having dental benefits helps protect your health through early detection and preventive care. In fact, 120 diseases can be detected in early stages through regular dental care.

In Iowa, 80 percent of residents with dental coverage visit the dentist for regular checkups, compared to 50 percent of Iowans who go to the dentist annually without coverage. By using these benefits, Iowans improve their overall health, greatly reducing costs of emergent care and treatment. With one out of six Americans reporting they’ve missed work due to dental health issues, more and more people are recognizing the importance of good dental health.

Serious oral health problems can be expensive and time-consuming to treat. But the fact is that dental coverage is relatively low cost, and because it is prevention-based, it actually encourages regular dental checkups that can save money in the long run.

Today, Iowans have more options than ever for health care insurance coverage. As an individual, small business owner or parent, coverage can be purchased through an employer, a broker, directly from the insurance carrier or through the Marketplace. Take advantage of the health coverage you are encouraged to use — dental insurance — to stay healthy and feel better about your overall health.

• Jeff Russell is president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Iowa. Comments: jrussell@deltadentalia.com

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