The Future of Colorado Dental Care Lies in Digital Transformation

How modern dental care and insurance is digitized in Colorado.

The dental benefits landscape has a lot to gain from digital transformation, especially in Colorado where access to dental care is extremely low for some patient populations.

Currently, 1.3 million Coloradians – that’s just over a quarter of the state’s population – do not have access to dental insurance. These statistics can reasonably be described as grim.

This disparity needs to be corrected: Affordable dental care significantly reduces the occurrence of harmful oral health problems and can help increase the number of Coloradans with access to proper dental coverage. Establish a consistent cadence of preventive care and clinical intervention in childhood is especially important for establishing healthy habits and achieving early disease detection.

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The implications of increased access to dental care for patient populations are considerable. Improved patient access to dental care translates to healthier Colorado residents, better job retention for employers, and reduction in overall healthcare costs.

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

Admittedly, people may be hesitant to go to the dentist. High premiums, confusing details of benefits, and uncertainty about what it might cost keep many Coloradans from routine dentist visits. But it’s an integral piece of the puzzle 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 advantage to employees, and offering dental insurance to employees can both improve employee retention and employee health.

Having good dental hygiene reduces the risk of gum disease, which can adversely affect an individual’s health, nutrition, and appearance.

Gum disease exacerbates a host of other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. It can also lead to tooth loss over time, which interferes with what a person can eat, how they talk, how they look, and how they feel.

While visiting the dentist with reasonable regularity may take time and effort in the short term, it saves employees and businesses a lot of time in the long run. A report by the Surgeon General found that adults employed miss more than 164 million hours of work every year due to dental disease or a dental emergency.

Providing dental benefits as part of employee benefits allows them access to vital preventative care and reduces the risk of dental emergencies. By extension, access to dental insurance also decreases the number of productive hours that employees lose each year due to oral health issues.

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The dental insurance status quo is dated.

The term “dental insurance”, although universally accepted, is a misnomer. Insurance generally refers to a buffer against high financial expenses that customers pay overtime to protect against the high cost of unexpected crises.

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

Typically, traditional dental insurance has maximum annual coverage of $1,000 to $2,000 and also requires a copayment for all major services. But emerging technology-driven dental platforms are changing the status quo.

With these next-generation dental insurance platforms, plans can be customized and upgraded to suit the needs of each group. Additionally, there is no additional risk of emerging dental emergencies. These platforms allow employers to set limits and know their precise usage rate. Most importantly, employers keep all unused benefit dollars.

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

Next-generation dental insurance platforms don’t work that way. They allow employers to retain excess and save on state and ACA taxes, claims processing fees, and insurance capital reserves.

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

Colorado’s dental benefit options are transforming the landscape of oral care.

Colorado is leading the charge in digital transformation of the dental industry. This digital transformation takes the form of a SaaS solution that allows employers to create, launch and administer their own dental plan without relying on traditional dental insurance companies.

Using an end-to-end platform to create personalized dental plans reduces plan administration and claims processing costs. It also offers members access to greater transparency and reduced rates.

With flexible customization options, businesses of all sizes and budgets can tailor their plan to meet their specific needs, with significant cost savings. As a result, employees can get better benefits at lower cost.

Businesses and individuals can choose plans designed to meet the needs of associates, part-timers, and contract workers.

Overall, benefits self-insurance through an innovative digital platform helps companies deliver better benefits to employees for much less.

Digitizing the dental insurance process provides a better and more modern user experience for employees, resulting in 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 United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Israel and in India. Recognizing the need for change, Ram founded Bento with the goal of creating a better experience and providing affordable oral care for all Americans. Prior to creating Bento, Ram successfully created several startups. Ram was Founder and CEO of Cimaron (acquired by AMCC), Founder, CEO and Chairman of CHiL Semiconductor (acquired by IR, IR later acquired by Infineon), and Chairman of the Board of Sanovi (acquired by IBM). Ram has also held leadership positions as Senior Vice President, General Manager, and CTO at AMCC, Senior Vice President at IR, and Architect at AT&T Bell Labs.


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