Wednesday, February 11, 2009

News You Can Use: As costs increase, dental utilization decreases

Here's more evidence that cost-cutting can lead to scrimping on important health care services. EBA reports that a in recent Delta Dental Plans Association poll of 900 dental care consumers age 25 and older, 83% of benefit plan participants visit their dentist twice or more a year versus 63% of those who pay for their treatment out of pocket.

While 88% of the respondents received employer-paid dental care, 12% paid for voluntary benefits coverage. One troubling statistic that the nonprofit group noted in its 2008 Community Benefit Annual Report is that there are more than 3,700 locations across the U.S. without enough dental health professionals to help serve an estimated 46 million Americans.

EBN's February report, "Chipped teeth," further explores how cost-cutting and the recession are affecting dental benefits offerings and usage.

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