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The Medical-Dental Connection

The Medical-Dental Connection

As a general rule, people don’t like health insurance. It’s confusing, the premiums are difficult for many people to afford, and those without serious or chronic conditions may never hit the deductible, reducing their perceived value of the plan.

Most people do, however, like dental insurance. For them, dental coverage gives them the possibility of healthy, attractive teeth, and that can have a big impact on their self-esteem. Just do a quick Google search for “nice teeth self-esteem” and you’ll find a plethora of articles that discuss a connection between a person’s oral health and their general well-being. An article in Mental Health Matters puts it this way: “Our teeth can influence how we look, speak, eat, chew, taste, socialize, and enjoy life. If you have a healthy mouth, you are more likely to have greater self-confidence.”

For these reasons, a lot of people are happy to invest in dental insurance. It’s a tenth of the price of health insurance, provides more first-dollar benefits than most health plans, and can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. If you’re not offering health insurance to those who ask you about it, you’re missing an opportunity and may be doing a disservice to your clients. Fortunately, AHCP has a number of dental options if you’d like to add them to your portfolio.

If you’re already offering dental, great! You’ve probably already figured out that it’s a benefit many people like, so you’re satisfying a want. Those are always the easiest sales. But what about those clients who could really benefit from dental insurance—those with a need—who fail to see the importance? Our suggestion is that you pair the dental discussion with the health insurance proposal.

It turns out that there’s a strong link between an individual’s oral health and his or her medical health.  As Everyday Health reports, “gum infections can lead to serious health consequences, including heart disease, diabetes, and more.” Specifically, they point to studies that show “the inflammation found in periodontal, or gum, disease may play a more specific role in causing or increasing the risk for certain conditions.” Here’s a partial list:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Kidney Disease
  • Mental Health Problems
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

The article also says that there are “links between gum disease and other health conditions, such as obesity, steroid abuse, menstrual problems, menopause, and osteoporosis, just to name a few.”

Clearly, this is a separate and equally strong reason to maintain your oral health, and a good dental plan helps make that possible for people.

In summary, some of your clients will recognize the positive effects of a healthy smile, and will be eager to talk with you about their dental insurance options. Those who aren’t persuaded by the social aspects of oral health may instead be interested in the impact on their medicals health, and that’s a great discussion to have with them when you’re reviewing their health insurance options.

In the past, we’ve suggested that due to time constraints, you focus on health insurance during the open enrollment period and circle back later on to talk with your clients about their other insurance needs. However, because of the medical-dental connection, it might be a good idea to go ahead and prepare a dental quote, whether requested or not, for all of your health insurance clients and prospects. You may be able to sell an additional line of coverage and increase your net revenue per client while providing a valuable and much needed benefit.

To learn more about the dental plans available through AHCP, check out the carrier page on our website.

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