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October, 1988, Vol. 111, No. 10
Employer-sponsored dental insurance
eases the pain
In recent decades, dental insurance plans have been one of the fastest-growing items on the employee benefits scene. Between 1967 and 1985, the number of persons in the United States with dental coverage grew from 4.6 million to nearly 100 million,1 largely because of the adoption of worksite-based group plans. In 1986, 68 percent of all full-time employees in medium and large firms participated in dental plans financed wholly or partially by their employers.
These plans provide a variety of services, ranging from routine examinations to more expensive treatments such as orthodontia and restorative procedures. But more often emphasis is on preventive care.
This article examines several key features of dental plan design, including benefits provided, methods of reimbursement, funding arrangements, and employee contributions to plan premiums. It is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 1980-86 surveys of benefits for full-time employees in medium and large firms. The 1986 survey studied a sample of 1,500 establishments, which represented approximately 46,000 business establishments employing 24 million workers; the coverage of the 1980-85 surveys was virtually the same.2 Data were tabulated for three broad occupational groups: professional and administrative workers, technical and clerical workers, and production workers. The first two groups are considered white-collar workers, in contrast to blue-collar or production workers.
This excerpt is from an article published in the October 1988 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 See 1986-1987 Source Book of Health Insurance Data (Washington, Health Insurance Association of America, 1987), table 1.6.
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