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Forty-four percent of civilian workers had access to dental care plans in March 2018

April 08, 2019

In March 2018, 44 percent of civilian workers—private industry workers and state and local government workers combined—had access to dental care plans. In recognition of National Dental Hygienist week (April 6–12), BLS is drilling into its statistics on employee access to and participation in dental care plans. Contributory dental care plans have premiums at least partially paid by the employer. Access to these plans differs by geographic area. The Pacific Census division recorded one of the highest rates of access to dental care, at 56 percent, while the East South Central area was among the lowest, at 32 percent. Among those with access to a dental care plan, the percentage of workers who participate in the plan—also known as the "take-up rate"—ranged from 74 percent in the West South Central division to 83 percent in the Middle Atlantic division.

Percent of civilian workers who have access to and participate in contributory dental care plans, by Census division, March 2018
Census division Percent with access Percent who participate (take-up rate)

Pacific

56 82

Middle Atlantic

50 83

Mountain

49 83

New England

46 81

West North Central

45 80

East North Central

44 78

South Atlantic

38 76

West South Central

34 74

East South Central

32 76

Note: Civilian workers are private industry workers and state and local government workers combined.

Not all employees who are offered a dental plan choose to enroll in the plan. As an occupational group, management, business and financial occupations had one of the highest rates of access to dental plans, at 64 percent, with 81 percent of those workers choosing to participate in the plan. Access rates for sales and related occupations were among the lowest, at 27 percent, with a 72-percent take-up rate. Drilling down further, within professional and related occupations, 63 percent of registered nurses and 57 percent of primary, secondary, and special education school teachers had access to dental care, with take-up rates of 76 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

Percent of civilian workers who have access to and participate in contributory dental care plans, by selected occupational group, March 2018
Occupational group Percent with access Percent who participate (take-up rate)

Management, business, and financial

64% 80%

Professional and related

59 81

Protective service

44 80

Sales and related

27 72

Office and administrative support

47 81

Construction, extraction, farming, fishing, and forestry

34 87

Installation, maintenance, and repair

46 84

Production

47 81

Transportation and material moving

44 81

Note: Civilian workers are private industry workers and state and local government workers combined.

These data were pulled from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program. For more information on employee benefits, see Employee Benefits in the United States – March 2018. In addition, see the fact sheet on family leave benefits, the healthcare benefits supplementary tables, and the benefits glossary of terms.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Forty-four percent of civilian workers had access to dental care plans in March 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/forty-four-percent-of-civilian-workers-had-access-to-dental-care-plans-in-march-2018.htm (visited October 16, 2019).

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