UnitedHealthcare Dental has introduced several enhancements designed to help people improve their oral health and access dental care in a more convenient and informed way, with the aim of helping lower costs and improve satisfaction among members and dental professionals.
The latest offering expands access to 24/7 Virtual Dental Visits to help members meet with a licensed dentist via phone or video, giving eligible members in many UnitedHealthcare Dental plans two virtual dental appointments with no cost sharing. The enhanced virtual dental care benefit is designed to improve access to dental advice anywhere and anytime, which may help avoid often-unnecessary visits to the emergency department for oral health issues.
In addition, to help people improve their oral care habits, millions of UnitedHealthcare Dental members can now save up to 30% on smart electric toothbrushes from oral health company quip. Additionally, UnitedHealthcare Dental members now have access to an online resource to help bring greater transparency to treatment options and the cost of dental care, with the goal of helping prevent surprise costs.
“As more and more Americans adopt a digital-first mindset, these new resources are designed to help our members improve and maintain their dental health, which may contribute to overall well-being and help reduce the risk of certain chronic health conditions,” said Colleen Van Ham, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Dental. “These new initiatives advance UnitedHealthcare’s approach of using technology to improve access to quality, cost-effective medical and dental care, while empowering people with personalized information.”
Details of the new offerings include:
- An enhanced 24/7 Virtual Dental Visit benefit for dental plan members that provides access to remote telephone and video consultations for advice and guidance to an appropriate setting for in-person care, such as their own dentist, another local dentist with availability or a primary care physician.* The enhanced benefit provides eligible members with two covered virtual dental visits per plan year at no member cost sharing (i.e., waived deductible and copay) or additional cost for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured employer-sponsored plans.* Virtual dental care is available to eligible plan participants through myuhc.com or by calling the UnitedHealthcare customer service number on the back of their member ID cards.
Oral health issues rank among the most frequently avoidable emergency department visits, even though these settings are not usually staffed to provide comprehensive dental care and may offer pain medication without addressing the underlying condition. With 24/7 Virtual Dental Visits, plan participants can be supported in making more informed decisions about where to go for care, enabling additional access to dental advice and services.
- A discount of up to 30% on quip Smart Electric Toothbrushes and bundles, including toothpaste, refillable floss and refillable mouthwash. Available to more than 23 million UnitedHealthcare dental members nationwide, the discount program is designed to help people improve their at-home oral hygiene habits, which may help prevent cavities and gum disease, and reduce the risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. quip Smart Electric Toothbrushes seamlessly sync with the quip app via Bluetooth® technology. The quip app provides users with personalized feedback related to brush duration, tooth/gum coverage and intensity, plus the opportunity to earn rewards, including gift cards, for meeting certain brushing targets. Eligible UnitedHealthcare members will be notified about the quip discount via an email from their employer and provided a link to take advantage of the offering.
Additionally, a new UnitedHealthcare Dental plan for select employers with between 100 and 2,000 employees in Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., includes a quip Smart Electric Toothbrush at no additional cost, as well as enables eligible members to earn up to $600 in financial incentives for meeting certain daily oral health activities, such as brushing for a full two minutes twice per day.
- Launch of the Treatment Plan Calculator to help dental plan participants and care professionals make more informed decisions related to treatments. The Treatment Plan Calculator offers access to cost estimates based on actual contracted rates and the member’s plan, including real-time processing capabilities. Through uhcdental.com, network dental care professionals can access the Treatment Plan Calculator to discuss with patients – while still in the exam room – potential treatments and anticipated out-of-pocket expenses (if any) for each care option.If the actual cost of dental services exceeds the amount estimated by the Treatment Plan Calculator, UnitedHealthcare will honor the original estimate to help avoid a potential surprise bill**.
The introduction of the Treatment Plan Calculator helps address an industrywide priority, including efforts by the American Dental Association, to help people avoid surprise dental bills. Across the health care system, millions of Americans receive surprise medical bills each year.
UnitedHealthcare Dental serves more than 23 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored, Medicare and Medicaid plans, helping provide access to care via a network of more than 120,000 dental professionals.
*Not all dental services are eligible for virtual dental care.
**Certain restrictions and limitations apply.
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UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.
 International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 2017, https://academic.oup.com/intqhc/article/29/5/642/4085442