2016 Dental Benefits

The purpose of this message is to inform our participating local employers about upcoming changes to the administration of the dental benefits for state employees, and solicit feedback on preferences for how the program should be structured for local employers. We would appreciate your response to the questions below by Wednesday, June 10.

The structure of the dental benefit available to state employees will change for 2016. Currently, dental benefits are offered through participating health plans. For 2016, dental benefits will be offered as a stand-alone, self-insured benefit through a third party administrator. Delta Dental of Wisconsin (Delta) will administer the benefit, which will offer a statewide network of providers. Negotiations with Delta and a final contract are pending.

For 2016, state employees will be able to choose whether they would like dental coverage. That is, if an employee elects medical through the state employee program, they can also elect dental. For example, employees would choose “Dean with Dental” or “Dean without Dental.” NOTE: dental coverage CANNOT be elected without medical coverage. State employees will pay an additional premium for dental coverage. The dental benefit for 2016 is expected to look very similar to the 2015 Uniform Dental Benefit, with any changes being relatively minor.

For details on the stand-alone dental plan, please refer to the memo presented to the Group Insurance Board: http://etf.wi.gov/boards/agenda-items-2014/gib1118/item3b.pdf

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* 1. ETF would likely provide this dental benefit to ALL local employers who participate in our health insurance program. That is, ETF would enroll local employers into the dental program unless a resolution is filed to change your program option to one that does not include dental (i.e. medical with dental would be the default offering).

Do you have any concerns with this?

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* 2. Similarly, ETF would enroll any local employee who has health insurance coverage in the dental program unless the employee chooses to opt out during the October “It’s Your Choice” open enrollment.

Do you have concerns with this?

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* 3. Is there any additional feedback you would like to provide related to the dental benefit?