05/08/ 2015 Category: News

Dental Insurance striking a cord with Irish based companies

The take up of Dental Insurance is growing rapidly as a paid benefit amongst a growing number of businesses in Ireland. Data suggests that approximately 67% of dental insurance policies in Ireland are Company Funded. Financial Servives and Tech Companies seem to account for almost 60% of this trend.

Since the begining of the recovery, there is a growing number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) companies choosing Ireland as their European Headquarters, many of which hail from the US where dental benefits are a often an integral part of employment benefits packages. Many of these companies are Tech or FinTech industries, those most likely to take up dental to begin with. Indeed the vast majority of major US Tech Multi-Nationals in Ireland (names we are all familiar with) now offer dental insurance as a company paid employee benefit.

So why are these benefits deemed important?

There were up to 1,000,000 unique visitors to dentists in Ireland in 2013. The backdrop to this is that the Social Security system in Ireland for dentistry is practically non existent. One of the main criteria for Rewards Managers in Companies is to find the correct blend of benefit v social security delivery. As such, dental has a key role to play in the Reward mix of Corporate Ireland now and into the future.

In Ireland today the social security cover is as follows;

PRSI; 1 x exam. (No further treatment applies. Cleanings are not covered. No procedures are covered)

Child Orthodontics; covered up to 16 years of age. Only those with IOTN score of 4 or 5. FOUR year waiting times.

(There is cover on the Medical Card but with the new rules around obtaining one the vast majority of those in Corporate Ireland fall outside their remit)

IOTN = Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need.

1 = Perfect teeth

2 = Near Perfect

3 = Borderline Ortho need

4 = Need for Ortho

5 = Severe need of Ortho

While Social Security covers 4 & 5 to age 16, Dental Insurance covers 3,4 & 5 to age 18


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Other reasons for the increased take up in Dental?

There is a greater story to be told here and that is how an ever growing list of employee benefits reflects the ever increasing demand for talented employees in this sector. Indeed heads of business in the FinTech sector have long pointed out the difficulty in finding Irish graduates to fill the ever increasing job announcements. In my experience the FinTech sector is under increasing pressure to ensure that the benefits they are offering at least match those being offered by their competitors. Largely due to the active headhunting for talent among recruiters and competitors alike, so benefits are playing a huge part in assisting in both the recruitment and retention of talent.

It is likely that this expansion into dental will continue aided by the influx of US benefit culture and I suspect the expansion into even greater benefits such as vision insurance, a benefit also often integral to US benefit packages.

Patrick Brennan

Irish Health Insurance


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