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Dental insurance changes that make us better for business

23 May 2022

At Bupa, we’re committed to helping you build a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce. The dental landscape has changed, and with it so have the needs of our customers. Accessibility of dental care remains an issue for employees and businesses are facing ongoing challenges like attracting and retaining the best talent. That’s why we’ve made some innovative changes to our cover, to maintain Bupa Dental Insurance as an attractive solution for your business.

Removal of our Core level of cover

Waiting times to see an NHS dentist have increased exponentially, to as much as two years. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 40 million missed NHS dental appointments and so there’s a greater demand for private dental treatment. Our ‘Core’ level of cover on Dental Choice and Dental Plan, designed to cover NHS costs, will no longer be available. Almost half of those on our Core level already had private dental treatment. By upgrading to the next level of cover, employees won’t be restricted to claiming based on NHS bandings and will instead be able to claim up to their benefit limits for private treatment, or treatment not available on the NHS such as a scale and polish.

No more waiting times for oral cancer care

We’re removing the wait period for our oral cancer cover on our business products. We’re the only leading insurer that offers unlimited oral cancer treatment^, when using a fee-assured consultant in a partnership facility*. We’ve also improved wording to explain our cancer promise covers diagnosis and any restorative dental treatment because of oral cancer treatment.

Separating fillings and root canal benefit

On our Dental Plan product, we’re separating the fillings and root canal benefit. We’ve listened to our customers, they expressed how different these procedures were and that the amount of cover was not representative of the treatment cost. It means employees can now claim more cash-back towards a filling and a root canal. Employees can now claim between £150 to £375 per policy year for fillings, depending on their level of cover. Fillings is the most common restorative dental treatment on Dental Plan, accounting almost half of all restorative claims with an average claim cost of £215. Of the 30,000 claims for a filling or a root canal, submitted in the past 12 months, an estimated 4,200 were for root canal, with an average claim of £520. Your employees can now use their major restorative benefit to claim 80% towards the cost of treatment, from £275 to £3000 per policy year according to their level of cover.

New level of cover for Dental Choice

On Dental Choice, we’re introducing a top level of cover (Choice 5) and we’re increasing 32 benefit limits overall. Further improving product value for your employees which means they can claim even more cash-back towards their dental treatment.

Extending cover to include hospital treatment

We’re also extending cover to include hospital dental treatment; this will be paid up to the benefit limit.

Removal of Preventative Care Promise

We’re removing the Preventative Care Promise on Dental Plan. Employees can continue to use our Dental Insurance Network but may need to pay a small amount towards their preventative dental treatment. When using the Network, our customers can continue to obtain discounts off general dental treatment.

Those are the main key changes to the product, but we’re also making our cover even easier to use. For any NHS treatment, we will simply pay up to the benefit limit, so it means everyone gets the same amount of cash back, regardless of provision. We’ve also simplified the guides even more, explaining we’ll cover all clinically necessary treatment and lastly, we’ve changed our direct settlement wording to Instant Claim to make this even more memorable for our customers, helping to increase awareness of our Bupa Dental Insurance Network.

Neil Sikka, Chief Dental Officer at Bupa UK Insurance: As a result of the pandemic, dental practices have implemented stricter cross infection control procedures and PPE requirements. This has led to dental inflation and most practices have been passing these costs onto their patients. I am pleased that we have recognised this by increasing benefit limits, introducing choice 5 cover and separating root canal treatment from fillings. As a clinician, I am proud that our cancer care promise provides comprehensive cover for our customers - removal of the waiting period on the B2B products will give our customers added reassurance that we’re going to be there when they need us most.

These changes are available for new and renewing customers from 1 September 2022. If you decide to renew your cover, your employees will receive the notification of change Dental Plan or Dental Choice document highlighting all the improvements we’ve made.

To engage your employees in the changes we’ve made, share the relevant email with them to start a conversation.

For your employees on Core: Dental Plan and Dental Choice

For your employees on all other levels of cover: Dental Plan and Dental Choice

If you have any questions, please speak to your account manager, or intermediary partner.

*We do not cover oral cancer that was diagnosed, or for which employees had symptoms or investigations before their cover start date.

^As of May 2022, this analysis is based on an internally conducted review of the business dental insurance market, using publicly available information from the major insurers in the UK. This refers to standard oral cancer cover when it is included in the selected dental insurance product. We acknowledge that business schemes can have bespoke benefits. Click here to see how we compare.

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