Dental coverage from BCBS is available during open enrollment

Written by 

rep oe24 dentistry 550px 150dpiDuring an exam, dentists can check a patient’s oral and overall health. About 90% of all systemic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, have oral health symptoms, says the Academy of General Dentistry.
Photo by Steve Wood | University Relations
UAB will offer dental insurance during the annual open enrollment for benefits, and eligible employees of UAB, UAB Hospital and UAB Hospital Management LLC will have the option to choose or decline that coverage between 7 a.m. Oct. 20 and 5 p.m. Nov. 6.

Employees have a choice of two stand-alone dental plans — basic or comprehensive coverage — provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Those already familiar with UAB’s existing dental plans will note there are no plan design changes for 2024, and there are no rate increases for the 2024 plan year.

What to choose and whether to choose it depends entirely upon your needs. Dental care can be as simple as semi-annual visits for cleaning and X-rays. Or you may need more costly care, such as oral surgery, dentures or orthodontia.

Ask yourself these five questions:

  • How much do I spend on dental products and services each year?

Include regular checkups and any other preventive or remedial work.

  • How much would my premiums cost?

Final rates will be provided the week of Oct. 9. As with all UAB health care coverage, premiums are paid with pre-tax dollars through payroll deduction.

  • What does the plan actually cover?

BCBS’s dental benefit plans provide specific benefits and negotiated discounts for providers in and outside the network. Those include services such as regular oral exams, cleanings and fillings in the basic plan to more extensive ones such as bridges/crowns, dentures and orthodontia in the comprehensive plan. Among its Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) dental providers, fees are typically 10% to 35% below average fees of dentists in your area.

More plan detail is available in the Open Enrollment Toolkit.

  • Is there a provider I like who accepts this dental plan?

Blue Cross dental plans are accepted nationwide, which means you can go to the dentist of your choice. The fee may be slightly higher for a non-network provider, but it is likely your dentist is a preferred provider. A full listing of network providers, which includes UAB School of Dentistry faculty, is online at Detailed instructions are available in the Open Enrollment Toolkit.

  • How do I get the most out of dental insurance?

Use it. But equally important, preventing oral health problems before they start is one of the best ways to avoid more expensive procedures and keep dental costs down.