Dental coverage from BCBS is available during open enrollment

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DENTAL INSIDE 2During an exam, dentists can check a patient’s oral and overall health. About 90 percent of all systemic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, have oral health symptoms, reports the Academy of General Dentistry.

UAB offers 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. 26 and 5 p.m. Nov. 12.

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 2019.

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. 15. As with all UAB health care coverage, premiums are paid with pre-tax dollars through payroll deduction.

Information about benefit options are being provided during the next several weeks to better enable you to make the best choices for your household. 
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Traditional health plan options available

Next: Vision plans for 2019
  • 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 percent below average fees of dentists in your area.
  • 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.