The dental plan is available to firms with a minimum of two employees, while dental choice is designed for bigger companies with at least 50 employees. They are available on an employer or employee paid basis.
Both plans have five levels of cover. The lowest level is core cover, which Bupa has added to the plan to provide 100 per cent reimbursement for NHS treatment.
The dental plan also has levels one to four cover, while dental choice has classic, premier, platinum and prestige. All levels reimburse the cost of NHS treatment and additionally provide benefits for private treatment, subject to annual limits that vary according to the level of cover selected.
With the dental plan, level one provides £400 a year for emergency dental treatment, while level four – a recent addition to the plan – provides £1,000 a year. With dental choice, the same benefit is subject to a £180 a year limit for the classic level of cover and £800 a year for the prestige level.
On both plans, routine dental treatment is broken down in terms of the type of treatment received, so that there are specific limits for things such as examinations, fillings, x-rays, and extractions. All five levels of cover across both plans provide up to £15,000 a year in oral cancer benefit and £50 a night during a hospital stay up to £1,000 a year.
Dental plans could be an important employee benefit because dental treatment on the NHS is often difficult to access. The Bupa plans are comprehensive and provide higher benefits in some areas, such as oral cancer, than plans from DenPlan and Cigna. However, some employers may find Cigna or DenPlan more accurately reflect their objectives and budgets.