Added dental benefits come with a cost

The new dental plan proposed by the Company would offer added coverage employees do not currently have, but it would come with a price for some of those services.

For some dental benefits, there would be a $50 deductible for individuals and an $150 deductible for families.

That deductible would not apply for preventive services like cleaning, X-rays and exams. Those services would be 100 percent covered, while the current plan pays for only 80 percent of those costs so that is an added benefit.

The deductible would apply for some services that employees now get without having to pay a deductible: Those include oral surgery, repair of dentures or bridges, fillings, and having teeth pulled. Under the existing Empire Blue Cross plan, 80 percent of those costs are covered. Under the proposed Cigna plan, 80 percent of those costs would be covered after the deductible was paid so that is less good than what we have now.

The Cigna plan would cover some procedures that are not covered now. Periodontics would be covered, with insurance paying 80 percent of the cost after the deductible. Bridges, dentures, crowns, and implants, not currently covered, would be with 50 percent of the costs paid after the deductible. So this is an improvement.

The Company has provided a comparison sheet of the two plans, which we’re sharing with you. Capital News Dental Comparison 2016

The Guild also learned that the proposed alternative medical plan would have a $3,000 deductible for singles. For couples and families, that deductible would be $6,000. We do not expect, and would not recommend, any couples or families to take this plan and we would caution any singles against doing so. The plan would be offered mainly to address the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that an “affordable” option be presented, with affordability based not on the size of the deductible but on the weekly cost.

Please see our previous bulletin for the earlier details we shared.


  • Skeets

    A $3,000 or $6,000 deductible is in no way, shape or form “affordable,” especially for workers who have been under a wage freeze for so long. And the increase in dental is another example of how every year working at this company amounts to a pay cut. Not that the company cares, of course.

    • Tim O'Brien

      Tim O’Brien replies: As we said in the earlier post, this option is not the main health care proposal. The deductible is way too big to be comparable to what we now have. It is offered only to meet the rules of the Affordable Care Act, which bases affordability solely on the weekly contribution. We agree it is not affordable by any reasonable definition of the term and would not recommend any member actually take it.

  • Ken Crowe

    What is the official name of this particular Cigna dental plan. I found out unexpectedly that the current dental plan is one of six and was not fully honored by the dentist I use.
    Thanks, Ken Crowe

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