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A grocery store is an ideal place for comparison shopping, allowing consumers to select from multiple versions of similar products. As consumers peruse the aisles, each product’s package is an attempt to entice them to buy. The packaging, which may read, higher fiber, lower cholesterol, and all-natural flavors, does not reflect the core value of the product, but is rather an inducement. The ingredients are the critical elements, and the only way to recognize exactly what is in the food is to “check the label.”

While there is no grocery store for employee benefits plans, the concept remains the same: the most important part of the decision process to select any benefit is to “check the label.” When it comes to dental plans, one size does not fit all, but many brokers and employers are tempted to simply compare prices and do a basic review of each plan’s “packaging” (e.g., deductible, annual maximum, coverages, and programs like Rollover), without drilling down into the plan “ingredients.” Though it’s not always obvious, these ingredients can differ dramatically from plan to plan and have a major impact on the value of the plan to employers and their employees.

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