Working with an insurer who will proactively recruit dental providers into your network will help your employees see cost savings.

When employers and brokers seek out provider networks for employee plans, they tend to favor the ones boasting the highest numbers. The more preferred providers, the more likely that employees will be able to see an in-network dentist. Yet having 99 percent of all dentists in your network means nothing if you have employees seeing providers in that one percent. So the question is not really “which is the largest network,” it’s “which is the right network for my employees?”

Network size is not the differentiating factor it used to be. At this point most networks are extremely robust in size and breadth. The key here is to examine what the numbers actually mean. Many networks use different quantifiers for their network size. Some count actual dentists, while others count office locations. You could count one provider four times if they see patients at four different sites–but then the question is whether this really provides expanded provider access, since the dentist is only available at each site on certain days.

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