Why dental and vision care are important for Michigan employees

Recently WJR radio talk show host Paul W. Smith sat down with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan executives for a Q&A session to discuss the importance of dental and vision coverage and why business decision-makers should provide this coverage to their employees.

Ken Dallafior, Senior Vice President, Group Business and Corporate Marketing and Kevin Stutler, Vice President, Specialty Products (dental and vision) shared a wealth of knowledge during the hour-long discussion. Here are the key takeaways on why employers should take advantage of dental and vision coverage offered by Blue Cross and Blue Care Network:

  • Health professionals can understand a lot about what’s going on in your body through regular dental and eye exams.
    • A growing body of research demonstrates that dental conditions—particularly the bacteria that causes gum disease—can adversely affect medical conditions (and vice versa), in at least three high-risk categories:
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • Diabetes
      • Pregnancy complications
    • Eye doctors can find the first signs of diabetes or cancer through a simple eye exam.
  • Studies have shown vision disorders account for more than $8 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year, and a total annual economic impact of more than $51 billion.
  • Every $1 spent on preventive dental care saves $4 in treatment costs.

First row (left to right): Kevin Stutler, Kyle Lamb, Karen Channing, Jeremy Fulks, Dr. Gary Vance
Second Row (left to right): Bill Albert, Bryan Anderson, Doug Zielecki, Steve Selinsky

Early detection and prevention of these serious health conditions can lead to increased productivity in the workplace, reduced absenteeism, and overall health and wellness. And with so many employers trying to find ways to cut costs, it’s important that all Michigan businesses offer dental and vision options along with their existing medical coverage for their employees.

“The Blues are approaching health differently than our competitors. We’re looking at the whole package, a ‘total body health’ approach. Healthy teeth, healthy eyes, it’s all connected,” said Dallafior.

As a leader in health care, the Blues are working to make sure all of our members throughout the state have access to quality care to improve their overall health. Our dental and vision plans do just that with a total body health plan.

“We take this approach because early detection and prevention of serious health conditions through proper dental and vision care can help create a healthier workforce in Michigan,” said Stutler. “This leads to improvements in employee productivity and ultimately helping the economy at large.”

For more information about the Blues’ dental and vision products, visit bcbsm.com/dentalvision.

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