Press Release

Unum finds U.S. workers stressed about cost of dental care

Company Release - 10/10/2018 9:15 AM ET

Expense ranks as primary reason many adults avoid the dentist

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Employee benefits provider Unum (NYSE: UNM) finds that 41 percent of adults cite the cost of dental care, including out of pocket costs for procedures, as the top stressor about their personal oral health. This figure was higher among women (46 percent) than men (37 percent), and among workers ages 50-64 (45 percent). These results and other key findings were part of an online poll among 1,229 working U.S. adults conducted by Unum in September.

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U.S. workers are stressed about their oral health; financial concerns top list (Graphic: Business Wi ...

U.S. workers are stressed about their oral health; financial concerns top list (Graphic: Business Wire)

“It’s no surprise that the thought of going to the dentist evokes anxiety, but cost doesn’t need to be the trigger,” said Amy Marko, SVP of dental and vision products for Unum. “Dental insurance plans typically cover preventive care costs and significantly reduce the cost of other dental procedures, making oral health much more affordable. We also find that employees with dental insurance are more likely to use their dental benefits and seek preventive care, which can prevent bigger health issues down the road.”

In the same survey, 31 percent of respondents indicated cost as the primary reason why they avoid going to the dentist, followed by anxiety (8 percent) and the anticipated pain of treatment (8 percent). When asked what they consider to be the top benefits of having dental insurance, 52 percent cited regular, covered cleanings and check-ups, followed by coverage of routine dental care such as fillings and root canals (37 percent), peace of mind (29 percent), and the importance of good oral health as part of their overall health (25 percent).

Fall is the time when millions of American workers enroll in employee benefits, and according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), dental insurance is one of the top workplace benefits, with 97 percent of employers offering dental coverage.

Group polices purchased through the workplace are usually less expensive than individually-purchased policies and generally pay for routine cleanings, exams and offer significant discounts for the cost of common procedures such as fillings, crowns and root canals.

Unum started offering dental plans in early 2017, adding a valuable and popular coverage to the company’s comprehensive portfolio of workplace benefits. Unum dental plans include a national network of more than 109,000 dentists and specialists at 400,000 access points nationwide, flexible plan designs and digital tools including a mobile app and dental cost estimator, to help ease the financial anxiety of oral care.

About Unum
Unum Group ( is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life, and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident and critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. The company reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017 and provided nearly $7 billion in benefits.

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Unum Group
Brad Carmony, 423-294-5238
Toll free: 866-850-8686

Source: Unum Group

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