A recent Aflac survey of 1,000 working Americans suggests there will be increased opportunities for brokers and advisers to sell voluntary dental plans, particularly among those between the ages of 35 and 54 in a post-health care reform market.

For example, one-third of the respondents are not offered a dental plan at work, with 70% of them being 35 to 54 – prime years for having to cover dependents.

Also, while 77% prefer no coverage restrictions, only 12% have all their dental expenses covered in a group plan and nearly half are responsible for an annual deductible or co-payment. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents worry about affording procedures and more than half of them have rationed care because of cost concerns.

Ron Agypt, Aflac’s vice president of market development and broker sales in the U.S., recently noted that the voluntary market is poised to fill any coverage gaps resulting from compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which the National Association of Dental Plans says could eliminate 15% of employer-sponsored dental coverage.

He went on to say that mounting concern over broker commissions related to new medical loss ratio requirements is driving a holistic or well-rounded approach to benefits delivery for which voluntary products add a layer of financial protection for employees and their families.

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