Benefits and insurance: Maine through North Dakota

This second article of the job benefits survey compares the “protective” benefits (health, dental, disability, malpractice, and life insurance) as well as retirement plans for dental hygienists on a state-by-state basis.

Statistics below are based on the information provided by full-time hygienists.

Alabama through Louisiana | Maine through North Dakota | Ohio through Wyoming | Return to main article

Maine

Who responded: 11 total, including seven full-time hygienists (64%)
Comment: My family is provided with free dental care as well as myself. We only are required to pay any lab fees.

Maryland

Who responded: 37 total including 26 full-time hygienists (70%)
Health insurance: 54% are covered through a family member’s plan; 46% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 0% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 42% are covered by a family member’s plan; 29% are uninsured; 21% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; and 8% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 44% are uninsured; 28% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 28% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 42% are uninsured; 31% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 27% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 62% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 19% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • I participate in a flexible Health Care spending account. This is my own money, but pre-tax dollars, used for co-pays, massage therapy, glasses, etc. It is a "use it or lose it" amount that I choose each year.

Massachusetts

Who responded: 70 total, including 36 full-time hygienists (51%)
Health insurance: 48% are covered through a family member’s plan; 48% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 2% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 41% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 29% are covered by a family member’s plan; 24% are uninsured; and 6% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 47% are uninsured; 32% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 21% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 69% are covered by self-initiated coverage; 17% are uninsured; and 14% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 61% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 11% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • This is my first ever hygiene job that gave me benefits. I've been in hygiene for 10 years.
  • There is not a standard of benefits offered in my office. They are at the whim of the employer. Therefore, all employees are not treated equally. There should be a benefits package that is written down so that all are treated the same.

Michigan

Who responded: 110 total, including 53 full-time hygienists (48%)
Health insurance: 59% are covered through a family member’s plan; 33% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 8% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 40% are covered by a family member’s plan; 29% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 23% are uninsured; and 8% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 65% are uninsured; 16% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 19% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 43% are uninsured; 31% are covered by employer’s plan; and 26% are covered by self-initiated coverage.
Retirement plan: 62% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 15% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • I love my job as a dental hygienist. But I really thought that as much as my employer makes in production in a day that I would have either more pay or more benefits.
  • What benefits? They think everyone is married.
  • If working full time, hygienists should be given medical benefits, 401k, etc. Not many offices offer this anymore with our economy issues. We should be given the same benefits as nurses since we are “oral” nurses. They receive great benefits and so should we. Who decided that we are not as important of a care giver when the oral cavity is linked to everything else systemically and needs to be taken care of properly? My education may even be higher than some nurses out there.
  • Hygienists are usually penalized for the income they receive by not receiving employment benefits.

Minnesota

Who responded: 55 total, including 32 full-time hygienists (58%)
Health insurance 57% are covered through a family member’s plan; 39% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 4% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 50% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 27% are covered by a family member’s plan; 13% are uninsured; and 10% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 63% are uninsured; 28% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 9% are covered by self-initiated coverage.
Malpractice insurance: 39% are uninsured; 32% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 29% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 84% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 25% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • They contribute $325 towards my quarterly $1,900 medical insurance coverage bill.
  • He pays for my medical insurance. He matches our retirement plan.
  • I get to have a job, i don't get any benefits.

Mississippi

Who responded: Six total, including two full-time hygienists out of six total (33%)
Comment: I would love to see disability insurance paid by my employer.

Missouri

Who responded: 29 total including 21 full-time hygienistsl (72%)
Health insurance: 53% are covered by an employer’s plan; 47% are covered through a family member’s plan; and 0% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 70% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 20% are uninsured; 5% are covered by a family member’s plan; and 5% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 67% are uninsured; 28% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 5% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 38% are uninsured; 33% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 29% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 57% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 0% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • I have a job. They pay for advertising so that I stay busy so that I can keep my job.

Montana

Who responded: 11 total, including seven full-time hygienists (64%)
Comment: It would be great if the hygiene profession had our own retirement plan (like Teamsters), our own health and life insurance plans that were affordable and were worth something!

Nebraska

Who responded: 13 total, including eight full-time hygienists (62%)

Nevada

Who responded: 15 total, including six full-time hygienists (40%)
Comment: What are benefits? Nonexistent these days

New Hampshire

Who responded: 15 total, including six full-time hygienists (40%)
Comment: They have always been very poor.

New Jersey

Who responded: 71 total, including 53 full-time hygienists (75%)
Health insurance: 58% are covered through a family member’s plan; 38% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 4% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 35% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 31% are uninsured; 28% are covered by a family member’s plan; and 6% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 68% are uninsured; 18% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 14% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 58% are covered by self-initiated coverage; 23% are uninsured; and 19% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 53% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 8% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • Rising costs of running a dental practice, reduced fee schedules from insurance companies, and the supply and demand of dental hygienists ... Lucky to have a job, let alone benefits.
  • I am very disappointed with benefits as they pertain to dentistry. I enjoy my career, but question the wisdom in choosing this field. I have committed a good number of years and have nothing long term to show for it. It irritates me to no end to have to now pay for dental services.
  • Paid medical insurance should be provided by the employer especially for full time employees as many of them have no other source of insurance. Many of us are either single, divorced or widowed which can be a huge financial burden.
  • In my 37 years of dental hygiene I have never received any benefits. All the doctors I have worked for hire several hygienists so everyone is part time and no benefits need to be paid. Sad commentary on the profession.
  • The availability of job benefits varies from dentist to dentist. I worked for a dentist for over 30 years. When he retired and sold the practice, my benefits were either reduced or taken away. Seems unfair to work all of those years & then have benefits taken away.

New Mexico

Who responded: 14 total, including eight full-time hygienists (57%)
Comment: I wish we had some national form of medical insurance; it is way expensive for small offices to get.

New York

Who responded: 94 total, including 66 full-time hygienists (70%)
Health insurance: 48% are covered through a family member’s plan; 44% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 8% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 40% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 26% are covered by a family member’s plan; 20% are uninsured; and 14% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 45% are uninsured; 37% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 18% are covered by self-initiated coverage.
Malpractice insurance: 38% are covered by self-initiated coverage; 32% are uninsured; and 30% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 59% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 17% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • I have a job! (Which I enjoy very much other than the benefits issue)
  • 401K, profit sharing, choose all my own instruments, set my own work hours. I have worked this office over 40 years and have helped establish a great dental practice. My doctors appreciate my work, and I appreciate their dedication to providing our patients great dental health at an affordable price
  • Benefits should be mandated for employers. How can one save for retirement? We are not called a independent consultant for tax purposes. We are screwed in our elderly years.

North Carolina

Who responded: 48 total, including 36 full-time hygienists (75%)
Health insurance: 62% are covered through a family member’s plan; 27% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 11% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 36% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 31% are covered by a family member’s plan; 28% are uninsured; and 5% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 66% are uninsured; 26% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 8% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 55% are uninsured; 24% are covered by employer’s plan; and 21% are covered by self-initiated coverage.
Retirement plan: 69% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 6% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Comments:

  • I've been a hygienist for 23 years and currently receive the lowest amount of benefits that I have ever had.
  • After 40 years in practice I am totally unable to retire. With minimal benefits received over the years I regret having entered this profession - each and every day I work.
  • Benefits are lacking, and have been waiting for 401k for over 2 years at current job — has not started yet.
  • In all honesty, benefits are atrocious. No health insurance, no dental insurance, no vision, no life insurance, and "retirement" plan is a joke. We have a profit sharing program. Even when fully vested, it is grossly inadequate. After 10 plus years of working for this practice, there might be enough to pay for a new mid-sized car! I'll be practicing hygiene from my wheelchair! In reality, the dentist is the ONLY person who will be able to retire!

North Dakota

Who responded: Five total, all full-time hygienists (100%)
Comment: Job market is tight in eastern ND, and, in western ND (oil fields), there is no place to live even if you did find a job out there.

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