Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Category: Delta Dental news (Page 1 of 5)

Stay up to date on the latest news in the dental insurance industry from Delta Dental.

New teledentistry options: Toothpic and Virtual Consult

Two new teledentistry options have come to Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plans to deliver more value to members. Say hello to Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult.

Utilizing these options doesn’t require any changes to the way your employees use their plans or cost your organization extra. Instead, they’re a new way for your employees to use their existing plan benefits — remotely. These new tools are an ongoing covered benefit and have no additional administrative costs or access fees for your group or your employees.1 When your employees use either of these tools, they can rest easy knowing that they’ll be connected with a licensed Delta Dental dentist they can trust.

Toothpic

Toothpic is a secure HIPAA-compliant app that provides a photo-based virtual diagnostic assessment from anywhere you have a smart device and an internet connection. It’s perfect for those who want a dental checkup with a Delta Dental dentist without an appointment. Toothpic lets your employees:

  • Get evaluations on their own schedule by submitting pictures of their mouth, teeth and gums
  • Receive a personalized in-depth report from a Delta Dental dentist within 24 hours
  • Check in for diagnoses on areas of concern and get info about their next steps

Virtual Consult

Virtual Consult is a secure HIPAA-compliant video-based tool for having a virtual appointment with a dentist. It’s ideal for your employees who have urgent oral care needs, like pain or a cracked or chipped tooth, and want to speak directly with a Delta Dental dentist. With Virtual Consult, your employees can:

  • Schedule and have a video appointment with a Delta Dental dentist without leaving home
  • Have quick real-time consultations on urgent issues even if they don’t have a dentist they see regularly
  • Get an e‑prescription and aftercare instructions for pain or infection

Virtual dentistry allows your employees to check in on their oral health from the comfort of their own home. Whether they’re just looking for a quick check-in or have an urgent concern, these teledentistry options can help them meet their needs with all the ease telehealth offers.

1. Members who have 100% coverage for oral evaluations and who have not exceeded their frequency limitations for office visits or limited oral evaluations are eligible to use Toothpic and Virtual Consult. Using Toothpic to receive a diagnostic report or using Virtual Consult for a remote visit each count as one office visit/oral evaluation for the purpose of frequency limitations.

5 ways Delta Dental is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Delta Dental is working to support our customers, dentists and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the ways we’re responding to this health and financial crisis.

1. Charitable giving to vital services

The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation has provided nearly $15 million this year to help nonprofits respond to the pandemic. These unrestricted grant funds have supported essential services, including dozens of dental and medical clinics serving low-income communities across our 15-state service area and the District of Columbia.

To help feed vulnerable communities during skyrocketing food insecurity, we’ve also contributed $2.5 million to food banks in Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New York, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

2. Dentist loan program

Partnering with Provide (formerly known as Lendeavor), Delta Dental has offered over $300 million in loan programs to provide economic relief for qualifying independent network dentists.

The loan program, which extends through the end of the year, covers cash flow relief as well as interest savings. It also includes loans that dentists can use to acquire, refinance, expand or equip a practice, as well as to acquire or refinance commercial real estate for a practice.

3. Relief for groups, individuals and brokers

We’ve offered various forms of premium relief to all lines of our business to help alleviate the financial strain of the pandemic on our individual customers and group clients. To provide further support, we’ve made adjustments to many of our contract policies to help clients weather the financial impact of the pandemic.

4. PPE and infection control reimbursement for dentists

The new costs of practicing during a pandemic have added to the financial strain on our network dentists. To help, Delta Dental launched a supplemental reimbursement program for network dentists.

The temporary program, which runs through the end of the year, is meant to help dentists adjust to the new conditions under COVID-19 as they plan for 2021. Under the program, network dentists receive an additional $10 per patient per qualifying service to help cover the costs of additional personal protective equipment and other infection control practices.

5. Teledentistry resources

Delta Dental has encouraged dentists and patients to consider teledentistry options for diagnostic and emergency dental services. Teledentistry, or virtual consultation via phone, text or video, offers a safe, convenient choice and can expand access to care for patients who might otherwise not see a dentist.

We’re offering discounts and free trials on HIPAA-compliant teledentistry services to Delta Dental dentists and are building partnerships with teledentistry companies to improve the experience for our customers and network dentists.

Dental implants are coming to DeltaCare USA

A new kind of DeltaCare® USA plan is available to you in 2021. Effective January 1, 2021, DeltaCare USA i‑series plans will be available with comprehensive coverage for dental implants. Once i‑series plan rollouts are complete (there will be nine in total), they will be available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

These plans are designed to address the growing demand for more affordable access to dental implants. Coverage for dental implants is a valuable benefit that employees ask for, so offering an i‑series plan makes dental insurance a more compelling choice for more employees. You’ll be able to offer a plan that fits more budgets than ever before but still offers cost savings, more choices in treatment options and coverage for procedures like teeth whitening.

These new plans will expand the coverage available to employees looking for more affordable dental insurance. For more information, please contact your account manager.

Thanks for brightening our year

Wishing you and your enrollees your healthiest, happiest holiday season yet. 

While your enrollees’ smiles are our top priority, it’s your support that keeps us smiling in return. We’re so grateful for clients like you who make our entire year merry and bright!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading Word of Mouth in 2018, and we can’t wait to bring you even more engaging content next year. Remember, this blog is for you – so we’d love your suggestions on topics you’d like to hear more about. And if you’re not already, be sure to subscribe to Word of Mouth so you never miss out on helpful articles, tips and industry news.

Cheers to the New Year! We’re looking forward to serving you in 2019.

Check enrollee notices off your year-end to-do list

1‑minute read

With the holiday season in full swing, sometimes our daily to-do lists seem never-ending. That’s why we’re helping you cross one thing off your list: Educating new enrollees — and reminding current enrollees — about their rights.

Federal and state laws require groups to notify enrollees about enrollee rights and privacy practices.1 The good news is, we’ve made it easy for you to share this information.

You can learn more about the notices on our administrator web pages. Enrollees can also view and download each notice on our website. Additionally, during open enrollment we provide groups with an enrollee flyer summarizing the notices.

Please share the notices with current enrollees annually and with all new enrollees within 30 days of eligibility.

Not sure how to share? Here are some tips:

  • Post the notices on your company Intranet
  • Email employees a link to the notices
  • Place copies of the notices in common areas, or in the HR area
  • Include copies of the notices in your next company mailing

If you or enrollees have any questions about the notices, you can call 866–530-9675.

Now, take a deep breath and get back to the rest of your to-do list.

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1 Self-funded groups are not required to share Delta Dental’s enrollee notices and may opt to use their own notices; however, these notices cannot be in conflict with Delta Dental’s practices. If you have questions about your notices, please contact your account manager.

Congresswoman Handel visits Delta Dental’s Alpharetta office

3- minute read

Delta Dental welcomed U.S. Representative Karen Handel (GA‑6) to our Alpharetta office in metro Atlanta on Thursday to meet with our employees, discuss legislative issues and celebrate the vibrant business community in North Fulton County.

Rep. Karen Handel speaking to employees at Delta Dental’s Alpharetta, GA office

Rep. Handel’s visit began with a brief tour of the facility for our Direct to Consumer (D2C) business segment, which is focused on delivering affordable dental care products for individuals and promoting access to dental care across the country.

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, 74 million Americans had no dental coverage at the end of 2016. Through health care exchanges and membership programs like AARP, our D2C business unit is aiming to provide coverage to the uninsured as well as those who may lose employer-sponsored coverage upon retirement. With roughly 10,000 Americans retiring every day, the opportunity to provide coverage and peace of mind continues to grow.

Employees in Delta Dental’s D2C facility in Alpharetta, GA

Rep. Handel and Delta Dental delegates discussed opportunities to make dental coverage more widely available through the health insurance marketplace by allowing individuals to purchase a dental plan without requiring the purchase of medical coverage.

“Delta Dental has been hard at work with their D2C initiative to bring new markets to the forefront. Through this program, people have better options for dental coverage in the health care marketplace,” says Rep. Handel. “Additionally, I applaud their commitment to our community and to provide greater dental insurance access.”

Rep. Handel also took the opportunity to address a broad range of questions from employees. For instance, she responded to questions about legislation on local transportation, including a $184 million federal grant to expand GA State Route 400.

We are fortunate to welcome policymakers into our workplace to celebrate our mutual successes, and to work toward a better future both on a national scale and within our local communities. Delta Dental looks forward to continuing our work with federal lawmakers and regulatory agencies to improve access to quality dental care across the country.

Congresswoman Karen Handel speaking with delegates from Delta Dental in Alpharetta, GA

On Rep. Handel’s visit, Senior Legislation and Policy Analyst Stephanie Berry says, “We really appreciate the opportunity to discuss a federal policy issue affecting our D2C business with the congresswoman. Currently, the only way to purchase dental plans on the health care exchanges is by first purchasing medical coverage. If the system were updated to allow Americans to purchase dental directly on the exchanges, millions more Americans, including the millions of retirees on Medicare, would have the opportunity to purchase affordable, high-quality dental.”

For more information about our work on health care policy, meet our staff of policy experts.

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