Broker blog from Delta Dental

Author: Delta Dental (Page 1 of 24)

Help group clients promote preventive care with the D&P Maximum Waiver

When it comes to using their benefits, it’s important for your group clients’ employees to stay on top of their diagnostic and preventive care. By getting regular cleanings and exams, they can catch minor issues while they’re still easily treatable and prevent major issues from developing.

Unfortunately, your clients’ employees may not want to use their diagnostic and preventive benefits because they want to preserve their full annual maximum in case they need major services later in the year. Delta Dental’s D&P Maximum Waiver® option helps prevent this problem. By making it so diagnostic and preventive services don’t contribute to employees’ annual maximums, this feature helps employees make the most of their benefits, stay on top of their oral health and avoid more costly procedures. That means more savings for your clients.

What is the D&P Maximum Waiver?

The D&P Maximum Waiver is an optional feature that can be added to Delta Dental PPO™ group plans. With this option, diagnostic and preventive services won’t count against members’ annual maximums. The D&P Maximum Waiver is available on members’ effective date and is simple to use, with no qualifying events or dollar amounts to track. 

Common diagnostic and preventive services include:

  • X‑rays
  • Cleanings
  • Exams

How does the D&P Maximum Waiver help groups and members?

The D&P Maximum Waiver option is a great way to help your group clients promote diagnostic and preventive services — and avoid lost productivity from dental issues.

By ensuring that D&P procedures don’t count against their annual maximums, the D&P Maximum Waiver leaves members with more maximum dollars available to cover costly, extensive procedures employees might need, like fillings, gum disease treatment, root canals and crowns.

Here’s an example comparing the annual maximum dollars available for members with and without the D&P Maximum Waiver.

Routine dental exams, cleanings and x‑rays cost: $350Member annual maximum: $1,000Member’s plan pays: $350Member pays out of pocket: $0Member’s remaining annual maximum without D&P waiver:
$650
Routine dental exams, cleanings and x‑rays cost: $350Member annual maximum: $1,000Member’s plan pays: $350Member pays out of pocket: $0Member’s remaining annual maximum with D&P waiver:
$1,000
With the D&P Maximum Waiver, members have more of their annual maximum left after getting diagnostic and preventive care.

If your group clients would like to promote in-network utilization, the D&P Maximum Waiver can be set up to only apply at Delta Dental PPO dentists. Adding the D&P Maximum Waiver option to their coverage also helps your clients save money by letting employees’ dollars go farther without having to pay more for a higher annual maximum.

Reach out to your Delta Dental Account Executive today to learn more about offering this feature.

6 common questions about adult orthodontics

Adult orthodontics has become a popular benefit enhancement in recent years. Adults are opting for orthodontic treatments at higher numbers than ever before, and the number seeking treatment is expected to grow in the next decade.

If you have individual or group clients who are interested in adult orthodontic treatment and coverage, they may have some questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about adult orthodontics.

Which Delta Dental plans cover adult orthodontics?

Adult orthodontic coverage is available for both Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA group plans. For individual plans, adult orthodontics is covered under the PPO Premium Plan and DeltaCare USA plans

Why should groups offer coverage for adult orthodontics?

Braces can help to treat problems that weren’t treated when patients were younger. An adult with an overbite or underbite, crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw may benefit from orthodontic treatment. Left untreated, these issues may contribute to serious conditions such as tooth decay, headaches and earaches, chewing issues and gum disease.

Are adult orthodontics more expensive than treatments for kids?

The cost of braces depends on clients’ plans. A pre-treatment estimate can provide clients with a good sense of how much the costs will be before treatment begins. All they need to do is ask their orthodontist’s office to submit a pre-treatment estimate to Delta Dental.

Members can also use the Cost Estimator tool to get a sense of how much their orthodontic treatment will cost.

Can members visit any orthodontist? How can they find an orthodontist?

Delta Dental PPO plan members can see any licensed orthodontist, and they’ll usually save the most when they choose a Delta Dental orthodontist. To find one, they can use the Find a Dentist tool. They just need to search for dentists in the Delta Dental PPO network, then refine their results to include providers with orthodontist as their specialty.

DeltaCare® USA plan members must see their chosen DeltaCare USA dentist for care or get a referral to a specialist for their care to be covered by their plan. If they’ve already begun orthodontic treatment outside of the DeltaCare USA network and have been banded, most plans allow them to continue that treatment with the same coverage and copayments as their previous plan. If banding has not yet taken place, the member must visit a DeltaCare USA orthodontist and pay the copayments listed in their DeltaCare USA plan booklet.

Is Invisalign a covered benefit?

Yes. If a member’s plan includes adult orthodontic coverage, “invisible aligners” like Invisalign are covered as a standard benefit. For plans where alternative appliances aren’t covered, Delta Dental usually covers some of the costs of orthodontic treatment, which can help to reduce members’ overall expenses.

What kind of orthodontic coverage is included in Delta Dental plans?

As with costs, coverage varies, but most Delta Dental plans include:

  • Pre-orthodontic treatment visit
  • Exam and start-up records
  • X‑rays
  • Orthodontist-recommended tooth extractions
  • Comprehensive orthodontic treatment
  • Post-treatment records

Plans usually cover one set of post-treatment retainers. For two-phase orthodontic treatment plans, retainers are usually covered after each phase.

Adult orthodontics aren’t commonplace yet, but they don’t have to be confusing! With these questions answered, your clients will be better able to decide if orthodontic treatment is right for them.

Increasing access to care for underserved communities

How do we as a country start improving access to oral health care? How can we better serve the hard-to-reach populations who need it most? These are difficult questions, but there are few better places to start talking about answers than with Lisenia Collazo, DMD.

Dr. Collazo was born in Pennsylvania but spent her childhood and college years in Puerto Rico. She returned to the States to attend Penn Dental Medicine, where she pursued her DMD alongside a master’s in public health. During her time at Penn Dental, she was awarded a Delta Dental Community Scholarship, which provides students who demonstrate a strong commitment to improving access to care with sizeable scholarship assistance.

We reached out to Dr. Collazo to discuss how the scholarship helped to shape her current work and her perspective on the future of improving access to care.

How and when did you decide to become a dentist?

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with two of my older cousins who happened to be dental assistants. I visited them a few times at the clinic where they used to work, and I got to see how a dental practice was run behind the scenes. By the time I was getting ready to graduate high school in Puerto Rico, I was lucky enough to visit the University of Puerto Rico’s Medical Sciences Campus and get an introduction to the different programs. Visiting the dental school, seeing how hands-on the training was, the blend of medicine and art, along with the experience I already had, it all really solidified my interest in dentistry as a career.

How did your interest in improving access to care develop?

Once I decided to pursue dentistry as my career, that’s when I started to notice how few people seek out dental care. They just let their oral health deteriorate. That’s due to a lot of factors, but I believe the main issue is the disconnect between dentistry and the rest of the medical field. Insurance plans are segregated from medical insurance, and there’s low oral health literacy in the general population and a lack of diversity among providers. Once I learned about those issues, I wanted to help patients become more comfortable with coming to the dentist and to educate myself about how to best improve access to care from an administrative standpoint.

How did being named a Delta Dental Community Scholar help you on your journey?

While I was in dental school, I was also in the community service honors program. I learned about the Delta Dental Community Scholarship during that time. The scholarship just helped me to solidify my commitment to working in underserved communities. That kind of scholarship helps to bring providers to patient populations that need them the most.

Coming from a low socioeconomic and minority background myself, I’m appreciative of the assistance those programs give because it helps students who are already committed to giving back to their communities, and it eases the burden that comes with student loan debt. As education becomes more and more expensive, it’s difficult to get providers to work in those underserved areas. Scholarship programs like the Delta Dental Community Scholarship truly help to get care to the people who need it the most.

You completed your DMD along with a master’s degree in public health. Why did you decide to pursue both degrees and could you describe how having both has shaped your career and outlook?

One of the reasons I chose to attend Penn Dental was because I was already aware of their dual degree program. I was very happy to be selected as one of the students they gave the opportunity to receive additional education alongside their DMD. Completing the master’s in public health during my time at Penn Dental basically helped me learn more about the policies that affect our patients’ health and what strategies we can use to make an impact at a higher level beyond what we can do chairside.

Can you describe your work since graduation?

During my senior year of dental school, I applied to the National Health Service Corps’ Students to Service Loan Repayment Program. I was awarded a significant amount of money to use towards my student loans. In exchange, I’ll work three years in an underserved area.

Dr. Lisenia Collazo grew up in Puerto Rico. She says she finds the winters in the Upper Peninsula very cold but beautiful.

During my residency, I began to look for available sites. I got an offer in my current location, which is Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s an underserved area, so a lot of our patients are either on Medicaid or do not have insurance.

The Upper Peninsula is extremely rural, and a lot of our patients drive hundreds of miles just to get care. The family health center I work with has about eight sites; two have dental clinics, and they’re in the process of opening more to make travel easier for our patients. It’s the same issue when they seek specialist care. If there’s a case where we have to refer to an oral surgeon or an endodontist, that’s very difficult for these patients. There just aren’t many providers here.

The population I work with is also located in a food desert. There’s mostly convenience stores that don’t have the most nutritious options. We see a high incidence of caries, and we see a lot of patients without any teeth at a very young age. Our mission is to educate patients — especially those with children — early on so we can prevent them from getting to that state later on in their life.

How far along are you in your three years of service? What are your plans after?

In July, it will be two years. I plan to stay here longer. I’m not exactly sure how long yet. I want to continue working in public health and to get my student loans forgiven through the government’s public service loan forgiveness program. I would have eight more years to go with that. I’ve considered staying here the remainder of those eight years, but as an Afro-Latina woman, I would also eventually like to go to a community with more Hispanic patients.

What do you love most about being a dentist?

Empowering patients through education is one of the most rewarding things that comes with the career. The most difficult thing when it comes to patients receiving health care is that there’s low health literacy.

I also love helping patients feel at ease in the dental chair and learn to trust health care providers by building those relationships. Diversity and representation truly matter. As a dentist who is a woman and also Afro-Latina, I’m happy to see more women and people of color entering the medical field because that does make a difference when it comes to patients coming in to receive care.


The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation has endowed in perpetuity the awarding of two Community Scholarships each year to Penn Dental students who desire to work in an underserved area after graduation. The Foundation works with nonprofit partners across our 15-state and Washington, D.C. enterprise to increase access to oral health care, fund oral health education and support organizations that serve vital needs in our communities. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies, including Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and Delta Dental of New York, Inc.

Affordable dental benefits for small businesses

The overall economy might be strong, but that doesn’t mean businesses of every size aren’t feeling the pinch from inflation. The inflation rate jumped from 1.4% in 2020 to 7% in 2021, and it’s on track to be even higher in 2022. In this environment, it’s natural for businesses to look for ways to cut costs and save money.

Thankfully, Delta Dental’s Small Business Program (SBP) plans mean that dental benefits don’t have to be a casualty. With our SBP plans, it’s never been easier for your clients to help protect employees’ smiles without breaking their budgets.

What is the Small Business Program?

The Small Business Program is Delta Dental’s plan offerings for businesses with two to 99 employees. These plans are designed to be flexible so that your clients can choose the options that make the most sense for their businesses. They’ll be able to save money while still offering their employees great coverage.

What kind of coverage options are available?

SBP dental plans are available in a three-tier structure to meet clients’ needs regardless of budget. Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA plans are available at each tier.

If your clients are looking for more, they can pair their Delta Dental plan with a DeltaVision plan (please note, only plans administered by Allied Administrators are eligible for DeltaVision pairings). There are also options with Delta Dental PPO plans for voluntary benefits, where employees pay anywhere from 50% to all of the premiums.

For more details, explore our SBP plan comparison.

Why should businesses offer dental coverage when budgets are tight?

Offering dental benefits can help your clients save money over the long run. Each year, over $45 billion is lost in productivity because of dental issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Employees without coverage may avoid going to the dentist or delay care because of the cost, which can result in more severe dental issues and more time off work. In contrast, employees with dental coverage are more likely to visit the dentist and maintain a higher level of health and wellness.

With SBP plans, any of your clients can help employees stay healthy — and their budgets to stay in check!

Sell individual plans with resources from Delta Dental

Selling individual plans is different from selling to groups, and helping individual clients navigate all their choices can be challenging. Whether you’re already selling individual plans or just getting started, Delta Dental is here to help you match the perfect plan to every client. Our resources keep you equipped with all the tools you need.

Broker resources

Start with our broker resources page, your one-stop hub for selling individual and family plans. Here you’ll find details on the plans we offer, webinars to keep you up to date with selling tips, information about value-added features and more.

Details on the plans we offer

Know which plans are offered in which states and help clients navigate their options to find the plan that best suits their needs:

  • For clients on a budget, our DHMO-style plan, DeltaCare® USA, is a great way to stay covered with predictable copayments.
  • Our Delta Dental PPO™ plans can help clients who want to keep their current dentist or value flexibility.

Easy-to-use brochures, organized by state, explain all the options available to your clients with each plan, and short videos likewise offer quick and accessible outlines of the PPO and DeltaCare USA plans.

Value-added features

Let your clients know that Delta Dental plans offer great perks. All of our plans come with the additional benefits of special discount programs on hearing aids and LASIK eye surgery from Amplifon and QualSight,  and savings on dental hygiene products through BrushSmart™. What’s more, Delta Dental PPO members are eligible for Delta Dental’s virtual dentistry programs, Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult.

Your broker link

Your unique broker link connects your clients to our instant individual quoting and enrollment flow, automatically crediting you for sales when they enroll online. Share it with your clients on brochures, emails, websites and the rest of your marketing materials.

To find your individual plan broker link link, log in to your online account. Select the Business Information tab. You’ll find your link under the Links tab.

Webinars

Find success selling individual plans with this free series of 30-minute webinars. The webinars are available on demand, and topics include:

  • Individual broker resources. Learn about the support and sales resources available to you, where to find answers to benefit questions, how to get appointed, how to navigate the broker portal and more.
  • Plans overview. Learn the details of the plans we offer and get familiar with the plan perks and features that your individual clients are seeking now.
  • Member resources. Take a tour of Delta Dental’s member resources and learn all the best ways to help guide your clients through online purchasing. Learn to navigate the online directory and other support resources for members.

Resources for individual members, language support and more

Navigating benefits can feel especially overwhelming for individual clients, but our member resources keep things clear and simple. You can assure clients they’ll always be able to access information about their plan through our website and easy-to-use member portal.

Individual members simply log in to find:

  • Plan information
  • ID cards
  • Dentist directory to locate in-network dentists by ZIP code, languages spoken, ratings and more

Also on our website, they can find:

  • Information about accessing virtual dentistry
  • Wellness articles, videos, recipes and more

Delta Dental also offers customer support in over 170 languages, including interpretive services and document translation. Customers can also shop for plans, find a dentist and browse our wellness library on the Spanish website

Delta Dental is here for brokers

Still have questions? Our broker services team is here for you:

And of course, don’t forget to keep visiting the Insider Update blog for the latest Delta Dental broker news. Subscribe for email notifications to keep up to date with new posts about the latest industry tips and trends.


Dental and vision, together

Did you know that Delta Dental offers a vision benefit for small businesses? By pairing vision with a dental plan, this package offers small business clients a single invoice with great rates. Here’s what you need to know about DeltaVision, Delta Dental’s vision offering.

Who’s eligible for DeltaVision?

DeltaVision is offered through our Small Business Program (SBP), designed for groups of two to 99 members. DeltaVision plans are available to brokers working with Allied Administrators.

Paired plans are available in the District of Columbia and the following 14 states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Why get a DeltaVision plan?

DeltaVision plans offer:

  • Great coverage and extensive network access. All DeltaVision plans are offered on VSP’s Choice nationwide network and include access to over 100,000 access points and popular benefits such as exams, lenses and allowances for frames or contact lenses.
  • Extra savings. DeltaVision plans offerextra savings on additional pairs of glasses, sunglasses, routine retinal screenings and laser vision correction.
  • Flexible funding. With a wide range of DeltaVision plans available, your clients can choose the plans that fit their needs and budget.Voluntary and employer-paid options are also available. Our Easy Options plan lets members choose an upgrade for frames, contact lenses, anti-reflective lenses, progressive lenses or photochromic lenses at the time of service with their VSP network doctor.
  • Added wellness benefits. Through the Diabetic Eyecare Plus program, retinal screenings for people with diabetes are available at no cost, as are extra exams and services for those with diabetic eye disease, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.

Ready to pair DeltaVision with dental for your small business clients? Contact our Sales team for more information.

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