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A Tale of Two Dental Plans

Even in the best of times, dental plans are continually challenged on multiple fronts. Some consider the current COVID-19 crisis the worst of times. It has brought about unprecedented challenges and needs. Following is a narrative of two dental plans and how they are coping with COVID-19 and additional industry challenges.

The first plan is an NADP Member.

Regional Dental Plan sells multiple products in four states and employs 20 individuals who are working from home and overseeing various departments including compliance and government relations, marketing, product development, and networks. Regional Dental Plan has been a member of NADP for several years.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Regional Dental Plan staff were able to prepare quickly, using the various resources provided by NADP. Because of their participation in the online members only community, Regional Dental Plan did not operate in a vacuum regarding this unprecedented event; they shared their experiences with fellow members regarding things like moving staff to work-from-home environments. Regional Dental Plan staff have taken advantage of these members’ only COVID-19 resources:

  • COVD-10 Tracking Grid with tabs for tele-health, grace periods, and carrier filing requirements
  • FAQs for dental plan enrollees and providers
  • Open Forum featuring multiple discussion threads covering COVID-19
  • Quick scan surveys gathering confidential information on best practices related to COVID-19 issues like extended premium grace periods, teledentistry claims and more
  • Webinars (part I & II) presenting clinical, actuarial, compliance and dental plan perspectives

As a longtime NADP member, Regional Dental Plan has developed strategies and business plans utilizing the knowledge and information gained from its membership. In addition, Regional Dental Plan has appreciated both the anonymity and strengths of the NADP voice when advocating on state and federal issues such as non-covered services and more. Regional Dental Plan staff participates on crucial volunteer groups they deem appropriate to their success – such as Government Relations, Communications and Operations. They have come to rely on these NADP benefits designed to help them succeed:

  • Annual State of the Market and State Fact Sheets that highlight key trends
  • Research reports on enrollment, premiums, networks and more
  • CDT Licensing Program offering up to 25% savings, early delivery of the new Codes and change analysis
  • Free live and recorded webinars, including member-only briefings
  • CONVERGE, the annual conference, offering dental specific professional development
  • WhyDental.org with content for consumers, employers, providers, and brokers
  • Representation on EDI standards at national and international levels
  • Multiple Advocacy tracking grids on state and federal issues
  • Strength of the NADP voice backing Regional Dental Plan on state and federal issues

In addition, they invested in the NADP Shared Research Program to gain information about consumer and employer behaviors.

Finally, Regional Dental Plan has joined with fellow members to advance the dental benefits industry.

The second plan is not an NADP member.

Area Dental Plan also sells multiple products in four states and employs 20 individuals who are working from home and overseeing various departments including compliance and government relations, marketing, product development, and networks. National Dental Plan is familiar with NADP but is not a member.

When the pandemic began, Area Dental Plan staff had to start from scratch and spent numerous hours to prepare the resources they needed as they did not have NADP resources available to them. Thus, Area Dental Plan staff:

  • Created their own COVID-19 tracking
  • Operated without community connections regarding industry perspectives and best practices related to pandemic
  • Prepared for COVID-19 legislation and regulations without the strength and representation of NADP
  • Relied on their own company resources regarding compliance, actuary, clinical and business perspectives

In addition, Area Dental Plan lobbied alone on additional state and national issues without the anonymity and strong industry voice of NADP. They invested more money and time to gain the same type of necessary services provided by NADP. For instance, Area Dental Plan:

  • Hired outside consultants for $100,000 to perform industry research similar to NADP reports on consumer and employer behaviors
  • Paid the non-member rate on NADP webinars, CONVERGE, and statistical research reports
  • Obtained a CDT license at a higher rate than NADP members and received the Codes much later
  • Engaged in multiple employee hours to prepare a CDT change analysis, legislative and regulatory tracking grids, and public facing website content
  • Invested in additional lobbying services for state and federal issues
  • Lacked global perspective and combined strength found when working in concert with industry colleagues

Both dental plans are successful. Both had the knowledge and developed COVID-19 resources. However, only the NADP member has the association as its valued partner focused on its success.  This partnership gave Regional Dental Plan an edge over its competitor.


Make NADP your partner in success today. Submit a membership application to receive an estimate and learn more about the association.
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Contact NADP Director of Membership Rene Chapin for more information.

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