September 16, 2008

Delta Dental Insurance Company Launches New Value Plans for Florida Small Businesses

Small to mid-sized Florida businesses now have a new option to provide dental coverage to their employees: new "value plans" launched today by Delta Dental Insurance Company.

Companies with up to 299 employees may elect to offer either a Delta Dental PPO(SM) program or a DeltaCare(R) USA prepaid program. Either plan can be offered as an employer-sponsored program with varying levels of employee contribution, or on a voluntary basis, which means the employee pays the entire monthly premium. (Other programs are available for larger companies.)

Delta Dental has offered small-business programs in Florida for several years, but the new value programs feature more affordable monthly premiums while still covering many diagnostic, preventive and restorative services. In addition, the plans offer a unique feature: the ability for an employee to opt out of his or her own coverage and to purchase coverage for children only.

"These 'value plans' are preventive-oriented and unusually affordable, important because price appears to be the biggest barrier for those small to mid-sized companies not yet offering dental to employees and their family members," said Paul Amog, manager of small and mid-size business segments for Delta Dental and its affiliates. "The option to purchase coverage just for children is another unusual feature, which we've developed because it's a very affordable way to provide benefits to young people who are especially vulnerable to dental disease. Studies show that people with benefits are far more likely to seek preventive care, so for young people, this can help them avoid a lifetime of dental troubles."

Florida is the first state in which Delta Dental Insurance Company is offering the new value plans, with additional states to be added in the near future.

The PPO value plan is based on a table of allowances that shows the amount Delta Dental pays for each covered service, with the patient paying the remainder of the dentist's fee. Contracted Delta Dental PPO dentists agree to charge PPO patients a discounted fee, which usually results in lower out-of-pocket costs, but enrollees may visit any licensed dentist and still receive benefits. There is an annual per-person deductible of $50 for the standard plan and no deductible for the children-only plan, with Delta Dental paying a $500 maximum per person per year for covered services. The PPO is available for client groups of five to 299 employees.

The DeltaCare USA prepaid plan has no annual maximum or deductible, and requires enrollees to select a network dentist for treatment. Patients pay a modest copayment -- or, in some cases, nothing at all -- for covered services. The DeltaCare USA plan is available to client groups of just three to 299 employees.

More information on program benefits, limitations and exclusions may be obtained from Florida insurance brokers or general agents or by calling Delta Dental at (800) 662-9034.

Delta Dental Insurance Company, along with Delta Dental of California, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and affiliates, is part of a holding company system that collectively serves nearly 23 million enrollees in 15 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in both commercial and government-sponsored programs. They are all part of the nationwide Delta Dental Plans Association, whose member companies collectively serve 51 million of the estimated 170 million people nationwide with dental benefits.