Delta Dental® of Massachusetts Announces Next Phase of $35M COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Plan
Additional programs and benefits include relief for patients who have lost dental benefits, support for those accessing preventive care and funding to support dentists with COVID-19 recovery efforts, including personal protective equipment and other costs.
BOSTON, June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Dental of Massachusetts (DDMA) today announced the next steps in its comprehensive COVID-19 relief and recovery plan, which will continue supporting a broad set of oral health stakeholders during and beyond the pandemic.
"Our response has been thoughtful, measured and broad, and we have worked hard to understand and address the needs of our members, providers, clients and employees during a particularly challenging time," said Delta Dental of Massachusetts President and CEO Dennis Leonard. "This next set of actions reflects our strong commitment to preventive care and the importance of ensuring the safest possible care environments, consistent with national guidelines, while also providing stability for dentists as they work to return to more regular operations."
The next phase of the relief and recovery plan includes several benefits to recognize practice closures and help patients maintain their oral health in the coming weeks and months.
For DDMA's individual subscribers, who signed up directly and through the Massachusetts Health Connector, DDMA will provide a 30% credit on premiums paid for April and May coverage, following approval by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (MA DOI).
For employees of DDMA's clients, who have been furloughed or laid-off and lost their dental insurance coverage, DDMA will provide free access to its Delta Dental Patient Direct® card discount plan from June 1 through the end of the year.
For patients who choose to return to the dentist for preventive cleanings, DDMA will provide each member of a fully insured group plan who completes a preventive cleaning visit between June 1 and August 31 with a free electronic toothbrush.
DDMA's plan also includes additional support for providers in its network.
DDMA will provide dental practices with $10 payments for each in-person patient visit completed between June 1 and August 31, to help reduce new barriers to care resulting from COVID-19. These payments are above and beyond regular reimbursement payments and can be used to cover a variety of operational costs, including personal protective equipment.
DDMA will also simplify its benefit plan design to be more flexible on the scheduling of preventive services to ensure that patients who may have missed an appointment due to the pandemic can still complete two preventive visits this year. This change is subject to MA DOI approval and will benefit both patients and providers.
The benefits announced today follow several earlier actions taken by DDMA, including:
The Delta Dental of Massachusetts Provider Advance Payment Program, which provides critical aid and cashflow relief to current, independent dentists and oral surgeons working in DDMA network practices across the state.
The Delta Dental of Massachusetts Employer Relief Credit, which provides Massachusetts businesses that offer fully insured dental coverage through DDMA with a 60% credit on insurance premiums paid applied in June
Commitment to fully fund the Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation's COVID-19 Recovery Fund, which will provide personal protective equipment to Massachusetts dental practices.
Donations to the City of Boston's Resiliency Fund, the Worcester Community Foundation's Together COVID-19 Fund and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts COVID-19 Fund for Pioneer Valley.
Taken together, the above elements of DDMA's COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Plan, represent a financial commitment of up to $35M to maintain the oral health of Massachusetts residents and stabilize the state's oral health system.
"As a mission-focused organization, DDMA is working hard to improve the oral health of all," said Leonard. "We are proud of the leadership our teams have been able to demonstrate during the pandemic, but we also realize that we cannot do it alone. We call on our industry peers to similarly commit resources to the recovery of our oral health care system in Massachusetts."
About Delta Dental of Massachusetts
Delta Dental of Massachusetts (www.deltadentalma.com), the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, is a leader in innovative programs that improve the overall health of members, prevent oral disease and reduce health care costs for employers, groups and individuals. Headquartered in Charlestown, Mass., Delta Dental of Massachusetts, a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association (www.deltadental.com), covers more than 2 million people. Follow us on Twitter (@DeltaDentalofMA), Facebook (www.facebook.com/DeltaDentalMA), and Instagram (@deltadentalofma) and check out the monthly oral health calendar at www.keepahealthysmile.com.
Contact: Thomas O'Rourke, Head of Corporate Communications at (617) 886-1411 or [email protected]
Please note that the Delta Dental Patient Direct Discount Card is not dental insurance. The program provides discounts on dental services from participating dentists in the Delta Dental of Massachusetts network. The Delta Dental Patient Direct Discount Card does not suffice as Evidence of Coverage or satisfy Essential Benefit requirements.