November 16, 2010 11:15 ET

Decline in Dental Benefits Enrollment Reported by NADP/DDPA

NADP/DDPA 2010 Dental Benefits Enrollment Report Shows 5.7% Dip

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - November 16, 2010) - National dental benefits enrollment for 2009 decreased 5.7% compared to 2008 enrollment, according to the NADP/DDPA 2010 Dental Benefits Enrollment Report. This is the first decline in dental enrollment since NADP began reporting dental benefits enrollment data in 1994. 

At year‐end 2009 approximately 166 million Americans were covered by some form of dental benefit through group or individual plans. This is about 10 million fewer than year‐end 2008 and represents 54 percent of the population of the United States. By contrast, enrollment from 2006 through 2008 grew in line with population growth holding steady at 57 percent of the U.S. population. 

"While total enrollment significantly declined in 2009, the number of employer groups offering dental benefits remained consistent compared to the previous year based on data submitted for the Report and other industry studies by LIMRA and NADP," remarked NADP Executive Director Evelyn F. Ireland, CAE.

 "The reduction in subscribers in some employer groups in 2009 most likely reflects family financial constraints and layoffs as Delta Dental's data indicates that dental benefits remain an important part of employer benefits programs despite a challenging economy," added Kim Volk, President & CEO of DDPA. 

Other reports, including NADP's 2008 Purchaser Study, confirm that when employers are faced with tough economic choices in their health benefit packages, they ask employees to fund a greater portion of the premium to keep dental benefits intact. 

Other key findings include:

  • The trend toward dental PPO (DPPO) products continues among commercial products with 69 percent of all commercial dental benefits reported as DPPO. Indemnity and dental HMO (DHMO) products continue to decline in market share while Discount products maintained market share.
  • Dental benefit premiums and fees are paid at least in part by most enrollees. While discount plans report 99 percent of all enrollees paying at least part of the fee, insured products range from 85 percent of DPPO enrollees paying a portion of premium to 61% of Dental indemnity enrollees paying for a portion of premium.
  • Only 1 percent of the population with dental insurance products, i.e. DHMO, DPPO or Dental Indemnity, has its benefits through individual policies. Roughly 9 percent of dental Discount products are sold as individual policies.

This report also contains specific information on Dental HMO, Dental PPO, Dental Indemnity, and Discount Dental enrollment at the national and state levels. The Report is based on data from 88 companies and is available in the NADP Mall (

About NADP
The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) is a non-profit trade association based in Dallas, Texas representing the entire dental benefits industry, including dental HMOs, dental
PPOs, discount dental plans and dental indemnity products. NADP's member dental plans provide dental benefits to more than 80 percent of the 166 million Americans with dental benefits. NADP's members include major commercial carriers, regional and single-state companies.

About DDPA
Based in Oak Brook, IL, Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA) is a national network of 39 independently operated not-for-profit dental service corporations specializing in providing dental benefits in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; covering more than 54 million people in over 93,669 groups across the country.

Contact Information

    Evelyn F. Ireland, CAE
    NADP Executive Director
    (972) 458-6998 x 101
    Email Contact

    Chris Pyle
    Delta Dental Director of Public Relations & Community Benefits
    630 574-6850
    Email Contact