September 15, 2011 16:00 ET

Solutions-Oriented Paper Draws Roadmap to Keep President Obama's Most Important Health Care Promise

Industry White Paper Outlines Issues Needing Urgent Clarity, Makes Common-Sense Recommendations for Offering Dental Policies in Exchanges

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Sep 15, 2011) - Delivering on the Obama Administration's promise that Americans will be able to keep their doctors and their current coverage under health care reform is a key issue highlighted in a dental benefits industry white paper published today.

Regulatory clarity is urgently needed to prevent disruption of dental benefits for tens of millions of Americans and assure that they are not required to purchase duplicative dental coverage for their children in Exchanges or outside of Exchanges in the small group market as part of Essential Health Benefits Program (EHBP).

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes 'pediatric oral services' as part of the EHBP to be offered in the small group and individual market both inside and outside Exchanges. As the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) drafts regulations, and states develop new Health Insurance Exchanges to implement reforms mandated by the ACA, the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA) provide much needed guidance in their jointly authored white paper, "Offering Dental Benefits in Health Exchanges: A Roadmap for Federal and State Policymakers."

In the market today, 1.65 million small employers provide dental policies to 43.7 million employees including 22.9 million children. NADP's 2011 Group Purchaser Behavior Study released earlier this week found that most small employers plan to continue their dental benefits when Exchanges go into effect in 2014 and as many as 40% of small employers are considering using Exchanges to purchase their medical coverage. But whether purchasing their medical coverage through Exchanges or outside of Exchanges the employees of these small employers will already have dental benefits.

"Without a clarification that medical plans do not have to include pediatric oral services in their policies outside of Exchanges and that dental policies consumers currently have can meet the requirements of EHBP both inside and outside the Exchanges, the promises made by President Obama and congressional leaders that Americans can keep their coverage and doctors will needlessly be broken for over 40 million consumers with dental benefits through small employers," noted Evelyn Ireland, NADP's Executive Director. "A key goal of the industry is to ensure equitable consumer access to dental coverage outside and inside the Exchange and the White Paper lays out a roadmap for addressing this goal."

"Our hope is that this thoroughly researched tool will enable policymakers to allow Americans to keep their dental coverage and their dentist while offering those without coverage the same choices in the small group market and through Exchanges that are available today in the private market," added Kim Volk, President and CEO of DDPA.

The timely paper recommends processes for Exchanges 1) to verify and accept current dental coverage so consumers do not have to purchase duplicative coverage and 2) to offer dental coverage to those consumers that don't have it today. It provides background on the current dental marketplace and offers common-sense solutions for state and federal policymakers engaged in Exchange design.

The White Paper is available free of charge via or

About NADP

National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), a Texas nonprofit corporation with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, is the "representative and recognized resource of the dental benefits industry." NADP is the only national trade organization that includes the full spectrum of dental benefits companies operating in the United States. NADP's members provide Dental HMO, Dental PPO, Dental Indemnity and Discount Dental products to 143 million Americans, over 86% of all Americans with dental benefits.

About DDPA

Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, IL 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 56 million people in over 95,000 groups across the country.

Contact Information

    Evelyn Ireland
    Executive Director
    (972) 458-6998, x101
    Email Contact

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