More People Feel Dental Benefits Improve Health

Feb. 19, 2004
Survey is further proof that Americans are becoming more aware of the importance of good oral health.

An increasing number of people say that their dental benefits have improved their health, according to the results of an annual subscriber survey conducted by the affiliated Delta Dental Plans of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

In 2003, approximately 92 percent agreed that their Delta Dental benefits program improved their health, up dramatically from 1998 when approximately 70 percent agreed.

This is further proof that Americans are becoming more aware of
the importance of maintaining good oral health. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, oral health is a critical component of general health and should be included in an individual's health management program.

Regular dental checkups keep the mouth healthy and increase early detection for critical health issues. In fact, more than 120 diseases -- including cancer, diabetes and anemia -- have signs that can be identified by dentists during an oral examination.

The survey also queried subscribers about their experience with
their Delta Dental benefits:

-- 98 percent of subscribers would recommend Delta Dental to

-- 97 percent said they are satisfied with their Delta Dental

-- 93 percent said they found Delta Dental customer service
advisors to be professional and courteous

"We are pleased that subscribers consistently give Delta Dental
high marks," said Dr. Thomas J. Fleszar, president and chief executive officer of the tri-state dental benefits provider. "Providing quality products and customer service that meets our subscribers' needs are key components of our core values."

Delta Dental has measured its subscribers' satisfaction levels
since 1985 to gauge the company's effectiveness and to look for ways to improve its programs and services.

Delta Dental Plan of Michigan, with its affiliates in Ohio and
Indiana, is the leading group dental benefits provider in the Midwest and will pay out more than $1 billion this year for dental care for 5.1 million subscribers. In May 2002, the tri-state operation became the only major carrier in the world to be ISO 9001 quality certified -- which means its procedures and systems meet a rigorous international standard of excellence. In addition, in 2003, the company's call center earned the prestigious BenchmarkPortal Certification given in conjunction with the Center for Customer-Driven Quality located at Purdue University. The certification recognizes the call center as a "Certified Center of Excellence."