New edition of dental benefits guide published

Aug. 15, 2012
Industry primer updated with insider insights.

BROOKFIELD, Wisconsin—Plan sponsors, dental benefit staff, benefit consultants, insurance brokers, and others will find information and insight concerning dental benefits in the updated Dental Benefits: A Guide to Managed Plans, 3rd Edition.

The book, previously authored by the late Don Mayes and updated by long-time collaborator Cathye L. Smithwick, is a reference guide for those wanting to understand managed dental plans, and the emerging trends and technologies that will shape the future of dental benefits.

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Aspects of dental plans explored include:

· Benefit plan design and pricing
· Dental plan types (e.g., HMOs, PPOs, indemnity plans, voluntary plans)
· Choosing a dental plan and plan administrator
· Measuring plan performance
· Implications of the differences between dental and medical benefits
· Networks and discounts
· Tackling fraud and abuse
· Applying data warehousing and biomedical informatics to dental plan management
· Using technology to drive behavioral change and improve health outcomes
· The connection between oral and systemic health
· Coordinating dental and medical care.

"This book is an absolute treasure chest of information for anyone in the dental benefits industry, from novice to experienced professional," said Herschel Reich, vice president, OptumInsight. "The payback in immediate access to industry practices and norms will be enormous."

Added Ruth Ann Woodley, FSA, MAAA, of Ruark Consulting: “This book was essential reading when I started in the dental industry over 10 years ago, and still is today. The updates in the latest edition have kept it current with the state of the market. The book will be especially useful to those who know medical benefits well but are new to dental, or to those who know dental practice well but would like to understand the benefits side of the business.”

The edition explores not only the basics of plan design, but also delves into data-driven analytics and using evidence-based dentistry to improve plan management. The numerous appendixes include state adjustment factors, a dental benefit term glossary, and dental industry trends data.

Dental Benefits: A Guide to Managed Plans is 587 pages, and is available for $95 ($72 for International Foundation members) at

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