Population covered by dental benefits increases

Oct. 25, 2007
Dental benefits market experiences largest increase since 1998.

DALLAS--In 2006, seven million more Americans received dental benefits than the year before, marking a 4.4 percent increase in total dental benefits enrollment, according to the 2007 Joint Dental Benefits Enrollment Report published by the National Association of Dental Plans and the Delta Dental Plan Association.

"Cost is the top reason cited by consumers for not going to the dentist. Some 170 million Americans are turning to dental benefits to overcome the cost barrier in seeking dental care and maintaining their oral health," remarked NADP Executive Director Evelyn F. Ireland, CAE.

"Market growth can be attributed to a new voluntary dental benefit under the expansion of the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, an increase in other voluntary benefits, the introduction of products for the individual market and increasing focus on the connection between oral and overall health."

The report documents that DPPO captured more than half of the market, at the expense of dental indemnity benefits. 

Additional findings include:

* The DHMO market continues to consolidate in states with large metropolitan populations.

* Enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program experienced a significant increase.

* 97 percent of dental benefits are through group products.

The 2007 NADP/DDPA Joint Dental Benefits Enrollment Report contains specific information on dental HMOs, dental PPOs, dental indemnity and discount dental enrollment at the national and state levels as well as direct reimbursement and publicly funded benefits at the national level.

The report is available for purchase on the NADP Web site at National Association of Dental Plans.