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More Employees Choosing Managed-Care Dental Plans

The dental benefits market continues to move toward managed care and away from traditional indemnity plans, shows a new survey by the National Assn. of Dental Plans (NADP), Dallas. The NADP is a promotional organization for managed-care dental plans. In 1998 dental health-maintenance organization (HMO) enrollment expanded by 5% to 8%. At the same time, dental PPO (preferred-provider organizations) enrollment increased by more than 30%, and enrollment in dental indemnity plans declined by about 20%, according to the survey. At year-end 1997, NADP had reported dental HMO enrollment was 26.5 million, PPO 24.5 million, and indemnity 90.6 million. Employers generally offer employees a choice among dental HMO, PPO, or traditional plan, says NADP executive director Evelyn Ireland. Consumers are increasingly choosing managed care with its lower premiums, richer benefits, and quality assessment mechanisms. Each year NADP conducts a market leader survey to identify enrollment trends, followed by a statistical survey of the overall dental benefits industry. The results of the 1999 detailed survey are expected early this summer. For more information, contact Ireland at 972-458-6998 ext. 101 or e-mail [email protected].

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