Delta Dental of Massachusetts Expands COVID-19 Recovery Program

Dentistry Today


Delta Dental of Massachusetts (DDMA) has announced the next steps in its COVID-19 relief and recovery plan, which will continue supporting a broad set of oral health stakeholders during and beyond the pandemic, according to the company.

“Our response has been thoughtful, measured, and broad, and we have worked hard to understand and address the needs of our members, providers, clients, and employees during a particularly challenging time,” said DDMA president and CEO Dennis Leonard.

“This next set of actions reflects our strong commitment to preventive care and the importance of ensuring the safest possible care environments, consistent with national guidelines, while also providing stability for dentists as they work to return to more regular operations,” said Leonard.

The next phase of the relief and recovery plan includes several benefits to recognize practice closures and help patients maintain their oral health in the coming weeks and months, DDMA said.

For example, DDMA will provide a 30% credit on premiums paid by its individual subscribers who signed up directly and through the Massachusetts Health Connector following approval by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (MA DOI).

Also, DDMA will provide free access to its Delta Dental Patient Direct card discount plan through the end of the year for employees of DDMA clients who have been furloughed or laid off and lost their dental insurance coverage.

For patients who choose to return to the dentist for preventive cleanings, DDMA will provide each member of a fully insured group plan who completes a preventive cleaning visit between June 1 and August 31 with a free electronic toothbrush.

Also, DDMA said its plan includes additional support for providers in its network.

DDMA will provide dental practices with $10 payments for each in-person patient visit completed between June 1 and August 31 to help reduce new barriers to care resulting from COVID-19. These payments are above and beyond regular reimbursement payments and can be used to cover a variety of operational costs, including personal protective equipment.

DDMA also said it will simplify its benefit plan design to be more flexible in the scheduling of preventive services to ensure patients who may have missed an appointment due to the pandemic can still complete two preventive visits this year. This change is subject to MA DOI approval and will benefit both patients and providers, DDMA said.

These benefits follow several earlier actions taken by DDMA, it said.

The DDMA Provider Advance Payment Program provides critical aid and cashflow relief to current, independent dentists and oral surgeons working in DDMA network practices across the state.

The DDMA Employer Relief Credit provides Massachusetts businesses that offer fully insured dental coverage through DDMA with a 60% credit on insurance premiums paid applied in June.

DDMA also said that it is committed to fully funding the Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund, which will provide personal protective equipment to Massachusetts dental practices.

And, DDMA has made donations to the City of Boston’s Resiliency Fund, the Worcester Community Foundation’s Together COVID-19 Fund, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts COVID-19 Fund for Pioneer Valley.

Together, DDMA said, these elements of its COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Plan represent a financial commitment of up to $35 million to maintain the oral health of Massachusetts residents and stabilize the state’s oral health system

“As a mission-focused organization, DDMA is working hard to improve the oral health of all,” said Leonard. “We are proud of the leadership our teams have been able to demonstrate during the pandemic, but we also realize that we cannot do it alone. We call on our industry peers to similarly commit resources to the recovery of our oral healthcare system in Massachusetts.”

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