The event, hosted by DentalPlans.com, provided an open forum for industry leaders to discuss ways to boost awareness and further educate dentists, consumers and regulators about discount dental plans, while identifying opportunities for growth amidst health care reform.
Attendees included directors and members from the Consumer Health Alliance (CHA), National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and HealthScape Advisors, as well as leaders from Aetna,CIGNA, Careington, DenteMax, Humana and Solstice Benefits.
"We have an opportunity to provide Americans across different markets and demographics an option to finding affordable dental care," said Jennifer Stoll, President of DentalPlans.com. "Our company has developed strong relationships with more than 30 discount dental plan networks over the years, and we all have the same goals, to help consumers get the dental care they need."
Presentations at the Second Annual Discount Dental Plan Summit included:
Who the average discount dental plan member is.
Customer satisfaction and retention for discount dental plan members.
What the future discount dental plan market will look like.
How to expand discount dental plan opportunities through health care reform.
Best practices and strategies to educate future consumer markets about discount dental plans.
Leaders at the event also dedicated a significant amount of time to discuss the implications of the potential changes and impact the Affordable Care Act will have on the discount dental plan and dental benefits industry in 2014.
For adults, the reform will not require the purchase of specific coverage, such as dental and vision. However, pediatric oral services are a requirement through Essential Health Benefits.
"It's important for us to understand how the reform and its potential retail model could impact the discount dental plan industry," said Kyle Stern, Managing Director of HealthScape Advisors. "While variables may exist across the country, a shift towards consumer-driven purchasing decisions presents an opportunity for the discount market."
Changes brought about by the reform, as well as the marketplace shifting to a retail model versus a traditional group model, and the expectation that many small groups may eliminate dental benefits, could lead to individuals "shopping" for their dental coverage, while taking into consideration ancillary benefits, alternative channels such as discount dental plans, oral health needs, pricing and brand recognition.
And while 2014 draws closer for Americans, numerous news reports and studies in recent years have brought attention to correlations between dental care and overall health, as well as problems millions of adults and children face in being able to access affordable dental care.
"Everyone deserves good oral health with access to appropriate and affordable dental care," said Kris Hathaway, Director of Government Relations for NADP. "We want individuals and families to understand all of the options available to get the care they need."
For more information about the event, inquiries and to participate in efforts to promote the discount dental plan industry, contact DentalPlans.com at PR@DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com offers more than 30 of the leading discount dental plans available at more than 100,000 dentist listings nationwide. With or without dental insurance, individuals, families, businesses and groups have easy access to savings at the dentist with discount dental plans. Visit DentalPlans.com and enter your ZIP code to find discount dental plans and participating dentists available in your area, and save 10% to 60% on most dental care procedures.