U.S. dental insurance enrollment rose in 2012

More than 187 million Americans had dental insurance in 2012, a 5% increase of 11 million people compared with 2011, according to a recent report by the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA).

The annual reports collect state data on small-group and individual products for a before-and-after look at dental benefits impacted by state exchanges and healthcare reform, according to the NADP.

Most of the reported growth in dental benefits enrollment was projected in the 2013 NADP market report and can be attributed to an increase in employment. In addition, there were three first-time company participants that provided data for this report, accounting for about 1% of the total enrollment.

The recent launch of the state and federally facilitated marketplaces (exchanges) provides an additional avenue to expand dental coverage in the future, stated NADP Executive Director Evelyn Ireland in a press release.

The following are facts demonstrating national trends and popularity of dental product options:

  • The trend toward dental preferred provider organization (DPPO) products is continuing among commercial products, with 78% of all commercial dental benefits.
  • The percent of enrollees making financial contributions toward their coverage was 99% for discount plans, 93% for dental health maintenance organizations (DHMO) plans, 94% for DPPO plans, but only 45% for dental indemnity plans.
  • The population that receives dental benefits coverage through individual policies and products doubled from last year, up from 2.4% to 5%.
  • Less than 0.5% of dental benefits are integrated with medical policies, and 99.5% are provided under a separate dental policy.

The "2013 NADP/DDPA Joint Dental Benefits Report: Enrollment" is available for sale on the NADP website.

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