Consumers cobbling together limited benefit plan combinations
Some Americans are trading in their high-deductible health plans for a combination of short-term medical, critical illness, accident, dental and vision plans. Short-term medical plans do not meet Affordable Care Act standards, but the number of people who applied for such plans in 2014 rose 130% at online vendor eHealth. "Short-term insurance is designed for a short-term gap, and accident and critical illness plans are not designed to replace major medical," said Nate Purpura, eHealth's vice president of communications. Kaiser Health News
Fidelity Investments opens benefits exchange
Fidelity Investments formally opened a private insurance exchange for small and medium-sized employers. Dental, medical, vision, life and wellness plans will be offered through Fidelity Health Marketplace, exchange President Joe Laurin said. The exchange informally opened last January in Massachusetts and New York. Expansion is planned for this year. American City Business Journals/Boston
Orthodontist, dentist ranked top jobs
Orthodontists edged out dentists for the top spot on an annual list of the nation's best jobs. Dentists and orthodontists need specialized training and advanced degrees, but most earn six-figure salaries, set their own hours and typically have a good work-life balance. U.S. News & World Report
HHS IG: Children on Medicaid often don't get needed dental care
From 73% to 81% of children covered by Medicaid in four states did not receive all required dental care in 2011 and 2012, and 28% received no dental care, an HHS Office of Inspector General investigation revealed. California, Indiana, Louisiana and Maryland had adopted the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's recommendation that children receive cleanings and exams every six months, but Medicaid policies in Indiana and Louisiana did not cover certain care on the established schedule. The report suggested that states create action plans and better monitoring of care delivery. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press
Grant supports study of electronic dental records
The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, a program of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, awarded $1.2 million to researchers at the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Dentistry to study how electronic dental records can be used to improve oral health. Researchers will use electronic records to assess outcomes of posterior composite restoration and root canal procedures, and will investigate how data from disparate systems can be combined. InsideIndianaBusiness.com
Save the date for CONVERGE 2016
Mark your calendars now for CONVERGE 2016, Sept. 12-15 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. CONVERGE is the best professional development opportunity the dental benefits industry has to offer. It features dynamic educational sessions, energetic networking opportunities plus informative exhibits in the Discovery Zone. At CONVERGE you will become inspired as you share your insights and challenges with fellow colleagues and polish your skills as you learn from thought leaders and industry experts. For more information, visit nadpconverge.org.
Network Statistic Report published
The 2015 NADP/DDPA Joint Dental Benefits report: Network Statistics provides information about the impact of network-based dental benefits in the U.S. This report utilizes data from the survey of provider networks in the dental benefits industry sponsored by the National Association of Dental Plans® and Delta Dental Plans Association. It contains specific information about DHMO, DPPO and Discount Dental Provider Networks at the state and national levels. New this year is information on the number of providers in networks at the Metropolitan Statistical Area level by product. For dental plan members, the report is offered as a membership benefit and for all other members at a preferred member discount. The publication is now available in the "Statistical Reports" section of the NADP Knowledge Center. Log in to receive the appropriate member price.
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