Discount Dental Plan Leaders and Competitors Gather to Educate Key Dental Care Audiences

In April, more than 20 executives from leading organizations and discount dental plan companies gathered in South Florida for a first-of-its-kind open forum to share their insights to help the industry come together to further educate consumers, dentists and regulators.

The First Annual Discount Dental Plan Summit, hosted by DentalPlans.com, featured attendees from the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and Consumer Health Alliance (CHA), executives from CIGNA, Careington, Coverdell and New Benefits, and legal analysts such as Brady Cobb from Tripp Scott.

While the event provided a platform for industry influencers to discuss ways to boost awareness about discount dental plans, it also gave attendees a chance to collectively exchange views on the major changes health care reform might bring to the dental care arena and what opportunities exist to further benefit and educate key dental care audiences.

"No matter what happens with health care reform, consumers can continue to access discount dental plans to make dental care more affordable," said attendee and CHA member Allen Erenbaum of Erenbaum Legal Strategies. "Unfortunately, some consumers are not aware of the ways they can save money at the dentist, which studies have shown to impact long-term health and well-being."

For adults, the Affordable Care Act will not require the purchase of specific coverage, such as dental and vision. Currently, health insurance plans offered through employers typically do not offer coverage for dental work. However, more children are expected to be covered for dental services through provisions designed to increase access to oral health.

Even with a dental insurance plan in place, many consumers are unable to keep up with routine checkups and appointments due to out-of-pocket costs and monetary constraints. In 2009, a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found that more than 30 percent of insured Americans, as well as 50 percent of uninsured, skipped necessary dental care visits due to financial burdens.

Industry discussions and presentations at the First Annual Discount Dental Plan Summit included:
 An introduction to the Network Relations Department at DentalPlans.com.
 Challenges and opportunities for today and tomorrow's discount dental plan customers.
 How state legislation and health care reform are shaping marketplaces.
 Best marketing and communication strategies to educate consumers, dentists and regulators.
 How to create and organize a discount dental plan advisory board.

"It was a great opportunity for us to bring together industry influencers and open the discussion," said Scott Szwiec, VP of Network Relations for DentalPlans.com. "At the end of the day, we all have the same goals and want to help the discount dental industry move forward in the mind of consumers looking to maintain their dental care."

The event also featured a keynote presentation from Vistage guest speaker and partner in California-based strategic marketing firm SalesBrain, Dean Minuto, sharing his insights on the application of Neuromarketing and how to better understand and leverage the "buy button" in a consumers' brain.

For more information about the event, inquiries and to participate in future events and efforts dedicated to the future of the discount dental plan industry, contact Scott Szwiec at Scott@DentalPlans.com.

About DentalPlans.com
A one-stop online shop to save money on dental care, DentalPlans.com connects individuals, families and groups to significant savings on procedures such as cleanings, braces and root canals. Visitors of DentalPlans.com can compare discount dental plans by ZIP code, view sample savings and find a nearby dentist. The company offers people a choice of affordable alternatives to dental insurance through more than 30 of the leading discount dental plans in the country.