Good dental health is an important part of overall wellness. For some people, it is also important to their careers.
The Screen Actors Guild, a labor union representing more than 90,000 actors, recognizes the value of dental care and makes comprehensive dental coverage available to its members. "Dental benefits are a critical part of a health care package, especially for actors, whose appearance can be almost as important to their careers as their health," explains Bruce Dow, chief executive officer of the Screen Actors Guild Health Plan.
With members in all 50 states, the Screen Actors Guild needed a nationwide dental plan administrator with a strong presence in California, where half of its members reside. Finding a carrier that could serve members equally well in all states was a challenge, according to Dow. The Guild also required a dental carrier with a strong national dentist network and stellar reputation for quality.
The Guild chose DeltaPreferred Option USA through DeltaUSA, the national accounts program for Delta Dental Plans Association.
"Quality was a critical component for us. We chose Delta Dental because they are a very visible, high-quality system with a high level of acceptance that can deliver in all 50 states," Dow said.
Delta Dental--which contracts with 92 percent of the dentists in California and nearly 75 percent of dentists across the United States--was a perfect match for the Screen Actors Guild. Delta Dental's dentist network in New York, another key area for the Guild, exceeds 6,000 dentists.
Nationwide, DeltaUSA contracts with dentists at more than 137,000 practice locations. The DeltaPreferred Option USA program has more than 11,000 practice locations in California and more than 62,000 dentists nationwide.
The Screen Actors Guild also wanted an economical dental insurance program. "Costs were lower than projected for claims paid during the first few years of the contract," said Scott Syring of Delta Dental of California, which employs DeltaUSA to administer the DeltaPreferred Option USA national dental benefits program for Guild members nationwide.
"DeltaUSA provides convenience and access to quality dental care across the country, and that's what promoting oral health from a benefits standpoint is all about," Syring said.
"We like that our participants don't have to fill out claim forms or pay out-of-pocket for the covered portion of services while they wait to be reimbursed," Dow said. "And Delta Dental has a really good web site, which makes it easy for our members to find and do research on dentists before selecting one."
Yet another reason DeltaUSA has been able to serve the Screen Actors Guild so well is the strong relationships between Delta Dental of California and the Screen Actors Guild Health Plan representatives.
"We're on the same wavelength and really understand each other. That means we can give them superior service," said Syring.
DeltaUSA is a separately incorporated affiliate of Delta Dental Plans Association that enables Delta Dental Plans to administer and deliver its national dental program. Based in Oak Brook, IL, Delta Dental Plans Association is a national network of independently operated not-for-profit dental service corporations specializing in providing dental benefits programs to 43 million Americans in more than 75,000 employer groups throughout the country.
Workforce Management, December 2003, p. 65 -- Subscribe Now!