PRODUCERS, EMPLOYERS, MEMBERS
Our response to the challenge of COVID-19 underscores the importance of helping ensure the total health of our producers, employer groups and members. With dental offices closed, United Concordia Dental aligned our procedures and business models to address new issues that came up during the pandemic.
As countries around the world instituted travel restrictions, United Concordia stepped up quickly to make things easier for our military members and their families who needed dental care.
Many of our strategic partners have reached out during the pandemic with questions about how the delivery of dental care would and will be affected.
United Concordia Dental has provided regular updates, consulting with each partner individually, offering the guidance needed to allow them to focus on their medical insurance and other lines of business.
COVID-19 took all of us by surprise and has impacted everyone. At United Concordia Dental, we mobilized our employees to work from home within days, ensuring continuity of service for our dentists.
We have been working with the dental community to help our dentists deal with the new challenges the pandemic has presented, and will continue to identify ways we can best support our dentists as the pandemic evolves.
Some steps we have taken:
- Being one of the first insurers to coordinate with the American Dental Association to address our customers’ emergency dental needs
- Helping members find the dental care or dentist they needed, or determine whether issues should be addressed immediately
- Covering teledentistry services for oral examinations performed through apps such as Zoom, Skype, Apple FaceTime and Facebook Messenger to help members who needed care during the pandemic
- Helping cover the cost of expanded personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the health and safety of dental patients, dentists and their office staff
- Extending premium credits to our customers that are equal to 50 percent of one month’s average dental premium
- Waiving time limits between cleanings and X-rays
- Instituting rate holds
- Extending claims appeal deadlines
- Serving as a trusted thought leader on dental issues during COVID
Some steps we took:
- We set up a dedicated phone line for TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) and Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP) members to help them find dentists to provide emergency care
- We increased the TDP annual maximum for all members by $300 for the contract year from May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021
- We paid $10 per patient per visit to help cover expanded personal protective equipment (PPE) for both network and non-network dentists who treat military and government members
A few examples:
- Sharing our expertise on the evolving impact of the pandemic, projecting the expected effects on dental membership and utilization, and adjusting budgets and forecasts
- Collaborating with our partners on our teledentistry policy, adjusting for partner differences such as additional teledentistry procedure codes when delivering care in this environment is necessary
- Helping cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the health and safety of patients, dentists and dental office staff
- Coordinating with partners to honor distinctions such as different effective dates
- Working with our partners to make sure they understand the impact of various state and federal regulations during the pandemic
- While many dental offices were closed, dental emergencies still needed to be addressed. That’s why we joined the ADA in encouraging the use of teledentistry, as well as helping pay for it, so dentists could address dental emergencies during the pandemic
- Recognizing the increased costs associated with the delivery of care as a result of the pandemic, we have supported our dentists by providing over $18 million for personal protective equipment (PPE)
- To support our dentists in the delivery of high-quality care, we are processing claims efficiently and effectively, and have issued incentive payments months ahead of schedule to our GOLD and STAR providers
- Working with a vendor partner, we are providing discounts on PPE (e.g., masks, gloves, etc.) to help support our dentists across the country
In all areas of our business, United Concordia Dental recognizes the importance of being flexible and prepared to adapt to new challenges that arise.
Our multi-faceted response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our unwavering commitment to serving our customers clearly demonstrates the value of that flexibility.
We were among the first in the industry to cover teledentistry services and to assist with the costs of Personal Protective Equipment for our members.
The ability to adapt has never been more important than it is right now. It’s one of the biggest strengths that makes United Concordia a leading national dental solutions partner, and a vital component of our ongoing success.
As we continue to be flexible and nimble, discover all the ways United Concordia is well positioned to take on the next challenge.