Dental Enrollment Declines Slightly

November 5, 2003 ( - Between 2001 and 2002, total enrollment in dental benefits declined slightly, after six years of steady increase in enrollments.

The 0.02% dip in the total dental benefits market now means 53.59% of the total population has dental coverage, down from the 56.08% coverage rate across the country noted in 1999. Since 1996 though, dental coverage has increased 16.37%, according to research by the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and the Delta Dental Plans Association.

Most pronounced was the decrease in enrollment in thedental HMO and indemnity markets, with indemnity plans losing 7.98% of their members between 2001 and 2002 and DHMO plans 0.74% lighter. However, the report found room for improvement, pointing to the areas of growth in the DHMO in Medicaid and Medicare. Growth topped 10% in the DHMO Medicaid sector and 43% in the DHMO Medicare sector in 2002, which offset enrollment losses by some carriers.

Continuing on the growth pattern, the study foundincreases in enrollment noted in Dental PPO plans, up 6.95%, Discount Dental Plans, 5.48% increase and Dental Managed Care, 4.88%.

A full copy of the report can be purchased at