Industry Study Charts Dental Coverage Growth

June 13, 2002 ( - The number of people signed up for dental benefits is expected to grow by 11% to 194 million by 2005, according to a new industry study.

The study, by the National Association of Dental Plans and Delta Dental Plans Association, predicted that preferred patient organizations and referral plans will increase during the period while HMO and indemnity plans will decrease.

According to the study, HMO enrollment is expected to decline by almost a third over the next three years to only 5.5% of the covered population by 2005.

Also, survey findings suggest that:

  • indemnity plans will see a 16% drop in enrollment,
  • PPO enrollment will jump 28%, and
  • referral plans will soar almost 50%

Meanwhile, more than half of the industry growth will be concentrated in ten states, the study said. Texas is expected to be the leader with almost 1.4 million new enrollees expected by 2005.

However, California is predicted to dominate the market, with almost 26 million enrollees.