Article was written by our guest blogger Colleen Lampron, Senior Program Officer of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation
In December 2010, the Delta Dental of Colorado Board of Trustees created a $3 million fund to provide dental insurance for low-income residents of Colorado. The Board of Trustees recognized 2 alarming situations in our community:
1) Many Coloradans were foregoing dental care in these difficult economic times.
2) Dentists in the community were suffering financially because of the decrease in patients.
Out of concern for our residents and the many dentists who make up the Delta Dental of Colorado network, the Delta Dental of Colorado Fund was born.
The purpose of the DDCO Fund is to provide coverage for people in Colorado who have limited access to the dental care they need. The DDCO Fund provides 2 years of free dental insurance, modeled after the PPO plan that the majority of our employer groups offer.
The Board of Trustees decided to provide 2 years of coverage to give low-income Coloradans a chance to restore their oral health. They knew from experience that it often takes a patient at least 1 year to learn to use their insurance effectively.
The official launch of the DDCO Fund was on October 7, 2011, and within 3 months enrollment had reached capacity. The need for this type of fund was much greater than anticipated, and it was difficult to keep up with the applications pouring in.
As of March 31, 2012 nearly 6,000 low-income Coloradoans have enrolled. The DDCO Fund enrollees use their Delta Dental of Colorado insurance card, thus providing revenue to dental offices hurt by the recession. This is just one example of the many ways Delta Dental of Colorado supports our community and our network dentists.
March 2012 data shows that more than 2,000 people have received DENTAL CARE – this means they got into a dental office and received preventive care or treatment services! Thanks to the Delta Dental of Colorado network of dentists, underserved residents of Colorado are getting much needed dental care. Since the inception of the program, 2,141 low-income Coloradans have received dental care with claims totaling $995,791.
Although enrollment has been suspended for uninsured Coloradans, approximately 6,000 people have dental insurance through December 31, 2013!
“Because a healthy smile CAN change a life.”