Delta Dental Insurance dates back to 1954 when it first began building out dental insurance programs for employees on the West Coast. It now claims to be the nation’s leading benefits provider in the United States with over 150,000 dentists participating in its large national network and many plans also providing out-of-network dental coverage. Preferred-Provider Organization (PPO) plans are available along with a Health Maintenance (HMO) plan that might be an affordable alternative for families on a budget.
- Pros and Cons
Manage claims online
Budget-friendly plans available
All coverage options are not available in every state
Pros explained: Delta Dental offers an online portal where policyholders can submit claims and manage their plan. The company is financially sound, with high financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, and offers preventative care in a wide range of plans to fit every budget.
Cons explained: Delta Dental has 39 different member companies that offer coverage nationwide, but benefits and plans differ by location.
Where Does Delta Dental Provide Coverage?
Coverage is offered to all 50 states as well as Washington, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories, through its national network of Delta Dental companies. Delta Dental Plans Association has 39 independent member companies across the U.S. One of the member companies is named “Delta Dental Insurance Company,” but there are 38 others to represent the full system.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) 2018 Market Share Report lists several Delta Dental member companies in the top 125 accident and health insurance groups by state and across the country. A few that made the list include:
- Delta Dental of California: Ranked No. 56 in the U.S. and No. 13 in California, with almost $3 billion in direct written premiums
- Delta Dental of Arizona: Ranked No. 11 in the state of Arizona with almost $88 million in direct written premiums
- Delta Dental of Arkansas: Ranked No. 7 in the state of Arkansas with over $200 million in direct written premiums
- Delta Dental of New Jersey: Ranked No. 29 in the state of Connecticut (it covers New Jersey and Connecticut) with over $16 million in direct written premiums
Delta Dental Products and Services
Several customizable dental insurance plans are available. Many of the plans list the fees per procedure, which makes it easy to budget for dental expenses. There are also plans for small and large businesses alike. Delta Dental plans include PPOs, HMOs (prepaid plans), fee-for-service plans, and discount plans.
Delta Dental also contracts with state, federal, and local agencies to provide group-sponsored coverage including:
- AARP Dental Insurance Plan
- TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (for Uniformed Service retirees and family members)
- Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program (for veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries)
- Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program
- U.S. Public Health Service Active Duty Dental Program
- San Diego Neighborhood House Association
- Central California Alliance for Health
- Partnership Health Plan of CA
- San Mateo Healthy Kids
- Marketplace and Exchange Plans
Delta Dental’s mobile app is available in both the Apple and Google Play App Stores. Members can use it to find a dentist in their area, estimate costs for services, access their membership ID cards, check the status of their claims, and more.
Delta Dental Insurance Plans
Delta Dental PPO: Access to network of dentists who accept reduced fees, provides the lowest out-of-pocket costs
Delta Dental Premier: Fee-for-service plan that offers largest network of dentists, only pay your co-pay and deductible
Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier: Combines PPO and Premier networks, receive the benefit of that dentist’s contracted fee even if out of network
DeltaCare USA (HMO): Pay minimal or no co-pay for preventive care, choose provider from a network of dentists
Delta Dental Patient Direct: Choose dentist from participating network that charges discounted fees, pay dentist directly with no paperwork to file
|Delta Dental PPO||Delta Dental Premier||Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier||DeltaCare USA (HMO)||Delta Dental Patient Direct|
|For Individual or Business||Both||Both||Both||Both||Both|
Delta Dental also offers DeltaVision, which is the company’s vision plan that provides pre-negotiated discounts for eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, or laser vision correction. It may be purchased separately or as a part of your dental plan.
Delta Dental also has several extra perks available to policyholders to help every member of the family with dental wellness, such as SmileWay, which offers fun oral health activities, information, and tools for the whole family. There’s also Grin!, an e-magazine with updates and tips for dental health. And MySmileKids offers education materials for teachers and children, including stories, games, and tips.
How Much Does Delta Dental Insurance Cost?
Delta Dental plan premiums vary by state and plan. According to its website, the plans rank from least to most expensive as follows:
- DeltaCare USA (HMO)
- Delta Dental Patient Direct
- Delta Dental PPO
- Delta Dental Premier
- Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier
Below is an example of sample quotes for two adults aged 35 and 34 with two children residing in Chicago.
|Gold Plan||Silver Plan||Bronze Plan|
|Office Visit Co-payment||None||None||None|
|Plan Dollar Maximum Per Person, Per Year||$1,500||$1,000||$500|
|Deductible||$50 per person, per benefit year for all services||$75 per person, per benefit year for all services||$25 per person, per benefit year for all services|
|Annual Contract Required||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiting Periods||May apply||May apply||None|
|Cost Per Month||$125.46||$105.27||$61.93|
How Does It Compare to Other Dental Insurers?
We compared the cost of Delta Dental’s Bronze Plan against Humana’s Preventive Value PPO plan to see which one offers the better deal for the same family of four. We found Delta Dental to be slightly less expensive and with a lower annual deductible. However, we did like Humana’s unlimited annual maximum benefit.
|Delta Dental Bronze Plan||Humana Preventive Value PPO|
|Annual Deductible||$25 per person, per benefit year for all services||$50 individual lifetime/$50 per person with a $150 limit per policy lifetime|
|Annual Maximum Benefit||$500||Unlimited|
|Office Visit Co-pay||None||None|
|Cost Per Month||$61.93||$67.96|
Is Delta Dental Right for You?
Delta Dental offers comprehensive and flexible plans for individuals and families. For families on a budget, the DeltaCare USA (HMO) plan offers low monthly premiums, no annual maximum, and no deductible covering preventive services like cleanings and exams. For families who need more complete coverage, the Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier offers a more extensive choice of dentists, covers preventive services including cleaning and exams, as well as more extensive dental procedures such as root canals, crowns, and more.
Delta Dental Ratings and User Reviews
Since Delta Dental is made up of 39 independent member companies across the U.S., you must search the Better Business Bureau’s website by location and individual member company in order to see its BBB rating. BBB ratings for a few of the member companies are as follows:
- Delta Dental of New Jersey: A+, not BBB accredited
- Delta Dental of Illinois: A+, BBB accredited since 2018
- Delta Dental of Arkansas: A, BBB accredited since 2018
- Delta Dental of California: D-, not BBB accredited
Consumer Affairs lists over 300 user ratings and reviews for Delta Dental with almost 3 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction. A sampling of complaints includes denial of claims for out-of-network providers and billing errors for premiums owed.
A.M. Best gives “A” or “A-” Excellent financial strength ratings to several Delta Dental groups. Not all Delta Dental Groups are rated by A.M. Best.
Delta Dental provides nationwide coverage through its 39 independent member companies across the U.S. It has flexible plan options from basic to broad dental coverage, and even offers vision coverage. The company has excellent financial strength ratings and offers beneficial policy perks for members. It has a broad range of coverage plans that may fit the needs of most families seeking dental coverage.