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Important - Health Insurance Options for Dentists and ADA Portal

The ADA has endorsed an existing national Private Health Insurance Exchange web portal  and recently announced this in the ADA News. The ADA is endorsing the web portal in an effort to assist dentists in those state dental associations that do not provide any insurance resources for their members. The web portal address is: www.ada.org/healthinsurance . It is important for MDA dentist members to understand that the health insurance plans offered via the ADA web portal are the same options that our state endorsed insurance broker – Brown and Brown (Robert Ellis and Associates) provide. The ADA web portal directs dentists to a national private health insurance exchange which in turn connects dentists to licensed brokers in specific states who can assist with insurance plans. The biggest difference is the lack of working with a broker who is local to the area and knows the customer as well as the insurance market landscape specific to that state. Another big difference is that utilizing a national service does not help your state dental association. Brown and Brown provides support to the MDA in numerous ways.

Please note the following message from Dr. Chuck Wood, MDA Council on Insurance Chairman:  

Mississippi Dental Association Insurance Program Offerings  
 
As you are well aware, health care coverage is undergoing a major overhaul in the United States. And, as has been proven so far, things are in a constant state of flux.  Your MDA Insurance Council has been working closely with Robert Ellis and Associates (now Brown and Brown) to provide the best insurance coverage options possible for our membership.  Many state associations are not as fortunate to have an endorsed plan and insurance agency and consequently their members are being forced to look to other alternatives on their own to find coverage.

In response to the lack of coverage in these other states, the ADA has been proactive and is in the process of creating a web portal to link members in those states that do not provide any insurance services to resources that can offer them some options in their respective states. You will shortly be receiving information from the ADA either by email or in ADA publications about this new web portal for ADA members to obtain health insurance information.

This web portal is only for associations that do not have association endorsed plans.  Because we have an endorsed plan through Brown and Brown, and because they are a full service insurance brokerage firm, they have access to all of the health insurance carriers in Mississippi plus those in the Federal Exchange. In other words, the potential resources that the ADA web portal will link Mississippi dentists to are the same as what Brown and Brown can provide. So the message is that the ADA web portal will not be of an additional benefit to Mississippi dentists.  There are no national insurance plans that offer special ADA rates. Again, the ADA web portal will only be able to link Mississippi dentists to other agents that offer the same plans that we currently offer through our program with Brown and Brown, the main difference is that our members will not benefit from local representatives that know the markets in Mississippi, the needs of our dentists and have the ability to make those personal connections with our members. Also, our relationship with Brown and Brown benefits our association as well.

Again, because REA is now part of Brown and Brown, we are now able to offer all the plans that are available through the ADA web portal, in addition to the MDA’s exclusive plan with Companion Life, and a number of private carriers providing coverage in Mississippi. Also, in the near future we hope to secure approval from the Mississippi Insurance Commissioner to provide a new innovative health insurance plan that should be very attractive to many in our membership.

Regardless of who provides your insurance coverage, I strongly encourage you to at least talk with our endorsed insurance agency regarding your health insurance.  While two insurance cover pages may look alike, the reality is that the “inside” and details can be very different.  Our endorsed insurance brokers also provide valuable customer service through local representatives who are familiar with the MDA and our membership, and through our relationship with Brown and Brown we are also able to work closely with them on behalf of what insurance products are optimal for dentists in Mississippi. 

Contact Brown and Brown (Robert Ellis and Associates) for answers to your questions along with additional information regarding your insurance needs. Their toll free number is 1-888-503-5547.
 
Sincerely,
Charles Wood, DMD
MDA Council on Insurance Chairman  

Affordable Care Act - What You Need to Know

Providing Notice to Employees
 
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act by creating a requirement that employers provide a notice (aka exchange notice) to employees informing them of the existence of the newly formed ACA marketplaces along with information on how to contact the marketplace to request assistance in purchasing coverage if employees choose to do so. The state and federal insurance exchanges are simply websites where individuals and small businesses can shop for insurance.
 
Specifically, by October 1 all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (which includes dental offices with employees) should furnish each employee with a notice that informs the employee that there are new health insurance marketplace coverage options available. Department of Labor notices designed for this purpose are available for printing. One notice is for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees and the other is for employers who do not.
Please note:
There is no penalty or fine under the law for failing to provide the notice.
 
Employers should keep a copy of the form that has been signed and dated by the employee for future reference. This notice is only required to each current or new employee one time.
 
It is important to note that the requirement has no effect on whether an employer offers health care coverage to their employees; however, businesses with fewer than 25 employees that do provide health care coverage may be eligible for tax credits. More information on the small business tax credits can be found at irs.gov.
 
Mississippi does not have a state-supported Health Insurance Exchange at this time. Information about the availability of plans can be found at www.HealthCare.gov
 
Still Have Questions About ACA?
Check ADA's Affordable Care Act Series - Q-and-A articles 
 
 
Employee Information
If you would like further information to provide to your employees about dental insurance, see the Consumer Information Checklist Concerning Dental Plan Coverage here
coverMS.org and healthhelpms.org are also good resources to assist the Mississippi general public.
Places to shop the Health Insurance Exchange:
 
 
Mississippi Resources
State Health Insurance Links:
 
 
 
 

Dentist Loan Repayment Program

 

 

The Mississippi Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Mississippi State Department of Health is partnering with the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association to implement our Dentist Loan Repayment Program (MORHPC DLRP). The program will support efforts to recruit and/or retain ten (10) dentists to provide oral health care services in shortage areas. The MORHPC DLRP will provide grant funds to participants to assist with repayment of outstanding qualifying educational loans. The program will pay up to $40,000 for an initial three- year full-time clinical service obligation.

For more information on the program, please visit the website below or contact the Program Coordinator:

www.mphca.com/Resources/Workforce_Development_Resources.htm

Myrtis Small

MORHPC DLRP Program Coordinator Mississippi Primary Health Care Association

601-981-1817

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