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.
Charles Wood, DMD
MDA Council on Insurance Chairman