COVID-19 update: We're responding in a variety of ways to support our employees, customers, network dentists, and our fellow South Dakotans. Learn more.

Pandemic accommodations | Group plans

Posted: April 7, 2020

We're working to be as flexible as possible to help group plan holders maintain their employees' benefits through the COVID-19 pandemic or resume them as easily as possible in the future. Those pandemic accommodations for group plans include:

1.  No rate increases will be applied to any group plan renewing in the 12 month span of May 2020 through April 2021.

2. A group's dental plan will not be terminated for late payment for 90 days, and we’ll work with the group on a plan to catch up on premium payments. This premium deferment program will be evaluated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and is subject to change.

3. A group may continue to pay premiums for members covered by the plan to keep them active while the group adjusts its operations because of the pandemic (examples include temporary closure, reduced work hours for employees, or employee furloughs). This maintains the member's coverage in case of emergency or urgent dental care treatments (still being performed by many dental practices) and will help the member get routine dental care as soon as possible when they return to work.  

4. If a group terminates coverage for certain members because the employee has hours reduced or has been furloughed or laid off, the member may continue coverage through COBRA (which allows the person to pay for their coverage up to 18 months on the group plan). When the employee returns to work or is rehired, the member may be reinstated the first of the month following the restart/rehire without fulfilling any eligibility waiting period.  

5. If a group terminates their entire dental plan, continuation of benefits through COBRA is not available. However, if the group purchases a dental plan again in the future, members who had 12 months of continuous coverage in a DDSD plan before the plan was terminated would not have to restart any waiting periods for certain coverages that may normally apply.

The pandemic and public health response is still rapidly evolving, and these accommodations are established with information known at the time. We’ll evaluate these and other possible actions to adapt as the situation develops. Updates will be noted and provided on this webpage.

Based on guidance from the CDC and the ADA, most dental practices are not currently providing elective procedures, but many are still providing emergency and urgent care which may be covered in current benefit plans. Business support options in the recently approved federal relief packages may also help sustain employee benefits through the pandemic. 

You're welcome to contact us at 877-841-1478 or sales@deltadentalsd.com if we can help you with your group dental benefits plan through the pandemic. We're proud to be your partners in oral health.