Douglas County offers discount dental program

Majority of adults don’t have insurance

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Douglas County is now offering a discount dental program to residents through a partnership with the National Association of Counties.

The county’s participation in the program, which offers discounts of 5 to 50 percent for a variety of procedures, was approved unanimously by county commissioners this past week.

Douglas County was one of 20 counties nationwide that participated in a one-year pilot program through the national nonprofit, and immediately signed up 83 individuals and families, according to county spokeswoman Wendy Holmes. Since NACo, a 501(c)(4) federal nonprofit organization, rolled out its program to all counties nationwide late in 2012, more than 70 have signed on.

According to Andrew Goldschmidt, director of membership marketing for NACo, 170 additional counties participated in a webinar last week to learn about the program.

“What is inspiring the interest in this program nationwide is the reality that adult dental care is not part of the Affordable Care Act,” Holmes said.

Coupling that with the fact that, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, only 37 percent of adults nationwide have dental coverage, Goldschmidt said expectations are that the program will be a popular one.

Unlike insurance, there is no limit to how often a participant can use the program and there is no cap. The program costs $6.95 a month or $59 a year for individuals, or $8.95 a month and $69 a year for families. There is no contractual obligation and participants can sign up as needed, regardless of income or pre-existing conditions.

“Even if you have dental insurance, if you have any kind of major work it doesn’t typically cover a lot,” Goldschmidt said. “One of the nice things about this program is that you can wait to sign up until you hit your cap on your insurance. The only provision is that you can’t use your insurance and your discount card together. But once you hit your cap, you can sign up for the program and save on services.”

To sign up or learn more about the program and see specific saving with varying procedures, please call 877-354-6226 or visit www.nacodentalprogram.org

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