Delta Dental Plans Association's (DDPA) purpose is to promote an
increase in the availability of dental care to the public by
encouraging the expansion of dental benefit programs administered
through member Plans and by providing the means for such service
corporations to cooperate in providing multi-state and national group
DDPA's early years set the stage for today's dental benefits industry.
As the oldest and largest dental plan system in the country, DDPA's
roots lie in the 1954 formation of dental service corporations in
California, Oregon and Washington. These organizations were created by
dentists who recognized the need to increase access to oral health
care. The corporations, of which Washington Dental Service (WDS) was
the first, began by providing dental benefit programs for organized
DDPA was created in 1966 in response to the need to affiliate these
local state service organizations and coordinate dental benefit
programs for customers with employees in multiple states. A year
later, the first multi-state program was sold by WDS to the
International Association of Machinists, beginning a cycle of
continued growth and expansion for DDPA. WDS ceded the administration
for enrollees in other states to other Delta Plans and contracted with
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association for administration in those states
lacking a Delta Plan.
Coverage was provided this way until the late 1980's when Delta Dental
Plan of California (DDPCA) won the bid for the OCHAMPUS program. Delta
Plans agreed to share their provider data so the administration of
this very large account could be centralized with Delta Dental Plan of
California sharing the administrative income and risk. The OCHAMPUS
program led to the creation of the National Provider File (NPF) which
was made available for commercial accounts in 1990 via Delta USA--our
program to facilitate Delta Dental coverage to organizations with
employees/subscribers located in multiple states.
Today, the Delta Dental System is comprised of 39 independent Delta
Dental Plans, operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and
Puerto Rico. These member Plans provide coverage to 45 million people,
enrolled in 76,000 groups that are either administered locally or
nationally through DeltaUSA.
The Association continues to be committed to:
Affiliating its independent state service organizations
Serving as a means by which member Plans provide multi-state and
national coverage to customers
Increasing the availability of dental care to the millions of people
working and living in the United States.