The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of our members in a variety of ways. The ODA and organized dentistry has responded with support for our members and their offices in unprecedented fashion. Not only has it affected the ability to practice and serve our patients, it has affected the personal well-being and health of many dentists, staff and their families. Fortunately, the ODA Wellness Trust has provided comprehensive health benefits for nearly 600 dentists, their families and staff, covering almost 3,400 lives. As we returned to treating patients there was widespread concern that dentists and staff would be at greater risk for infection due to our close contact and aerosol generation. Thankfully, practicing dentistry during COVID-19 has proven to be safe for dental health care personnel and patients alike. Data from the ODA Wellness Trust through May 2021 has shown a COVID-19 infection rate of between 5-6% for dentists and staff. During this same time period the community rate of infection was 9.8%.

Not only is the infection rate of the ODA Wellness Trust enrollees being nearly half the national average good for our members health during such an unpredictable pandemic, it also validates the reasons why the ODA has placed such importance on members having access to a member owned, member run health benefits plan. While other professions have infection rates above the national average and major health insurance carriers are using COVID-19 as a reason to increase rates, the ODA Wellness Trust has been able to pass along the savings from good claims experience to our enrollees. The health plan we have built for our members has continued to incur some of the lowest rate increases in the market over the past several years, all while passing Ohio Department of Insurance and US Department of Labor audits.

Our goal as the Board of Trustees for the ODA Wellness Trust is to continue to grow and provide a valuable member benefit to the ODA membership. For those not currently enrolled in the plan, I urge you to contact the ODA Services Corp. staff and get a quote for the 2022 plan year. For those currently enrolled, I’m pleased you have taken advantage of this excellent member benefit and hope you share your experience with other member dentists. The feedback and support have been amazing and we look forward to this being a long-term health benefit solution for ODA members.