Delta Dental of Colorado | 2020 Annual Report

A Message from Our CEO

Delta Dental of Colorado is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization focused on improving the oral health of the communities we serve. Like every other business, 2020 threw us into an environment of uncertainty and change. But one thing stayed constant: our commitment to our mission and our guiding belief that smiles matter. Whether in person behind a mask or virtually over computer or phone screens, our smiles continued to be important in the connections they created with other people…and in their connection to our overall health. There was no doubt that, even in the pandemic, oral health needs still required access and attention.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, Delta Dental of Colorado and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation evaluated how we could help our team members, customers, providers, community, and other stakeholders. We considered the numerous uncertainties as we evaluated the best response to ensure that smiles continued to matter in our business approach and our community efforts. To do that, we first focused on our internal operations, ensuring the safety of our team members and enabling them to work remotely. Then we focused on working closely with our employer groups and individual customers to find flexible payment options for them to keep their dental coverage as they weathered the crisis to ensure that as many Coloradans as possible remained insured throughout the pandemic and beyond. We worked with our providers to reimburse for personal protective equipment and support their re-opening. Finally, we made sure our ongoing efforts through the foundation continued to support our community health partners across Colorado to improve access to the underserved and most vulnerable.

Delta Dental of Colorado and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation collectively committed $30 million in the form of billing and premium credits, loans, relief funds, and grants to customers, oral health care providers, and local community organizations.

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we will continue to focus our energy on improving the oral health of the communities we serve and ensuring that the smiles of all Coloradans matter.

Helen Drexler
Helen Drexler
President and CEO

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About Us

Delta Dental of Colorado is a nonprofit dental benefits company with a mission to improve the oral health of the communities we serve…something we take very seriously. We give our more than 1.4 million members the power to use and manage their dental benefits easily. Through our innovative plans, large dentist network, and expert customer service, we make dental care accessible, affordable, and simple, leading to a healthier smile and life. And through our foundation and corporate social responsibility initiatives, we are active in the community and giving to organizations that support our mission and helping expand access to quality dental care. Creating healthy Colorado smiles is what drives us.

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Healthcare working smiling through a window

Smiles Matter

2020 in Review

It's no secret that 2020 brought unprecedented challenges to all communities across the state. COVID-19 tested us in ways in which we never knew we could be tested and yet at Delta Dental of Colorado (DDCO) and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) we found ourselves in a unique position to be able to provide support to providers, members, brokers, employers, and our community through various means.

Not only did we commit $30 million in the form of billing and premium credits, loans, relief funds, and grants to customers, oral health care providers, and local community organizations, but we also found ways in which to engage with and develop programs for our stakeholders that would continue to support the service they're used to receiving from Delta Dental of Colorado.

Together with all our stakeholders, we focused on the health and well-being of all Coloradans to ensure access to oral health care that is focused on patient safety.

“As a nonprofit organization, our desire was to create a plan and response that had the greatest impact on the greatest number of those stakeholders and allows us to ensure that the oral health needs of all Coloradans are met not only during this period of the global pandemic but also when we recover and begin to rebuild the economy and re-open businesses.”
Helen Drexler, Delta Dental of Colorado President and Chief Executive Officer

Here for Each Other

Given the special circumstances of the year, we were able to provide 50% premium/billing credit for March and April, totaling $16 million in relief to group and individual customers. In addition, we extended grace periods to 60 days for each billing period and froze rates on renewals through the end of the year for small businesses.

We continued to provide valuable information to our customers that spoke to how to manage a dental emergency during a global pandemic, the importance of continuing to receive preventive and routine oral health care in our blog and on social media.

As a testament to the continued commitment to our mission, our membership base, retention rate, and member satisfaction continue to be on the rise:

2,355,465 Total Service Claims
48,222 New Members
1,349,218 Members
97.3% Retention Rate
99.6% Employees Choose PPO™ Plans
98.0% Member Satisfaction

Smiler Power™ Heroes

Dental providers were uniquely affected in 2020. Not only were dental practices closed in the early days of the COVID-19 shut down, but dental practitioners are also especially vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 given the nature of their work. Despite the challenges, many dental practitioners provided emergency care to their patients— our members —across the state and were even able to set up virtual care despite it not being a traditional means of dental care for many. Our response to providers included:

  • Partnering with local Community Development Financial Institution Colorado Enterprise Fund to provide access to $7.5 million in low-interest loans to oral health care providers in the state.
  • Allocated $3 million toward a personal protective equipment (PPE) reimbursement program for Delta Dental of Colorado network providers.
  • Covered teledentistry visits.
2,367 PPO™ Providers
3,306 Premier Providers

Given the unique set of circumstances, Delta Dental of Colorado and the Colorado Dental Association (CDA) joined forces in an effort to become partnering advocates for effective best practices that would help keep provider teams and patients safe and healthy while improving access to care for patients in need. The two also committed to evaluate the ongoing and longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on providers and oral health.

Delta Dental of Colorado also launched a unique video series aimed at recognizing the unsung heroes of the year. Smile Power™ Heroes was used as a vehicle shared across our social media networks and online to bring awareness and recognition to dental providers and organizations across Colorado going above and beyond for their community and their patients during this time. Those featured understand the importance of oral health and made sure that their communities knew that smiles matter. We heard from people like Dr. Chris Macri whose team and patients took it upon themselves to make face masks for their community and donated more than 1,000 to different places around town. We also heard from amazing leaders from organizations such as Brad Meuli from Denver Rescue Mission who told us stories about the great work his organization is doing to help Coloradans experiencing homelessness through the crisis.

Finally, we continued to support our dental providers with turnkey programs and opportunities that they could take advantage of anywhere, any time. Our unique partnership with the American Dental Association (ADA) gave 50 providers the ability to sign up for a free year-long subscription of ADAs continuing-education courses.


Smiling From Afar

Delta Dental of Colorado is appreciative of the brokers who help their clients find the right benefits plans that meet the needs of their employees and support their bottom line and often recommend a plan with Delta Dental. This year brought a lot of change in the way we do business with all of our customers and stakeholders, including our brokers. But the need to keep business going and continue to meet the requirements of the industry remained the same. Coffee meetings turned to Zoom meetings, and in-person learning events went virtual. Delta Dental of Colorado partnered with Kaiser Permanente and Kaplan to provide a free online continuing education series. Nearly 150 brokers attended the courses, which focused on ethics and financial strategies for clients, and provided continuing education credits.


Smiling for Each Other

Delta Dental of Colorado committed $1.5 million to front-line organizations addressing community needs like community health clinics, food banks, shelters, and those serving the most vulnerable, including the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver Rescue Mission, Food Bank of the Rockies, Metro Caring, and Family & Intercultural Resource Center.

Additionally, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation awarded $2 million through Responsive Community Relief Fund for general operating grants to support community health provision for those people most significantly stressed by the effects of COVID-19.

Supporting our Customers and Communities Through Sponsorship Opportunities

This year, despite the turmoil that COVID-19 threw many businesses and partnerships into, we found ways to connect with our community. During this difficult time, it was more important than ever to continue to show partners and communities why smiles matter. There were many opportunities and innovative ways to support smiles throughout the year. Our foundation and our corporate social responsibility program coordinated loans, volunteers, and financial donations, but those weren't the only ways we showed up for our community.

  • In late March 2020, in an effort to help share resources for the small business community enduring the brunt of the Covid crisis, the Denver Business Journal launched the Small Business Resource Guide. As the inaugural sponsor of this resource, Delta Dental of Colorado brought this assistance to the small businesses that are the heart of the economic health of our communities.
  • Over the summer, we were the title sponsor of BizWest's small business webinar series, Life Interrupted, to help small businesses dealing with the fallout of the pandemic. There's an important connection between oral health and overall health, which includes mental health. And beyond the obvious physical and economic tolls of the pandemic is the incredible burden it has put on people's mental health.
  • And while it's more important now than ever to come together as a community to tackle these obstacles, it's also incredibly important to find reasons to smile and to celebrate the people who go above and beyond. As a part of our sponsorship of the Denver Broncos we partnered with them to celebrate our teachers and the incredible work they have done during this difficult time. The Touchdowns for Teachers program recognized Most Valuable Teachers for their outstanding service to their schools and their communities.

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Boy taping artwork to wall

The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation

Committed to Healthy Communities

The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) focuses on elevating the well-being of Coloradans by advancing oral health equity; however, in 2020, DDCOF made an intentional effort to pause the focus on oral health care and respond to the immediate needs of housing and access to food across Colorado due to the pandemic.

During 2019–2020, DDCOF:

  • Contributed more than $1 million in funding to 34 Colorado nonprofit organizations.
  • More than 133,000 Coloradans reached in 55 counties, 40 of which were designated as rural.
  • More than 36,000 children under 10 were served by open-funding grantee programs.
  • More than 50 percent of open-funding grantee organizations reported more than 50 percent of their clients were people of color.
  • Funded more than 100 grants (see the video below about our 2020 Responsive Community Relief Funding).
  • Donated $250,000 to the Colorado COVID-19 Relief Fund, hosted by the state of Colorado and Mile High United Way.
  • Revised existing grants for flexible use such as providing food and housing resources to community members.
  • Offered $7.5 million as part of a provider loan program for dental practices across Colorado in partnership with the Colorado Enterprise Fund.
“It’s hard for our community members to prioritize dental care over critical needs such as food.”
–Family Star increased access to its food assistance program because demand tripled during the pandemic.

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Corporate Social Responsibility

Bringing Smiles to Colorado

Delta Dental of Colorado has a responsibility to ensure all Coloradans thrive and feel supported. Delta Dental of Colorado is dedicated to making a difference in the health of the community because doing good is woven into our company culture, which emphasizes doing the right thing even when no one is looking. And we know that doing good is good business..

Delta Dental of Colorado donated $350,000 in gifts to front-line organizations such as Metro Caring, YMCA of Metro Denver, and Project Angel Heart. Also, more than 150,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss were donated to front line organizations.

Additionally, our team members continued to step up and volunteer even if it meant doing it virtually! We collectively volunteered more than 1,000 hours across various organizations in Colorado ranging from Metro Caring, Mile High United Way, and even some socially distanced park clean-ups.

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Dad playing with his son

A New Home for DDCO and DDCOF

After 25 years in the same building, Delta Dental of Colorado and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation found a new home in 2020. Moving—especially during a pandemic—presented a number of opportunities including designing a more efficient space, connecting our team members that had previously been scattered across three floors, and implementing a strong emphasis on sustainability to create a work environment that’s healthy for our team members and the planet.

Chosen for its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, Peakview Tower accommodates our nearly 200 team members, allowing room to grow and easier access to upgraded amenities. The walls are adorned with artwork that reflects the spirit of the collective missions DDCO and DDCOF are pursuing throughout the state of Colorado and the positive impact both organizations have on the community.

Sustainability, continuity, and natural light have been core focus areas from the beginning stages of the project. The new office uses technology like light harvesting, which makes the space more comfortable for the users by adjusting to ideal lighting levels, and also decreases energy consumption. There are also recycled materials in the carpet and in much of the furniture. However, the most lasting environmental impact is the culture that engages team members to be more sustainable at work and at home.

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Learn more about how DDCO integrated sustainability and wellness into the office design.

Awards & Recognitions

Ensuring that Smiles Continue to Matter

2020 was a challenging year, but it was also one of great accomplishments and pride for all of us at Delta Dental of Colorado! The company and some of our team members received distinguished honors that let us know that despite challenging times and circumstances, there’s still plenty of reasons to continue to smile.

The Denver Post Top Workplaces:
At Delta Dental of Colorado, our team members are dedicated to our mission to improve the oral health of the communities we serve. This makes the honor of being named one of 150 Top Workplaces of 2020 by The Denver Post a special honor. The award is based solely on team-member feedback, and we are grateful for the positive input our team members offered in order to make this a reality.

Delta Dental of Colorado was named an honoree of The Civic 50 Colorado by CSR Solutions of Colorado and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. The award recognizes DDCO as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in Colorado determined by an independently administered and scored survey. The Civic 50 Colorado initiative, modeled after Points of Light’s national program, provides a standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills, and resources to drive social impact in their company and communities.

Denver Business Journal's Most Admired CEOs
Delta Dental of Colorado's own Helen Drexler was selected as one of the Denver Business Journal's Most Admired CEOs for 2020! An outstanding CEO is an innovator, standard-bearer, role model, and exceptional leader. Their contributions impact the company they head as well as the community in which they serve. Helen is passionate about our DDCO family, our business, and our mission and her commitment to excellence, persistence through adversity, and commitment to community through philanthropy and other actions ensured she landed on this coveted list.

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Smiling shop owner


For every dollar earned from operations in 2020, Delta Dental of Colorado spent:
84.4¢ on Dental Claims Payments

on Dental Claims Payments

12.1¢ on Administrative Costs (including Broker Commissions)

on Administrative Costs (including Broker Commissions)

1.7¢ on COVID-19 Relief Efforts

on COVID-19 Relief Efforts

1.5¢ on Community Engagement and Grants

on Community Engagement and Grants

In 2020, excluding investment returns, Delta Dental of Colorado retained less than 0.3% of revenue. This means that we paid claims quickly and efficiently and gave back to the communities we serve.

Balance Sheet

Years Ended December 31 (in thousands)

Assets 2020 2019
Cash and investments $66,892 $109,381
Accounts receivable, net 26,956 28,619
Property and equipment, net and other assets 14,676 5,334
Total Assets $108,524 $143,334
Unpaid claim reserves 20,780 20,478
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 26,059 17,915
Total Liabilities $49,839 $38,393
Company reserves, unrestricted 61,685 104,941
Total Liabilities & Reserves $108,524 $143,334
Statement of Operations & Changes in Reserves

Years Ended December 31 (in thousands)

Total revenue from operations $430,900 $465,023
COVID-19 premium credits (16,349)
Net investment income 2,868 11,020
Total Revenue $417,419 $476,043
Benefits for services to members and operating expenses 409,020 456,183
COVID-19 relief efforts 7,255
Grants and community engagement expenditures 6,400 7,045
Dividend to ensemble innovation ventures 38,000
Net Change in Reserves (43,256) 12,815

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Leadership Team

Senior Leadership Team

Top row from left: Adeeb Khan (Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Foundation Executive Director), Dr. Brad Guyton (Chief Dental Officer), Greg Vochis (Vice President & Chief Financial Officer), Dave Gerbus (Vice President of Administration & General Counsel) Bottom row from left: Kathy Jacoby (Vice President of Marketing & Member Experience), Helen Drexler (President & Chief Executive Officer), Mark Thompson (Vice President of Sales & Broker/Group Experience)

Board of Directors

Rich Call, DDS, MS (Retired Dentist), Kim Kretch, DDS (Pediatric Dentist), Bruce N. Calonge, MD, MPH (President & CEO, The Colorado Trust), Ann Somers, DDS (Periodontist), Hassan Salem (President, U.S. Bank—Colorado, and Regional President, U.S. Commercial Banking – CO, NV, UT, AZ), Ann Elizabeth Block (Retired Senior VP, Frontier Airlines), Walt Vogl, DDS (General Dentist), Andrea Young (Senior Vice President of Technology, Aimco Apartment Homes), James Cousin, II, CPA, MBA (Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Business Strategy, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses), Tamanna Tiwari, MPH, MDS, BDS (Dentist & Assistant Professor at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Colorado), Kelly J. Brough (President & CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce), Leo Tokar (Senior Vice President, Health & Welfare Practice, Lockton Companies), Helen Drexler (President & CEO, Delta Dental of Colorado), Mary Noonan (Retired Insurance Industry Executive), Mark Wehrle (Retired Partner, Deloitte & Touche)

Read more about the board >

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