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.
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.
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
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:
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:
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.
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.
In addition to the work of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, Delta Dental of Colorado donated more than $1 million to nonprofits across the front range throughout 2020. Much of our philanthropy was focused on 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.
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.
The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) focuses on elevating the well-being of Coloradans by advancing oral health equity. In 2020, DDCOF doubled its efforts by continuing to support oral health through funding community health clinics directly impacted by COVID and opening new funding streams to support nonprofits that provide support services, enabling communities to ensure all of their needs were met be it health care, housing, or access to food.
During 2020, DDCOF:
“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.
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.
In addition to our philanthropic contributions, we have donated more than 150,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to front-line organizations.
Finally, 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 Share Food Bank, Mile High United Way, and even some socially distanced park clean-ups.
“Delta Dental rallied around our Thanksgiving food drive, donating toothbrushes, and upon seeing a need gave more to ensure our Children’s Holiday Party was the best to date. Delta Dental of Colorado team members are excited to give back, volunteer, and even Zoom for our Turkey Trot! We have always been so blessed by your partnership.”
—Mile High United Way
“I like to volunteer for many reasons. Most nonprofits can’t provide services without the support of volunteers. By volunteering, I want to make sure nonprofits are able to continue their important work in the community.”
—Irina Nekhenzon, Clinical System Support Specialist Lead
“Volunteering is a privilege! It is an opportunity to serve and service our community. Delta Dental of Colorado not only encourages our employees to volunteer but provides resources and opportunities that significantly impact our community.”
—Kay Girodo, Sales Executive
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.
Learn more about how DDCO integrated sustainability and wellness into the office design.
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.
“The impact we have on the community is amazing. I feel like a part of something bigger than me. It makes my work meaningful.”
—DDCO Team Member
“Delta Dental of Colorado is proud of being named a 2020 Top Workplace by The Denver Post. Our mission and values are at the core of everything we do, and it’s reflected daily in the interactions we have with our members, groups, brokers, providers, and each other. Our team members are the heart of Delta Dental of Colorado, and we couldn’t be prouder that the feedback they provided is what led us to this distinct honor.”
—Helen Drexler, President and CEO
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.
on Dental Claims Payments
on Administrative Costs (including Broker Commissions)
on COVID-19 Relief Efforts
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.
Years Ended December 31 (in thousands)
|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|
|Unpaid claim reserves||20,780||20,478|
|Accounts payable and accrued liabilities||26,059||17,915|
|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|
|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|
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)
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)