In 1954, dentists who recognized the need to increase access to oral health care formed dental service organizations in California, Oregon and Washington. Led by Washington Dental Service (WDS), we began to create the future definition of dental benefits with employee benefits programs for organized labor unions.
In 1966, these local organizations joined in the creation of Delta Dental Plans Association in order to coordinate dental benefits programs for customers with employees in multiple states. A year later, WDS partnered with the International Association of Machinists, creating the first multi-state dental benefits program and beginning a cycle of continued growth and expansion for Delta Dental.
To meet the needs of clients with out-of-state subscribers, WDS worked with other Delta Dental member companies and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association members, continuing to serve its clients this way through the late 1980’s.
When Delta Dental of California was chosen as the dental benefits carrier for the Office of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (OCHAMPUS) program, other Delta Dental member companies agreed to share their dentist data in order to centralize the administration of this large account. This change resulted in the creation of the National Provider File (NPF), and the establishment in 1990 of DeltaUSA—the company responsible for overseeing our dentist data and enabling the administration of national business.
Today, Delta Dental Plans Association is comprised of 39 independent Delta Dental member companies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. And, as the largest and most experienced dental benefits carrier in the country, we provide coverage to more than 59.5 million people enrolled in more than 97,000 groups.