2019 Annual Report

The simple equation of Smile Power™

A Message from our CEO

Every team member here at Delta Dental of Colorado knows that my favorite saying is 1+1=3. Essentially, that means we have more collective impact when we work together. And when we work closely with our members, providers, employers, brokers, and community partners we can make dental benefits easier to use, increase access to dental services, and improve the oral health of the communities we serve.

I look at Smile Power as a similar kind of equation. Delta Dental of Colorado gives our members the power to use and manage their dental benefits easily, which equals better oral and overall health. Then we add innovative plans, a large provider network, and expert customer service, which equals accessible, affordable, and simple dental care. And all of that adds up to a healthier smile and a healthier life!

As a nonprofit dental benefits provider, we want to give everyone in Colorado the power of a healthy smile, and, to do that, we offer a spectrum of products and services from group plans, individual and family plans, on-exchange plans, Medicare plans, and we work with our community partners to help those in our cities and towns who don't have access to health insurance by funding hygienists in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) through our foundation and events like Colorado Mission of Mercy free dental clinics.

Your oral health is strongly connected to your overall health, which is why we put people and prevention first. Thank you to all of our members, providers, employers, brokers, and community partners who are a huge part of the Smile Power equation! Together we can make 1+1=3.

Helen Drexler
Helen Drexler
Photo: Girl Smiling

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 1.3 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 give to organizations that support our mission and help expand access to quality dental care. Creating healthy Colorado smiles is what drives us.


For every dollar earned from customers in 2019, we spent:
85¢ on Dental Claims Payments, 11¢ on Administrative Costs 
(including Broker Commissions), and 2¢ on on Community Engagement and Grants
Balance Sheet

Years Ended December 31 (in thousands)

Assets 2018 2017
Cash and investments $129,614 $132,984
Accounts receivable, net, and other 22,049 23,304
Property and equipment, net and other assets 5,469 7,391
Total Assets $157,132 $163,679
Unpaid claims and claim adjustment expenses 18,778 18,742
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 12,842 14,282
Total Liabilities $31,620 $33,024
Company reserves, unrestricted 104,941 92,126
Total Liabilities & Reserves $157,132 $163,679
Statement of Operations & Changes in Reserves

Years Ended December 31 (in thousands)

Total revenue from operations $446,125 $410,159
Net investment income (4,490) 11,895
Total Revenue $441,635 $422,054
Benefits for services to members and operating expenses 439,222 404,309
Grants and community engagement expenditures 7,556 4,655
Net Change in Reserves (5,143) 13,090

In 2019, excluding investment returns, Delta Dental of Colorado retained less than 0.4% of revenue. This means that we paid claims quickly and efficiently, and gave back to the communities we serve.

Senior Leadership Team

Leadership Team

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

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Top row from left: Rich Call, DDS, MS—Retired, DMD, Kim Kretch, DDS (Pediatric Dentist), Bruce N. Calonge, MD, MPH (President and 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 and Vice President of Business Strategy, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses), Tamanna Tiwari, MPH, MDS, BDS (Dentist and Assistant Professor at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Colorado) Front row from left: Kelly J. Brough (President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce), Leo Tokar (Senior Vice President, Health & Welfare Practice, Lockton Companies), Helen Drexler (President and CEO, Delta Dental of Colorado), Mary Noonan (Retired Insurance Industry Executive), Mark Wehrle (Retired Partner, Deloitte & Touche)

The Smile Power Equation
2,355,465 Total Service Claims
731,868 New Members
1,346,558 Members
96.28% Retention Rate
98.9% Employees Choose PPO™ Plans
98.0% Member Satisfaction

Year in Review —
Smile Power™ is a Constant

People and Prevention First

Improving the oral health of the communities we serve is a serious task. We do that by harnessing the power of prevention, by serving as advocates for our nearly 1.4 million members' oral health in order to achieve their best oral and overall health. Because Smile Power is our constant, we're developing innovative programs to keep that the relationship between oral and overall health top of mind.

One of those innovative programs, Right Start 4 Kids®, sets children up for a lifetime of good oral health by providing diagnostic & preventive, basic, and major dental coverage up to their 13th birthday at 100% coinsurance with no deductible. Almost 80% of all our covered business now have this benefit enhancement. We understand that when you set up a child with healthy, preventive habits from the start, a brighter, healthier future will await.

The Hypertension Identification Program has also allowed us to put prevention at the heart (literally) of what we do. The program, originally developed for University of Colorado Health Plan and UC Health, aims to track blood pressure readings taken during routine dental office visits. Since the program's inception, participating provider offices have screened more than 3,700 patients for high blood pressure, with at least 13 identified as being in a hypertensive crisis and referred to their primary care physician for further, potentially life-saving evaluation. Our hope is that by helping providers make the connection between oral and overall health for their patients, we can help members achieve more positive overall health outcomes.

Photo: Dad and Daughter

Dedicated to Dental

Our dedication to dental will always be at our core. We strive to ensure that the world-class service we provide to our members, employers, and providers stands at the center of that commitment.

Our new chief dental officer, Brad T. Guyton, DDS, MPH, MBA, has reaffirmed that commitment as he brings focus to a higher level of thought leadership in the areas of oral health and wellness, medical-dental integration, value-based plan design and reimbursement, product development, and provider relations. As a currently practicing dentist and an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Guyton brings valuable insights that will help us design programs and partnerships that address evolving consumer demands and provider preferences.

Photo: Happy Retired Couple Playing Tennis

The continuous feedback we receive from our stakeholders through our Voice of the Customer survey helps us continue to refine our focus. Since 2016, Delta Dental of Colorado has been conducting this program to measure Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for our employers, members, and providers. Over the course of four years, we've seen a significant increase in our NPS, especially among members and providers. Much of the improvement in the scores can be attributed to our strong service culture, which makes it easy for employers, members, and providers to work with us. Our customers know their claims will be paid quickly and accurately and that our service representatives will help with any issues. Our team members always go the extra mile for every smile.

Trusted by Dentists and Hygienists

Smile Power can only be achieved through strong relationships with partners, the most important being the one with our trusted provider network. We acknowledge the importance of this relationship knowing that Delta Dental of Colorado was built by dentists more than 60 years ago.

Providers continue to believe that DDCO is the best dental carrier in Colorado. Our Voice of the Customer program surveys providers on how we are doing, and the results continue to demonstrate that DDCO is strongly preferred as the best dental carrier in Colorado. The reasons they continue to hold DDCO in such high regard Is that they believe that we have the best reputation among dentists and we understand and respect the concerns of dentists.

2019 Provider Stats
413 Attendees at Free CPR Trainings
97 Attendees at Free Dental Seminars
1,068 In-office Provider Visits
280,682 Phone Calls with Providers
2,576 PPO™ Providers
3,509 Premier® Providers

Corporate Social Responsibility:
The Absolute Value of Community Outreach

Delta Dental of Colorado's commitment to serving communities across our state has guided our nonprofit heritage and mission for more than 60 years. We are consistently challenging ourselves to improve our business practices and fulfill our corporate social responsibility goals in three ways:

  1. Offering best-in-class team member engagement and impact incentives focused on volunteerism, financial donations, and board participation.
    • Delta Dental of Colorado saw a 31% increase in total team member volunteer participation with activities ranging from our customer service team building hygiene kits for the Mile High United Way to volunteering at organizations including Metro Caring and A Precious Child. In 2019, our leadership served on 16 community nonprofit boards, which we also supported with financial gifts. We also promoted health and wellness by sponsoring ten walks and runs.
    2019 Volunteer Stats
    712 Total Volunteer Hours
    111 Team Members Volunteered
    11 Team Members Contributed 450 Hours of Board Service for 16 Organizations
    10 Department Volunteer Experiences
  2. Supporting nonprofit organizations through programmatic grants, sponsorships, and in-kind support.
    • Tooth decay is almost 100% preventable, yet it's the most common chronic disease of childhood. In 2019 we donated 75,285 toothbrushes, along with toothpaste and dental floss to nonprofits and schools. We also partnered with Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles to break a Guinness World Record. More than 60 volunteers placed 41,769 toothbrushes to create the longest line of toothbrushes—3.5 miles! The toothbrushes were donated to more than a dozen local community organizations.
    • Adding to the equation, the Colorado Community College System is increasing access to dental hygiene programs through an endowment including our $1.2-million contribution. In 2019, 18 scholarships were awarded to students enrolled at Colorado Northwestern Community College, Community College of Denver, and Pueblo Community College. Three Delta Dental Endowed Professorships we also established.
  3. Collaborating through strategic partnerships that connect oral health as part of overall health.
    • Strategic partnerships allow us to help make the connection between oral and overall health. One example is our partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA), which draws important connections between healthy mouths and healthy hearts. In 2019, 128 team members registered for the Denver Heart Walk, led by our President and CEO and Heart Walk Chair Helen Drexler. Throughout the year, employees also participated in Wear Red for Women Day, a spirited fundraising activity for March Madness, and kicked off our yearly Wellness Walks on National Walking Day, the first Wednesday in April. Team members contributed more than $14,000 to support AHA's mission.

Dear Delta Dental,

Our Greeley, Colorado corps has a desperate need for toothbrushes. It serves a large number of youth. Clean teeth promote heart health and successful pregnancies/child births and discourage gum disease, diabetes and oral cancer. When I visited High Peak Camp (our youth summer camp near Estes Park) last July, a youngster said one of her favorite things about camp is that she gets her own toothbrush—one she doesn't have to share with her siblings. Understandably, this brought some of us to tears. Thanks for considering our request.

—The Salvation Army

Photo: Mom and Daughter
2019 Charitable Contributions
126 Sponsorships
10 Runs & Races Tied to Employee Wellness
$14,000 to the American Heart Association
$37,909 to United Way
4 Supply Drives Benefitting Local Organizations
3,380 Diapers Donated to Mile High United Way
50 Sports Items Donated to A Precious Child
175 Gifts Donated to Colfax Community Network and Los Pobres Unidos

Foundation: Elevating Oral Health Equity

At Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, we understand and live the mantra of 1 + 1 = 3. On average, people with lower incomes, rural residents, pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people of color face barriers to care that lead to poorer health outcomes. That's why we partner with communities to implement innovative programs and projects intended to reach those with the most to gain.

The Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project (CO MDI) expands access to dental services to underserved communities by adding registered dental hygienists (RDHs) and a full scope of services to medical care teams. CO MDI has been an ongoing effort since 2015. In 2019, RDHs at 10 clinics across the state served 5,132 patients.

2019 Foundation Numbers
$3.4M Committed in Funding over Three Years to 29 Colorado Non-profits
28,700 Coloradans Reached by Community-based Grantees
5,000 Patients Served by Newly Expanded Colorado Medical Clinics
17,977 Children Received Land of Smiles Oral Health Prevention Education

Bob, a 79-year-old disabled and visually impaired Vietnam veteran, was able to access oral health resources with support from the Dominican Home Health Agency (DHHA). They helped Bob reapply for Medicaid benefits and coordinated efforts between three organizations and a dentist to give Bob a set of dentures and a new smile for the first time in 20 years.

At 15 years old, Andrew had never brushed his teeth. Unable to take the pain in his mouth, he begged his mother to take him to the dentist. Andrew was given his first toothbrush and showed how to brush his teeth, a truly life-changing experience.

Janet is raising five children in Sterling, Colorado. She works two jobs to provide for her family and has little free time. Janet feels that it's important that her children receive regular medical care, but scheduling is a challenge with her workload. When she showed up for her doctor visit with her family, Janet learned that every member of her family could receive a CO MDI dental check-up at the same time. She was thrilled.