The Delta Dental Plans Association has come up with a document that will shape its participation in health care reform discussions.

The Delta Dental Plans Association, Oak Brook, Ill., represents nonprofit dental service companies that provide or administer dental benefits for 47 million U.S. residents.

The association started its policy document with a set of “fundamental observations,” including the statements, “Dental is an inseparable part of health and overall wellness” and, “Everyone deserves dental coverage.”

Implications of those observations include the idea that “Dental carriers should be encouraged in their efforts to develop and enforce competitive fee arrangements, equitable reimbursement and dental policies, and innovative plan design to ensure necessary and appropriate care,” the association says.

Reform proposals should not hurt existing dental plans or replace dental carriers with a government-sponsored administration agency, the association says.