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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

Exchange dental market still a mystery

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Carriers selling dental coverage through the exchanges have little to say about how the new distribution channel is shaping up.

The state-based PPACA exchanges, and the federally facilitated exchanges offer standalone dental coverage from a wide range of national and regional carriers, including Delta Dental, Guardian, MetLife, United Concordia Dental and WellPoint’s Anthem unit.

But many exchange managers have been too caught up getting the exchange Web shopping sites open to spend much time collecting and publish site usage figures, let alone product enrollment numbers.

Many exchange sites require users to create accounts and log in to get access to plan menus, and users might have to at least start reviewing medical plans before they can even see dental options.

Brokers who want to see a list of small-group exchange dental plans in front of an account log-in wall are going here.

Guardian, which is selling exchange dental coverage only through the small-group exchange program, is not expecting to see much enrollment activity in the first couple of weeks of open enrollment — which is set to last until Dec. 15 — and has not yet had much exchange-plan-related activity at its call center, the company said.

Jon Seltenheim, a senior vice president at United Concordia, said his company has started seeing some enrollments.

“At this point it’s a trickle of enrollments rather than a steady flow,” Seltenheim said. “We can see various start-up issues with the federal and state exchanges, but progress is being made.”

United Concordia expects to see daily exchange enrollment counts rise in the next week or two, as more consumers get through the enrollment process, Seltenheim said.

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