TDA GUIDE to Membership Benefits
Whether you are a prospective or longtime TDA member, knowing the Benefits of Membership is vital. Listed below are some of the products and services available at no or reduced cost to TDA members. For additional information, contact the TDA Executive Office at (615) 628-0208 or via e-mail. TDA Members can use the 1-800 number.
THE TDA INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.
TDA members are eligible for a wide variety of insurance coverage at very attractive rates. CLICK HERE for more information on the TDA Insurance Agency, Inc. The following types of insurance coverage are:
Disability Income Protection
Business Overhead Expenses
Health Savings/Reimbursement Accounts
Long Term Care
Financial Review Service
Group Major Medical
Health Savings/Reimbursement Accounts
Group Life and AD&D
Office Contents/Bldg Package
Tax Audit Service
The Agency's phone number is 1-800-347-1109 FREE.
TENNESSEE DENTAL ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE OFFICE
The Tennessee Dental Association has its Executive Office in Franklin, TN. The staff is constantly working on behalf of the members and is available: Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (central time) Summer Hours (June, July and August) 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
COMMITTEE ON THE NEW DENTIST
The TDA, ADA and Tennessee's Component Societies are all committed to the needs and concerns of new dentists. Committees of new professionals have been formed at each level to make sure that organized dentistry's policies and goals continue to be relevant. The TDA also has a New Dentist Representative participate during each Board of Trustees meeting.
Through attendance at local dental society, TDA and ADA meetings, a wide variety of affordable continuing education programs are available to members. Also, the TDA sponsors a continuing education registry program known as ACE. In addition to recording continuing education hours and proof of current CPR training, ACE honors TDA member dentists who participate in 80 or more hours of continuing education during each two-year period.
ANNUAL SESSION - MUSIC CITY DENTAL CONFERENCE, PRESENTED BY TDA
At the annual meetings of both the TDA and ADA, members are able to participate in a wide variety of affordable continuing education seminars; view the latest in equipment, supplies and services; take an active role in the business of the Association; meet with colleagues; and attend a wide variety of gatherings.
The Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association and the TDA Newsletter keep members abreast of the latest news of concern to the dental profession in Tennessee. TDA and Component Society activities, scientific advancements, government regulations, legislation, and other news which influences Tennessee dentistry are all included.
DENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION
The TDA has always advocated good dental health for all of Tennessee's citizens. Members can contribute to this ongoing effort by educating their patients, donating their time to appear before various groups, as well as by taking part in Children's Dental Health Month each February and National Senior Smile Week held each year during May.
RELIEF AND DISASTER RELIEF
Each Fall, the TDA conducts a Relief Fund Drive. At that time members voluntarily contribute to a fund designed to help dentists and their families during times of unusual financial need. In addition, an ADA Disaster Relief Fund provides interest-free loans to dentists for the purpose of restoring a practice facility or personal dwelling damaged by a natural disaster.
MONITORING OF PREPAID DENTAL BENEFIT PLANS
The Association continuously monitors prepaid dental benefit plans in Tennessee, and answers members' questions concerning new developments. The TDA Council on Dental Benefit Programs assists purchasers and employee groups in selecting a dental plan. An analysis of dentist participation contracts for dental benefit programs is also available from the ADA, at no charge to members when requested through the TDA.
ALLIANCE OF THE TDA
Spouses of members who desire to become involved with dentistry contribute a great deal to the promotion of good dental health through membership in the Alliance of the TDA. The Alliance has local and national chapters as well.
The TDA is the voice of the membership in Nashville, not only during the legislative session but all year long. Government plays a major role in the professional life of Tennessee's dentists. Only through the collective voice of the more than 2,500 Tennessee Dental Association members will those elected to public office, or employed by state government, listen. Each Component Society has a representative on the TDA Council on Governmental Affairs and individual members are encouraged to become a liaison to one or more state legislators. Member input regarding legislation and/or governmental regulations is always welcomed.
After joining the TDA, members can enhance their political involvement by making a voluntary contribution to Tenn-D-Pac, the TDA's political action committee, and ADPAC, the ADA's counterpart. The funds contributed, when paying annual membership dues, are used to elect or re-elect candidates who will work with dentistry on the issues affecting the profession. The Tenn-D-Pac Capital Club recognizes TDA members who contribute more than $150 per year to the PAC.
DENTAL BENEFIT COMPANY PROBLEMS
Nearly every dentist at some time has a problem with a dental benefits company that cannot be remedied merely by corresponding with or by calling that company. The TDA offers its assistance in resolving such problems and has an excellent track record in settling disputes which have arisen.
Even though members do their very best to eliminate the dental problems of each of their patients, there will come a time when a patient believes he/she has not received quality dental care. If this situation arises, members are encouraged to first try to come to some resolution with the patient. Should that effort fail, the TDA and its Component Dental Societies offer Peer Review. The Peer Review mechanism has been in effect for several years and has been very effective in eliminating the necessity for legal proceedings to settle disputes regarding dental care. Peer Review is not a one-way street. It can be initiated by a patient or a dentist. Peer Review is a no-charge service to TDA members but requires that a $500 fee be paid in advance by non-member dentists desiring to utilize this valuable service.
The Tennessee Dental Association has developed an excellent working relationship with the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA). The TDA staff as well as the Committee on Environment and Infection Control are always available to members who have concerns about infectious diseases, hazardous chemicals, employee safety and training and waste management. The TDA provides members with a TOSHA Checklist at no cost.
DENTAL CHARGE CARDS FOR PATIENTS
Many dental patients are unable to pay a full cash payment for dental services at the time such services are delivered. For this reason, the TDA endorses CareCredit. This program enables member dentists to offer their patients a dentistry-only credit card with interest charged much like a VISA or MasterCard. While the dentist pays a small percentage when patients participate, this non-recourse program never puts the member dentist at risk should the patient fail to pay the balance owed.
TDA FOUNDATION (TDAF)
The 1994 TDA House of Delegates voted to establish a foundation, known as the Tennessee Dental Association Foundation (TDAF). The TDAF's mission is to promote dental health programs and dental education, educate the public about dentistry, establish and fund dental scholarships, support dental research and support other organizations with similar goals.