In 1995, the Minnesota Dental Association created Midwest Dental Benefits (MDB) to promote and administer innovative dental plans to employers in order to provide a valued alternative in the marketplace. During the past 17 years, MDB has grown to serve more than 120 employers with over 34,000 covered members.
In the past year, the MDA Board of Trustees and MDB have considered a new strategic business plan to grow MDB for the future and ensure a sustainable presence in the market. This new plan included required investments in administrative technology, expanded marketing and product development, and a reorganization of MDB to generate greater operational efficiencies. At the 2011 House of Delegates, a resolution related to the various options under consideration for the future direction of MDB was reviewed, and a final resolution approved, that gave support to the work of the Board of Trustees and MDB in exploring these options. In evaluating what resources MDB would need to successfully execute this new business plan, the MDA Board of Trustees ultimately made the decision that it could no longer financially support MDB’s business and would seek to divest MDB to a new partner in order to bring about the needed investments for the future. In making this decision, the BOT stipulated 4 primary goals for the divestment of MDB:
The MDA is pleased to announce that it has attained these goals and successfully entered into a purchase agreement with a highly-regarded company specializing in unique dental and vision plans that will enable MDB to deliver the new services faster and more efficiently. This firm currently provides quality plans under the brand name of “Simple”. Simple is a business unit of Benefit Stream, LLC, based in metro-Atlanta. The purchase agreement will transition ownership of MDB to Simple effective June 1, 2012.
Under this purchase agreement, Simple has agreed to take full ownership of MDB and its block of business. It will continue to operate the existing business and employer plans as they are today and begin making investments in a new administrative claims system and services immediately.
Simple has also agreed to maintain the existing MDB operation here in Minnesota and has entered into a lease agreement to continue to run this operation out of the current space in the MDA building in Minneapolis. A core group of MDB staff will be retained. Over the next twelve months, Simple seeks to consolidate its other dental and vision plan business to the MDB operation from their current administration operation in Georgia. This will position the MDB operation as their national hub for administration.
This agreement enables the MDA to step back from the responsibility of operating and funding MDB’s business while still ensuring the growth of the valued dental plans that have been fundamental to MDB’s mission. The MDA is excited about this new partnership with Simple and is eager to support them as they invest in improving MDB’s operation and services.
During the upcoming Star of the North Meeting, a booth has been secured where leaders from the MDA Board of Trustees, Midwest Dental Benefits, and Simple will be present to discuss this future and the positive impact it will have for MDB and the Minnesota dental community. Please stop by Booth #125 to meet the new owners and learn more about the new business plan for MDB.