Business Profile | Bernard Glossy

May 2012 View more

Delta Dental of Illinois CEO

NMAG0512_BusinessBernard Glossy was selected by the Delta Dental of Illinois Board of Directors to assume the role of president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Illinois in July 2010. This growing non-profit dental service corporation administers and underwrites dental benefit plans for Illinois groups and individuals. Delta Dental of Illinois is one of 39 member companies of Delta Dental Plans Association who together cover one-third of all Americans with dental insurance. The company covers two million enrollees nationwide, including employees at one-third of the Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in Illinois and many prestigious local groups—Edward Hospital, the City of Naperville, the State of Illinois, Naperville School District 203, and the Chicago Public Schools.

With newly built frontage property along I-88’s tech corridor and a fresh president and CEO, Delta Dental of Illinois is clearly poised for growth. Delta Dental of Illinois was recently selected as the administrator of the State of Illinois group dental plans—the largest employer in the state. Naperville Magazine recently spoke with Glossy about Delta Dental and living in the Naperville area.

Chicagoland is a large market and you cover the rest of the state as well. What distinguishes Delta Dental of Illinois from other dental carriers and why should an Illinois group or individual purchase a Delta Dental program?

Not only does Delta Dental cover more smiles nationwide than any other dental carrier, but we are dedicated to oral health wellness. Delta Dental of Illinois is a not-for-profit dental service corporation, which means we are not a publicly traded company and driven by or beholden to stockholders.  As a not-for-profit company, we answer to the call of our mission—indeed our passion—to improve the oral health of the communities we serve throughout the state of Illinois.

We’re celebrating our 45th anniversary this year. Since 1967, we’ve maintained a core focus on dental benefits and the Illinois market.  We are headquartered right here in Naperville and with over 45 years of experience designing plans and administering benefits, we’ve gained quite a bit of wisdom when it comes to all things “teeth”. We share that wisdom with our clients by designing smarter dental benefits that focus on wellness and prevention providing superior local service every day, and maintaining a larger network of credentialed dentists through our unique Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier solution, and as a result over 80 percent of enrollees use a network dentist, helping to ensure cost savings and the protection of a network.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation (DDILF) was formed in March 2008 with a mission to improve the oral health of local communities. Tell us about some of the programs offered through the Foundation.

The Foundation fulfills our mission by developing programs intended to provide oral health education and expand access to oral health care for people, particularly children, in need throughout Illinois. Our community benefit efforts through the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation focus on three core areas: Oral Health Education and Awareness, access to Oral Health Care, and Education for Dental Professionals. We recently hired a Director of Philanthropy and Community Benefit to run the Foundation and will be embarking on some interesting projects in 2012.

“Dentist by 1” is a program to raise awareness of the importance of visiting the dentist by the age of one, and we launched a public awareness campaign in April to support this effort. Land of Smiles, a free and fun children’s theater program geared to children from kindergarten through third grade. The Tooth Wizard and his nemesis, PlaqueMan have visited more than 150,000 children in elementary schools across the state, educating them on the importance of good oral health. We are a sponsor of Illinois Mission of Mercy, which will take place this summer, and offer free oral health care to the community. We also offer scholarships to dental students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Southern Illinois University (SIU) who exemplify professionalism in the management of providing patient care services and have committed to practice in Illinois.

Previously coverage was only available through an employer-sponsored group dental program, but Delta Dental of Illinois now offers residents plans for individuals, couples, and families for as little as $15 per month. How much success have you seen with these programs?

We launched an individual dental product in July 2011 and are extremely pleased to offer Illinois residents and their families access to the same comprehensive dental benefit programs Delta Dental of Illinois has offered to groups for 45 years. There are three dental benefit plan options created specifically for individuals, couples, and families without dental coverage. Delta Dental of Illinois’ Enhanced Benefits Program is included with its Silver and Gold Plans. The program offers additional coverage for individuals who have specific health conditions (including pregnancy, diabetes, high-risk cardiac conditions, and suppressed immune systems) that can be positively affected by additional oral health care.

How is the healthcare reform legislation shaping the direction you see for Delta Dental of Illinois?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is definitely going to change the way employers and employees think about, purchase, and engage in their health benefits, including dental. PPACA will have significant implications on how health benefits are priced and purchased. We obviously believe dental benefits are essential to ensuring those who need oral health care get it and in helping prevent oral health disease. We don’t want to see dental get lost or be an afterthought among consumers. Dental benefits stress prevention since preventive oral health care, like regular cleanings, is the best way to protect and improve oral health.

You’re somewhat new to the Naperville area, moving here in 2010 from Arizona. What are some of your favorite things about the Midwest?

I’m originally from New York and having lived in several large metropolitan areas in several states, I appreciate the energy in the Chicagoland area, especially Naperville.  I am impressed with the strong ties that exist in the Naperville community, which speaks volumes about the quality of the local businesses and people who live and work here. While I’m not as used to the changing seasons as I once was, I’m enjoying this mild winter and am greatly enjoying the endless cultural and sporting activities this area provides.  And of course, the diversity in people and cuisine is unmatched. I’m looking forward to a long tenure, but also some vacation breaks to enjoy all this area has to offer!

Photo by Mike Hudson