At the Dublin Dental Hospital on September 18 to mark Mouth Cancer Awareness Day were DeCare Dental staff (from left): Edel Jordan, Communications Manager; David Casey, Dental Professional Services Executive; Dr Ger Gavin, Chief Dental Officer; and, Maureen Walsh, CEO.

At the Dublin Dental Hospital on September 18 to mark Mouth Cancer Awareness Day were DeCare Dental staff (from left): Edel Jordan, Communications Manager; David Casey, Dental Professional Services Executive; Dr Ger Gavin, Chief Dental Officer; and, Maureen Walsh, CEO.

DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland, the country’s only dedicated dental insurer, has announced plans to expand its business significantly over the next two years. DeCare entered the market in Ireland ten years ago, offering the country’s first dental insurance products through Vhi DeCare and subsequently, an exclusive contract with Vhi Healthcare. This contract is due to end in November 2013 and Maureen Walsh, CEO, DeCare said the company believes there is a significant growth opportunity in selling policies directly to consumers and corporate customers, rather than solely through the VHI: “Over 48,000 people currently have a dental insurance policy through and there is growing demand from both individual customers and corporate customers and that is where our focus for future growth is. We believe that DeCare has a stronger opportunity by embarking on a new business model, which will allow us to sell directly to customers as well as through the more traditional insurance channels such as through brokers and other insurance companies. The signs are that more and more people are interested in this type of insurance because of the immediate benefits they can access, such as claiming for regular visits to the dentist and treatment. We’ve enjoyed a very strong relationship with Vhi over the last ten years, with DeCare providing the customer service support, claims processing, benefit design, financial underwriting services, and oral health and awareness programmes for the market here in Ireland. During that time we have also worked closely with Ireland’s dentists to help raise awareness of the importance of oral health. DeCare’s specialist team led by Chief Dental Officer Dr Ger Gavin will continue to invest in this important activity and in providing support for our customers.”

To support its expansion here in Ireland, DeCare has already begun to expand its sales and support team, expecting to add a further 10 employees to the existing team of 250 between now and the end of 2014. These roles will be based both at DeCare’s headquarters in Claremorris, Co. Mayo and in Dublin.

DeCare’s plans will be available to the general public and details of the new products will be available from November 21 at Existing policyholders are still covered under their current policy until the next renewal date, when they will receive advance information to help them choose from a wider range of products.

DeCare is a subsidiary of DeCare Dental LLC, a global benefits management group with over 40 years of proven success and more than four million customers worldwide. DeCare is owned by WellPoint, one of the largest health benefit companies in the United States.