Foundation launches $500,000 relief grant fund for health nonprofits

Delta Dental of Iowa and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation today announced two relief programs to offer Iowa dentists and nonprofits financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Delta Dental of Iowa, whose network includes 94% of Iowa’s dentists, has allocated more than $10 million for a new Advance Claims Payment Program, which will provide financial assistance for its network dentists who have been affected by COVID-19 disruptions and address their immediate cash flow needs. The program will provide dentists with advances equal to 50% of their average claims payment for four weeks. 

Additionally, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has committed $500,000 for the COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Operating Relief Fund, which will provide operating grants up to $10,000 to Iowa nonprofit organizations focused on providing health and wellness services or addressing food insecurity needs during this crisis. 

“These are unprecedented times. As a health and wellness company, we are committed to maintaining our services to our customers, but we wanted to do more for Iowa dentists and our community partners,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa and president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. 

Russell said that the advances, which will total more than $10 million, will be sufficient to provide its entire network of more than 1,600 dentists with half of their regular cash flow during the four-week period. Delta Dental estimates that it will completely recoup the advances, which dentists will repay beginning in July over a 20-week period, by the end of this year. For now, the offer is being extended only to its in-network dentists. 

“We know that dental visits that have been canceled will be rescheduled — there will be a pent-up demand when this crisis is over,” Russell said. No application fees, interest or other costs will be charged to the dentists for the program, he said. 

What if the pandemic keeps dental practices for more than the next four weeks? 

“We’ve talked about that,” Russell said. “We think that if this goes much beyond that, there will also be governmental assistance. But we’ll evaluate [if that happens] to see where we can be part of the solution.” 

Additionally, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s new COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Operating Relief Grants will be for nonprofits focused on health and wellness services as well as addressing food insecurity needs. Russell said the grants fit in with the foundation’s broader mission now to assist with health and wellness needs, not just dental needs. 

“With so many fundraising events that have been canceled, we think this fund will help these nonprofits to continue their important work,” he said.  

These funds can be used to cover fixed operational expenses such as: salaries for medical providers, volunteer coordinators, medical workforce (e.g., lab technicians, CNAs), rent, utilities, Internet, insurance, phone, medical supplies, etc. Nonprofits wanting more information on these grants should go to www.deltadentalia.com/foundation. 

“Caring for our communities has been a core value for our company for over 50 years. We want to ensure our dental and nonprofit partners can continue to provide essential health services during this time and into the future. We are all in this together.”