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House OKs changes to active life membership category

November 05, 2012

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

San Francisco—The ADA House of Delegates passed Resolution 51H-2012 last month to address the dues rate paid by active life members.

Head table: Hearing testimony Oct. 20 at the Reference Committee on Membership and Related Matters are (from left) Dr. Puneet Kochhar, New Hampshire; Dr. Kevin Sessa, Colorado; and Dr. Ray Cohlmia, Oklahoma, chair.

Since 1990 when the Dues Equity Plan was implemented, active life members have received a 50 percent reduction in full dues. Beginning with the 2013 membership year, the discount will be reduced to 25 percent. Active life members will continue to receive the same benefits and services as active members who pay full dues.

The changes continue to recognize the tremendous achievement reached by dentists who become eligible for active life membership while also taking into consideration demographic shifts in membership, said Dr. Mark A. Bauman, chair of the ADA Council on Membership.

“The average age of ADA members is rising, and the number of members in the active life category is five times larger than it was when the category was created,” said Dr. Bauman. “With the continued aging of the baby boomers, this means a growing number of members are paying reduced dues while receiving the same benefits of membership as those paying full active dues.”

Dentists are eligible for active life membership when they have been a member for 30 consecutive years or 40 total years and are age 65 or older.

Hearing: Dr. Beatriz Terry of Miami speaks at the Reference Committee on Membership and Related Matters hearing Oct. 20. Photos by EZ Event Photography
“We are pleased that even with these changes, active life members will still enjoy a reduction in their dues and be acknowledged as achieving life status,” said Dr. Bauman.

Membership continues to grow, Dr. Bauman added, but the number paying less than full dues has increased substantially.

“Including partial year rates, the ADA Reduced Dues Program for new graduates, growth in graduate student membership and the active life rate, fewer members are paying full dues,” Dr. Bauman said. “Changing the active life discount rate from 50 to 25 percent will help keep the full dues rate as low as possible.”

In addition, he said the new dues rate equals that of recent graduates in their fourth year out of dental school, many of whom are burdened with dental school debt and may be facing the challenges and high costs of opening a practice.

Dentists in the active life category who cannot afford the increase and are in limited practice are encouraged to apply for dues waivers.