Some constituent and component dental societies have developed a network of volunteer dentists to help maintain the practices of dentists who are temporarily activated into service. These dentists provide care in the deployed dentist’s office and treat their patients. They may also see the deployed service members’ patient’s emergent needs in their own practices. For more information, please contact your state or local dental society for the support it can offer. In areas where such programs do not exist, it is in the best interest of the reservist to be proactive in coordinating and developing networks of support, and awareness of potential need. Being prepared will make the transition less burdensome and provide some peace of mind and security if such coverage is ever necessary. Every circumstance is unique and therefore must be evaluated independently. A “one size fits all” should be avoided, and all options should be considered to best fit an individual’s needs. (For current information on the local and state dental society support options, please link here to access their websites.)
When you deploy to a combat zone while in uniformed service, you may be eligible for special tax benefits (See: Special tax benefits for members of the military and their families | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov). It is recommended to consult with your accountant or tax advisor for professional advice in case a deployment is pending.
ADA membership dues waivers are available to active members in good standing who are temporarily called to active duty. Constituent and component dental associations may waive constituent and component dental association dues of members in good standing who are temporarily called to active duty with a federal service for the period of active duty plus six months. Waiver requests are submitted through a local or state dental society. Please contact your state dental society to file a request for a dues waiver. (For current information on the local and state dental society dues waiver options, please link here to access their websites.)
The ADA Members Insurance Plans, underwritten by Protective, include group term and universal life, disability income, office overhead expense (disability), and supplemental medical (hospital indemnity and critical illness) plan options for eligible ADA members including those in the Federal Dental Services. The disability and supplemental medical plans are not available to members while in active full-time military service of one of the six service branches of the armed forces, i.e., Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The active full-time military service exclusion does not apply to Reserve or National Guard members unless/until they are deployed, nor does it apply to members serving in Public Health and NOAA.
Eligibility under the ADA Members Insurance Plans for military reserve, national guard and active-duty dentist members is summarized below. For more information, contact an ADA Plan Specialist at Protective at
- ADA Life Insurance Plans
- ADA eligible members serving in the Reserve or National Guard can apply for new or increased life insurance.
- ADA Disability and Supplemental Medical Insurance Plans – New Applicant
- ADA eligible members in the Reserve or National Guard may apply for new or increased disability coverage.
- ADA Disability and Supplemental Medical Insurance Plans – In Force Coverage
- There is a war exclusion under the disability plans that applies to all insured persons including non-military members.
- ADA Life Insurance Plans
- There are no restrictions under the ADA Life Plans for members in active full-time military service. All eligible FDS members, including those serving in the armed forces service branches, can apply for new or increased life insurance and may renew existing coverage.
- Members in active full-time military service outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, or other territory of the U.S., may experience longer application processing time in connection with medical underwriting which requires a paramedical exam. In that situation, an application is either postponed or delayed until the member returns to the U.S. or a U.S. territory and can arrange to complete a paramedical exam.
- There is a war exclusion under the optional accidental death rider, but it is not specific to active full-time military service. All insured persons, including non-military members and dependents, are subject to this war exclusion.
- ADA Disability Insurance Plans
- ADA Members in active full-time military service are not eligible to apply for new or increased disability coverage or renew existing coverage.
- If already insured in the ADA Disability Income Protection, Office Overhead Expense, or Student Disability Plan coverage would terminate on the 31st day following the commencement of active full-time military service.
- Coverage under the ADA Disability Income Protection and Office Overhead Expense Plans can be reinstated upon the eligible member’s separation from active full-time military service and return to full-time work.
- ADA Student Disability coverage can be converted to the ADA Members Disability Income Protection Plan upon the eligible member’s separation from active full-time military service and commencement of full-time work.
- There is a war exclusion under the ADA member’s disability plans, but it is not specific to active full-time military service. All insureds, including non-military members, are subject to the war exclusion.
- ADA Supplemental Medical Insurance Plans
- ADA members in active full-time military service are not eligible to apply for new or increased hospital indemnity or critical illness coverage or renew existing coverage.
- Coverage under the ADA MedCASH, Hospital Indemnity and Critical Illness Plans terminates on the 31st day following the commencement of active full-time military service.
- There is a war exclusion under the MedCASH, Hospital Indemnity and Critical Illness Plans, but it is not specific to active full-time military service. It is important to note that all insureds, including non-military members and their dependents, are subject to the war exclusion.
Military organizations may offer special insurance plans for members. The Military Officers Association of America has several TRICARE supplements available through MEDIPLUS plans:
- MEDIPLUS® TRICARE Supplement Insurance Plan
- MEDIPLUS® TRICARE Reserve Select Supplement Insurance Plans
- MEDIPLUS® TRICARE Retired Reserve Supplement Insurance Plan
The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) offers these insurance options:
It is the ADA’s position that deployment with a uniformed service is a learning experience that provides opportunities to treat complex cases, sometimes under difficult circumstances. Constituent dental societies may support state legislation or state board regulations that would allow deployed dentists who are serving on active duty to have their continuing education requirements waived.
Continuing education requirements for dental licensure are determined on a state level and changes to these requirements are enacted through advocacy to state legislators and dental boards. (For current information on the local and state dental continuing education requirements, please link here to access their websites.)
The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice enforces the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which helps servicemembers manage the transition to active duty through a range of protections regarding foreclosure, repossession, leasing agreements, evictions, interest rates, and default judgments. It is crucial that the service member seek counsel from civilian and/or service legal advisers prior to initiating any of the provisions of the SCRA to better understand their rights and their obligations and to never assume or interpret the law erroneously.
Legal resources for SCRA
- Professional Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage for Recalled Reservists in the Health Care and Legal Professions
Uniformed services employment and re-employment act if 1994 (USERRA)
According to the United States Department of Labor, this Act protects military service members and veterans against employment discrimination on the basis of their service and allows them to regain their civilian jobs upon return from uniformed service. USERRA guarantees an employee the right to be reemployed at his or her former job (or as comparable a job as possible) with the same benefits. Use the following link for information on USERRA.
Again, it is advised that the dentist being deployed contact their own legal services to better understand SCRA and USERRA and their rights and their obligations under these Acts and to never assume or interpret the law erroneously.
The American Dental Association has a long history of member affiliation in various Federal Dental Services. These are rewarding career opportunities for dentists. These positions also provide a much-needed service to the nation. It is never the intent for these opportunities to be a source of hardship for those in service. The ADA encourages every member involved in a federal service to understand their rights and be proactive to mitigate any risks associated with a deployment or activation. ADA policy recommends support for deployed members as well as all dentists affiliated with the Federal Dental Services. Your membership makes this support available to you.
This toolkit is offered as information only and its content is not a substitute for practice, financial, accounting, legal or other professional advice. Consult your own professional advisors for such advice. By linking to other web sites, the ADA does not endorse the policies or practices of, or opinions expressed on, those sites, nor does the ADA make any representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy of any items or claims contained therein.