April Insurance Information / Communication Update 3/27/2020

Gentle Dentistry Team

First and foremost, our hope is that all of you and your families are well.  The news is fast and furious and ever-changing on what is happening with the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Governor’s mandate to “stay at home” affects us all and pushes out the potential opening date of Gentle Dentistry clinics, at the earliest, to April 15, per the MN Board of Dentistry.  We are preparing for the reality that it could be May 1.

We know you’re concerned about your Medical Benefits while you are on unemployment.  Your GD medical benefits will remain in effect if that is what you decide.  Here are the details:

Gentle Dentistry Benefits and Insurance for April

  • Gentle Dentistry will cover the company’s contribution to your April benefits
  • Your contribution remains the same
  • We are setting up an online portal from our website at smilemn.com where you can make your payment electronically
  • This will be ready later next week. We’ll be providing detailed information on the website
  • Be assured that your medical insurance from Preferred One, HP dental insurance and supplemental insurance from Guardian and Aflac, etc. will remain in effect for April if you pay your premiums by April 15
  • You will find your premium amounts on your paystub on Paychex FLEX. You will need to double the amount listed under each benefit to pay for the full month of April, as there would have been two pay periods.
  • More to come next week when the portal is set up to take your payments.
  • If you decide you want to cancel any of your insurance benefits, notify Charlie Johnston by email at cjohnston@smilemn.com by April 15
  • For those who want to cancel their HP dental, Guardian or Aflac coverage, notify Charlie at cjohnston@smilemn.com so he can terminate those benefits back to the effective date of 3/31/20

If you don’t have GD Benefits, or if you want to change to MNSure Insurance Benefits:

  • The State of MN has made a special enrollment option for MNSure available for the COVID-19 pandemic. We have included the link below.
  • If you currently have GD Benefits, you do have the right to drop the GD insurance and sign up for MNSure
  • We do not know, however, what that will mean for reinstating GD benefits when we return to full operations
  • Regrettably, we cannot advise you. The link below will take you to the MNSure website that has FAQs, enrollment information, rates, etc.
  • If you decide to drop your GD insurance, please advise Charlie Johnston by April 15 at cjohnston@smilemn.com
  • If you are uninsured and contract COVID-19, there is information on the State of MN website on what the state will and will not cover for testing and care


Ongoing Communications

We will be communicating with you regularly.  Go to the website at www.smilemn.com and click into the Employee section.  The username is Employee and the password is Gentle123*.  Go there frequently as we will be updating you as quickly as we have information.  Also, we’re hopeful that you’ll be sharing information with us on what is happening with you, as we all deal with this unbelievable new situation we are navigating through.

Emergency Care and Teledentistry

Our Emergency Response Teams are selflessly providing emergency care to our current GD patients and also to new patients who can’t get help at their former practice.  The NHQ and Hutchinson teams have been way beyond wonderful.  Dr. Atme, Katie Will, Tonya Iverson and Callie Novak are running busy schedules every day.  Dr. Park, Kari Rarick and Jose Reyes are ready on demand at Hutchinson and also taking patients driving in from Alexandria who need care.  Kristin Thompson and Brooke Lamke are covering incoming and emergency phones and email requests.  Brooke is also filling in with front desk duties to support Katie and scrubbing in when needed.  We can’t thank them all enough.

A positive that has come out of this is Teledentistry.  Kristin figured out how to get us set up electronically with the approval of the insurance companies and Board of Pharmacy.  Dr. Kinney is working tirelessly taking care of our patients.  We are so proud of her blossoming technical skills!  Dr. Smith will be joining the Teledentistry team next week.

Setting Up Operations

We are exploring every possible avenue for support through the various relief options that are said to be coming soon so we’re ready to open as soon as the Governor lifts the shutdown mandate.  Our first priority is that you are safe and that we have all the protocols in place to operate with the appropriate and necessary protection.  Rosa Davis and Kelly Solt are on it 24/7.  They have put in place well thought-out procedures for managing the Emergency Response clinics as safely as possible.  Pam Spohn and Sue Anderson are on deck to manage all Billing and administrative challenges that may come our way.

Please follow the Governor’s “stay at home” order and take every possible precaution.  We are grateful to you for your support and understanding as we work our way through uncharted territory.  Stay safe and wash your hands!


Charlie Johnston                                        Bette Fenton

952-224-9772                                              612-597-0213

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