Dental Summary

Dental coverage is part of the Member’s Health & Welfare Fund.

History of the Plan

In 1984, Hennepin County did not offer dental coverage of any kind to employees. During the 1984 negotiations for the 1985-86 contract, members wanted to start a dental plan. They took a half percent of their 4.5% increase and put it toward funding for the dental trust. This created a dental Voluntary Employee Benefit Agreement: a mutual association of employees providing certain specified benefits to its members or their designated beneficiaries. It may be funded by the employees or their employer, or in our case, both. This agreement is unique to public sector employees and is tax free.

This left the dental trust entirely in the hands of the Locals. The employer – employee split has been negotiated in contracts ever since. Usually a penny or two will be added for both the employees and the employer. In 2003, we became self-insured, meaning we kept Delta Dental as our provider but began administering the fund ourselves to save members money by cutting out administrative costs. We have expanded and enriched the services over the years. Notably, our trust was one of the early plans to cover dental implants. Over the course of the past 32 years we have made a series of wise choices that have kept the plan in great health. Our dental plan is less expensive and offers superior coverage to the Hennepin County plan.

Summary of Dental Benefits

After you have satisfied the deductible, your dental program pays the following percentages of the treatment cost, up to a maximum fee per procedure. The maximum fee allowed by Delta is different for participating dentists and nonparticipating dentists. If you see a nonparticipating dentist, your out-of-pocket expenses may increase.

Benefit Maximums

The program pays up to a maximum of $1,750.00 for each covered person per coverage year subject to the coverage percentages identified above. Benefit maximums may not be carried over to future coverage years.


There is a $25.00 deductible per covered person each coverage year not to exceed three (3) times that amount ($75.00) per family unit.

Coverage Year

A coverage year is a 12-month period in which deductibles and benefit maximums apply. Your coverage year is January 1st – December 31st.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is held annually in November.

When will I receive enrollment information?

Yes, we do not automatically reinstate your coverage. You must fill out a new enrollment form which you will receive in the mail approximately 30 days from rehire date. The effective date will be the 1st of the month following 30 days of employment.

When is my coverage effective?

Coverage will be effective the 1st of the month following 30 days of employment, provided you have completed your enrollment forms and they have been received.

How much do I pay for this union dental benefit?

This is paid for you by your employer. It is a negotiated part of your union contract. See your current contract for more information.

How much does it cost for my dependents?

There is no additional cost to add your dependents.

How do I add dependents to my plan?

If you are newly married and want to add your spouse and/or step-children, you must do so within 31 days of your marriage date.

Children can be added any time up to 30 days past their 5th birthday.

If the timelines listed above are not met, you will have to wait to add dependents until open enrollment, which is held annually in November.

Can I go to any Dentist?

You can althougth there are different coverage levels depending on the dentist you choose. To find out more on this contact Delta Dental at (651) 406-5916.

Is there a deductible I have to pay?

Yes, $25 per covered individual each calendar year, not to exceed $75 per family per year.

What is the maximum benefit per year?

The plan pays up to a maximum of $1,750 for each covered individual per year.

How can I find out how much of my dental benefit I have left for the year?

Call Delta Dental at (651) 406-5916 and they will tell you how much has been paid out in claims and the amount you have remaining.

How can I find out how much I would have to pay for a certain dental procedure?

You can either contact your dentist and have them request an “Estimate of Benefits” from Delta Dental, or you can call Delta Dental at (651) 406-5916 and they should be able to give you this information.

Does the plan cover orthodontia?

No, not at this time.

Can I continue my dental coverage after I retire?

We will be informed by your employer when you have retired (generally within a couple of weeks via electronic file). We will then send your information to HR Simplified, our cobra/retiree administrators. They will send you the information and forms needed for you to elect retiree dental insurance. The coverage is the same as you have now. The cost will be included on the paperwork that will be sent to you.

How can I get a new dental card?

Contact Delta Dental at (651) 406-5916 to request new or additional cards.

Eligibility Information

Members/Fee Payers

The dental benefit is available to those in the following locals who are scheduled to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.

  • Hennepin County: Local 34, 1719, 2822
  • HCMC: Local 977 and certain job titles in 2474
  • City of Shorewood: Local 224


A) Spouse, meaning:

  1. Married;
  2. Legally separated;

B) Dependent children to the age of 26, including:

  1. Natural-born and legally adopted children (including children placed with you for legal adoption). NOTE: A child’s placement for adoption terminates upon the termination of the legal obligation of total or partial support.
  2. Stepchildren who reside with you.
  3. Grandchildren who are financially dependent on you and reside with you.
  4. Children who are required to be covered by reason of a Qualified Medical Child Support Order. You can obtain, without charge, a copy of procedures governing Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (“QMCSOs”) from the Plan Administrator.
  5. Children who become handicapped prior to reaching the Plan’s limiting age if:
    • they are primarily dependent upon you; and are incapable of self-sustaining employment because of physical handicap, mental retardation, mental illness or mental disorders.