As reported in our letter this past Friday, the South Carolina Dental Association (SCDA) continues to monitor the coronavirus situation closely.
Information continued to flow and update within South Carolina and nationally over the weekend.
Please note this correction from Friday's information:
Hopefully, by the end of this week, if not sooner, a clear view of the relief packages enacted in Washington will begin to come into focus so we can see what benefits will be provided for dentists.
- In our communication this past Friday, we advised that the employer had to file the unemployment for employees to avoid an increase in your unemployment tax % rate. In order to make it easier for businesses and employees, that restriction has been waived so either the employer or employee can file without any penalties now. The one week waiting period has also been waived.
In the meantime, the SCDA wants to share with you four (4) very good resources regarding the coronavirus. The first is an article from The Atlantic that does a great job explaining why this virus has caused so much disruption in our practices and daily lives.
This second is a podcast interview from Friday, March 20, 2020 done by Mike Graham who runs the ADA ADPAC's political arm in Washington.
The fourth is from our endorsed malpractice carrier, MedPRO, who has provided a great resource of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for dentists. If you do not have your malpractice insurance through the SCDA endorsed carrier, you may contact us at some point to discuss your options. We would draw your attention to Question #5 in the FAQ's as teledentistry is not allowed in South Carolina at the time of this letter.
One last piece of information that SCDA received today is that for dental offices on the SCDA's Medical Group Trust Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina has decided that actively employed status will not be questioned regarding medical coverage. Essentially what this means is that as long as the premiums are paid, benefits will remain in place regardless if someone is temporarily furloughed or not. Additionally, the minimum of averaging 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for our benefits is being waived for the time being as well.
We hope you will take the time to view these to stay informed.
Your SCDA leaders, the Executive Director and the entire SCDA staff are working 7 days a week to address the concerns of our membership. Please do not feel alone. If you are having a problem first check for resources on our website. We are keeping them updated regularly. Reach out to study club members. Give us feedback. Send us your questions. Share your solutions.
We need to support each other and find solutions together as we face the current and upcoming challenges.
Julia K. Mikell, DDS
SCDA Interim President