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House OKs resolution that offers 12-month electronic dues installment payments

Orlando, Fla.—The House of Delegates just made it easier for members to pay their dues.

 With passage of Resolution 119H-2010, membership dues may now be paid electronically on a 12-month basis.

Christina Wiggins, chair of the American Student Dental Association’s Council on Education and a student at the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Student voice: Christina Wiggins, chair of the American Student Dental Association’s Council on Education and a student at the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., testifies Oct. 10 before the Reference Committee on Membership and Planning. Photos by EZ Event Photography

“This allows the ADA to provide enhanced service to members around payment of dues and enhance recruitment and retention efforts,” said Dr. Virginia Hughson-Otte, chair of the ADA Council on Membership.

Under the ADA Bylaws, active and active life members have been able to participate in an installment-based dues payment plan if state dental societies offered such a plan and if the current dues or special assessment was fully paid by June 30. Res. 119H removes the June 30 deadline and allows for a 12-month calendar year plan, which means the monthly installment plan will run from Jan. 1-Dec. 15.

“This will provide greater flexibility for the sponsoring entities to offer 6-month, 12-month prepayments or a 12-month calendar year plan. Under a 12-month plan, members would be able to pay their membership dues throughout the membership calendar year,” said Dr. Hughson-Otte. “This is consistent with similar payment plans, such as insurance premiums and health club memberships. And in difficult economic times it could be advantageous to many.”

California, Dr. Hughson-Otte’s home state, was an early advocate of installment payment plans and electronic fund transfer programs. In response to members’ concerns over the state of the economy in 2009, CDA began offering a 12-month calendar year dues program from January through December.

Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi of Miami
Speaking out: Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi of Miami, a recent graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership, addresses the Reference Committee on Membership and Planning.
In 2009—the plan’s first year—2,902 members enrolled (representing 12 percent of the total membership; a 2.4 percent increase in participation). And the number of participants continued to grow with a total of 3,678 members enrolled—representing 16.1 percent of the total numbers for an increase in membership participation of 4 percent with an overall increase of 27 percent in the number of participating members in a one-year period.

Dr. Hughson-Otte said the CDA plan change had a positive impact on recruitment and retention.

In California, recruitment was enhanced as new members were allowed to participate in the plan for their first year dues. Before, California ADA members were required to pay dues in full at the time of joining. The full cost of dues at one time was a financial burden for some.

The 12-month plan has been an effective retention tool in California by allowing lapsed members to enroll in the program past the drop date by remitting the equivalent of the months missed and then paying the remainder on a monthly basis.

Res. 119H-2010 amends the Bylaws by substituting the words “December 15” for the words “June 30.” Chapter I, Section 50A now reads:

“Dues and any special assessment of all members are payable January 1 of each year, except for active and active life members who may participate in an installment payment plan. Such plan shall be sponsored by the members; respective constituent or component dental societies, or by this Association if the active or active life members are in the exclusive employ of, or are serving on active duty in, one of the federal dental services. The plan shall require monthly installment payments that conclude with the current dues and any special assessment amount fully paid by December 15. Transactional costs may be imposed, prorated to this Association and the constituent or component dental society. The installment plan shall provide for the expeditious transfer of member dues and any special assessment to this Association and the applicable constituent or component dental society.”

The Reference Committee on Membership and Planning
Volunteers: The Reference Committee on Membership and Planning prepares to study resolutions during annual session last month. Pictured from left are Dr. Thomas Matanzo (Ohio); Dr. Natasha A. Lee (California); Dr. Randall H. Ogata (Washington); Dr. Ron J. Seeley (North Dakota); Dr. Rita M. Cammarata, committee chair (Texas); Dr. Daniel K. Cheek (North Carolina); and Dr. Anthony M. Cuomo (New York). Not pictured are Dr. Michael D. Eggnatz (Florida) and Dr. Alvin W. Stevens Jr. (Alabama).