FAQs About WDS

Q:           I hear a lot of discussion about WDS tax exemption?  What is that about?

A:            WDS is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the internal revenue code because of its affiliation with Delta Dental.  501(c)(4) requires that WDS serve social welfare rather than private interests.  And WDS must maintain its affiliation with Delta Dental to keep its tax exempt status.

Q:           What happens if WDS loses its tax exempt status?

A:            We all lose.  WDS will have to pay income tax based upon its profits or increases in reserves.  That would leave less money for reimbursement to providers.

Q:            Can I see a copy of WDS' tax return.

A:            You can download it here.

Q:            How much did Jim Dwyer make in 2009?

A:            $1,098,333. It is disclosed on page 24 of the tax return.

Q:            What were the bylaw changes in early 2011?

A:            The bylaw changes were solicited by mail under the misleading statement that the changes were necessary to comply with IRS and Delta Dental requirements (they were not required by the IRS).  A copy of the misleading solicitation is here, and a copy of the amendment is here.  There was no special meeting, discussion, or debate.  It was all done by mail.

Q:            Where are the current WDS bylaws?

A:             Here.

Q:           I hear they're trying to sell the company?

A:            We doubt it.  As a nonprofit, WDS has no shareholders, only its members.  And its net assets are, by law, for the public good, not WDS members or its leadership.  WDS members would have to approve a sale, and the state insurance commissioner might as well.  Premera was denied its conversion request when it tried to become a private company several years ago.  Selling WDS just seems unlikely.

Q:           WDS says the fee decrease was necessary due to customer demands. 

A:            We recognize that health care costs are an issue for individuals, employers, insurance companies, and taxpayers.  But the way WDS went about the fee adjustment was thoughtless.  Dentists need to be part of the discussion.  A unilateral fee decrease by with no time to budget, plan or prepare is bad for patients and bad for providers.