The many forms of life, special memberships

The many forms of life, special memberships – American Dental Assistants Association

From time to time, ADAA staff members receive questions concerning life membership. Many of these questions are from state and local groups confused about what constitutes a life member and how much dues life members pay. Often, a life member paying full or half national dues is concerned to learn that another life member is paying no dues at all. There’s a reason for that and it’s all a matter of timing.

For those eligible for life membership status, it is wise to begin the life membership process six months prior to your expiration, before you qualify, to avoid being billed again as an active member.

Life Membership

First, let’s examine who is eligible for life membership upon completion of 25 years of continuous membership. The only exception to this rule is when a member converts to student membership for a period and then reverts to active membership.

From time to time, a member will drop out of the ADAA for a year or so and then return to membership and wish to have this time gap bridged in order to assure the continuing count of the years for life membership. When this happens, “membership buy back” can be purchased. This is a simple process in which the dues from the missing years are paid and the time is bridged. Back dues are paid at the rate of $5 per month.

There are five forms of life membership on the books of the ADAA, and this is what often causes the confusion.

1. The Original Life Membership was granted prior to October 23, 1979 and carries with it the privilege of paying no national dues. State and local dues are at each state’s option. This category of membership misses out on any forms of member services such as professional liability insurance, accidental death and and dismemberment insurance, and receipt of The Dental Assistant. A Journal subscription may be purchased at a discounted rate.

2. From October 23, 1979 until October 8, 1988 Half-Pay Life Membership was granted with the proviso that one-half of national dues would be paid each year as well as one-half state/local dues. The exception to this is where the state’s own bylaws grant that some other level of dues or that no dues be paid on the state/local level. This category of membership receives all member services.

3. Full-Pay Life Membership granted after October 8, 1988 calls for full payment of national dues with state/local dues determined by each state’s bylaws. As with Half-Pay life members, this category also receives full member services.

4. Life Retired is for those 62 years of age and over with 25 years of continuous membership, AND for those already in any life membership category who reach 62 and retire or a life member who is permanently disabled and is forced into early retirement. In this category, no national dues are required and no member services are given. Journal subscriptions may be purchased at a discounted rate, but not professional liability insurance.

5. Thirty-Five-Year Life, same as Full-Pay Life but with a 25% discount on national dues.

Special Membership

Anyone with at least 15 years of continuous membership who has reached retirememt age as determined by the Social Security Act or those with 10 years of continuous service who have become totally or permanently disabled may apply for special membership. These memberships require one-half the dues of active members and retain all the privileges of active membership, with the exception of the professional liability insurance. As with all five forms of life membership, payment of state/local dues is at the option of each state.

Please note, however, that anyone opting for these forms of special membership may not apply the years spent as a special member to the 25 years necessary for life membership.

We think all our members are special, and we hope they all stay members for life. Perhaps these paragraphs have helped to clear up any questions.

Student/Active Conversion

Students completing their one year membership at $25 may renew if they are continuing as full-time students for another year, or may convert to active membership. A renewal notice will be sent which offers the Student Active membership at a reduction from normal dues. State association dues will be added to the bill at this time. (See detailed explanation in Association Bulletin, page 32.)


ADAA E-mail and Website

ADAA Membership & Information

Isabel Guillen

(312) 541-1550 x 213

fax (312) 541-1496

ADAA Continuing Education

Santos Robles

(312) 541-1550 x 211

fax (312) 541-1496

ADAA Group Insurance


(800) 542-9787 (Major Medical, Life,

Disability, Accidental Death and


Professional Liability


(800) 542-9787

ADAA Member Credit Card Program

(800) 847-7378

Issuing Bank: MBNA America.

ADAA Travel Discounts

(800) 258-2847 * Choice Hotels

ADAA ID# 00800131

For Airlines & Other Hotels

(800) 873-1027 * Trava Inc.

Erica or Frances

(ADAA’s official travel agency)

Package Tours: Cheryl

(630) 668-6804

Alamo Rent-a-Car

(800) 732-3232

ADAA ID# BY 187920

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)

(888) AGD-DENT * (312) 440-4300

Dental Assisting Schools

Accredited by ADA–click Education

American Dental Association (ADA)

(800) 621-8099 * (312) 440-2500

DANB Certification

(800) 367-3262 available 24 hours

(312) 642-3368

fax (312) 642-8507

The publication of these listings is not to be construed as

endorsement or approval by the ADAA.


Popular Nat’l State/ Prof. Jrnl. AD&D Spec.

Membership Dues Local Liabi- Insu- Appl.

Categories Dues lity rance Req.






(Prior to

10/23/79) NO State Option NO ** NO * NO YES


(10/23/79 to

10/8/88) $52.50 State Option YES YES YES YES


10/8/88 $105 State Option YES YES YES YES

Life Retired NO State Option NO NO * NO YES

35-yr Life $78.75 State Option YES YES YES YES


Retired $47.50 State Option NO YES YES YES

Disabled $47.50 State Option NO YES YES YES



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