Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Insurance Companies are Finally Beginning to See the Importance of Oral Health!

ATLANTAJune 28, 2011 /PRNewswire -- 
 Georgians now have even more reasons to smile! Blue Cross and Blue Shield ofGeorgia (BCBSGa) today announced the availability of new dental plans in Georgia for small groups with effective dates of July 1, 2011 and later. These new plans from BCBSGa – Dental Prime and Dental Complete – are designed to support both oral health and overall health.
Why is this important? Research suggests a connection between poor oral health and certain health issues like gum disease, heart disease and stroke(1).  Evidence also suggests poor oral health can complicate or is linked to diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia, stroke and pre-term/low birth weight babies(2).  However, those who have dental benefits exhibit healthier behaviors, such as getting yearly physicals, dental check-ups, brushing twice daily, regular exercise and eating a low-fat diet(3).  In addition, 62 percent of employers view dental benefits as an essential component of their benefits package(4).
"We know dental insurance is one of the most valued benefits employers can provide to their employees and we are proud to offer these new plans to Georgians," said Morgan Kendrick, state plan president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. "These new plans offer Georgia small group employers and their employees, industry-leading benefits that focus on dental health."
The networks supporting Dental Prime and Dental Complete are some of the largest dental networks in Georgia – Prime includes more than 85,000 access points nationwide, and Complete includes more than 96,000 access points nationwide(5).
"Having a choice of contracted networks allows small group employers solutions for controlling costs without reducing dental benefits," said Stuart Watts, regional vice president, Specialty Business. "Employers can select the Dental Prime-contracted network, which is the lower cost network, or they can pick the Dental Complete-contracted network, which allows even greater network access."
In addition, this new dental portfolio includes three core plan designs – Value dental plans, Classic dental plans and Enhanced dental plans. The Value plans include coverage for basic services such as cleanings, exams, X-rays and fillings. The Classic plans include basic dental services and additional coverage for major services, including implants. The Enhanced plans offer the greatest level of coverage with a higher annual maximum benefit and lower member coinsurance amounts. Both Classic and Enhanced plans can be quoted with a new optional feature to stretch benefits dollars even further via a maximum carryover provision. And, all three dental plans include coverage for brush biopsies for early cancer detection.
"We also offer voluntary dental plans for small groups, which are a win-win situation for employers and their employees," said Watts. "Employers can offer benefits to their employees at no cost to their company – employers only need to choose a benefits package, explain the benefits to their employees and administer the payroll deductions. In the end, employees are offered a benefits package that is usually more robust than they would receive on an individual plan, plus they receive the group rate."
For more information about the new Dental Prime and Dental Complete products, click here.
(1) Source: 2009-2010 Specialty Trends Report For the Employer Market
(2) Source: Oral Health America,
(3) Source: NADP, The Haves and the Have-Nots: Consumers With and Without Dental Benefits, 2009
(4) Source: NADP, Purchaser Behavior Study, 2008
(5) Source: Definition: An access point is a location where a dentist practices. For example, if one dentist works at two different offices, that dentist has two access points.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association® . The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield ofGeorgia is available at Also, follow us on Twitter at, on Facebook, visit our YouTube channel at or check out the Our Health Connects Us campaign site at
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia

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