Empire BlueCross BlueShield
July 25, 2011 – New York, NY – New Yorkers have even more reasons to smile! That's because Empire BlueCross BlueShield now offers Dental Prime and Dental Complete packages– new dental plans that offer large group and small group employers a unique mix of core and specialized benefits aimed to impact 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 a day, 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 As a result, these factors were taken into consideration to develop the new Dental Prime and Dental Complete packages.
"We know dental insurance is one of the most valued benefits an employer can provide their employees," said Mark Wagar, President and GM, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "We're excited to offer local companies this new robust dental package because of the impact it can have on both oral health and the overall health of employees."
The networks supporting Dental Prime and Dental Complete are some of the largest national dental networks – Prime includes more than 85,000 access points nationwide, and Complete includes more than 96,000 access points nationwide, which means easy network access for members.5
"Having a choice of contracted networks allows both large and small group employers solutions for controlling costs without reducing dental benefits," said Stuart Watts, regional vice president of Specialty Business – East region. "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 offers a wide range of plan designs to help employers find a plan that suits their budget. And, all of the dental plans include coverage for brush biopsies for early cancer detection.
"We also offer voluntary dental plans for large and 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 in New York, visit: empireblue.com/specialty
1 Source: 2009-2010 Specialty Trends Report For the Employer Market
2 Source: Oral Health America, http://www.oralhealthamerica.org/news/062204.html
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 Empire BlueCross BlueShield:
Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/HealthJoinInEmpire, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.