Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana Introduces New Dental Plans that Offer Industry Leading Benefits for Employers thro

Anthem's new Dental Prime and Dental Complete packages offer employers a unique mix of core and specialized benefits aimed to impact overall health

INDIANAPOLIS, June 27, 2011 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana now offers Dental Prime and Dental Complete -- a new portfolio of dental plans for large group and small group employers.

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.

"Dental insurance is one of the most valued benefits an employer can provide their employees," said Robert W. Hillman, president and general manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. "Therefore, we are proud 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 among the largest dental networks in Indiana -- 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 both large and small group employers solutions for controlling costs without reducing dental benefits," said Frank Bloomquist, regional vice president of Specialty Market - Local Group. "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 coverage for basic dental services and additional coverage for most major services, all with high annual maximum benefit levels. The Enhanced plans offer the greatest level of coverage and include choices for even higher annual maximum benefit levels and lower member coinsurance amounts. Also, all three 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 Bloomquist. "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 comprehensive 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 Indiana, visit: http://www.anthem.com/specialty/in

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

(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) 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.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana

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