METLIFE ENHANCES DENTAL PLAN OFFERINGS
NEW YORK, October 23, 2007
MetLife today announced Graduating Dental Benefits, a new option that increases the annual maximum benefit for dental plan participants over a two or three-year period regardless of their claim history. Since MetLife’s enhancement is not a rollover of unused benefit dollars, employees are encouraged to continue to access appropriate levels of oral health care without trying to “save” benefit dollars to utilize in another calendar year. In addition, MetLife has enhanced its plan offerings by adding dental implants as a standard feature on new plans.
“The goal of a dental benefits plan is to help individuals maintain or improve their oral health. MetLife designed its enhancement in a way that continues to encourage people to seek appropriate levels of dental care in a timely manner. This is a sharp contrast to the typical maximum rollover plan which may actually discourage people from obtaining needed services as they try to “save up” benefit dollars each year. MetLife’s Graduating Dental Benefits help all plan participants – not just those who may be orally healthy or don’t submit many claims,” said Michael Schwartz, vice president, MetLife Dental Product Management.
Graduating Dental Benefits
Employers can choose to add MetLife’s Graduating Dental Benefits to new or existing MetLife coverage at renewal. There are no special criteria for employees to receive the additional annual benefit dollars beyond maintaining their enrollment in the plan.
The higher annual maximum benefit dollars are automatically applied each year based upon the employee’s effective date. When choosing Graduating Dental Benefits, employers have the option to start plan participants at various benefit levels and graduate (increase) benefit levels at $250 or $500 increments depending upon the plan chosen. The highest annual maximum level is capped at three years or $3,000.
“MetLife kept its approach simple without a multitude of rules so that employers can realize increased dental plan satisfaction among all their employees. This is so important because dental benefits are consistently rated among the most popular employee benefits year after year, and we have seen from MetLife research that there is a strong correlation between benefits satisfaction and job satisfaction,” notes Schwartz.
In some clinical situations, dental implants may be the only treatment option to replace missing teeth, and, without benefit coverage, the out-of-pocket expense may be high. MetLife has recommended coverage for dental implants since 2001; however some employers have been hesitant because of the cost. Because of its growing popularity as a treatment option, MetLife has now added dental implants as part of its standard benefit offering to employers with ten or more eligible employees. And, there’s no pricing increase when implants are covered as a Type C (major restorative services) procedure and follow standard guidelines and limitations for prosthetics.
MetLife administers dental benefits for nearly 21 million people, more than any other commercial carrier. Delivering dental benefits in the marketplace for 45 years, MetLife is dedicated to developing and offering innovative product solutions, promoting technologies that make utilizing dental benefits easier and creating educational resources for employers, plan participants, and dentists. MetLife’s relationships within the dental community have enabled it to build a strong Preferred Dentist Program (PDP) consisting of carefully selected general and specialty dentists in over 100,000 dentist locations nationwide. Furthermore, MetLife’s continuing education program for the dental community has been recognized by the American Dental Association.
MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com.