June 12, 2003
Council marketing improved dental-insurance program
The Business Council Insurance Fund has significantly improved the dental insurance it offers only to Council members and has launched a broad, new effort to market the coverage to current and prospective members and to the insurance brokers who help sell The Council's insurance programs.
The Fund last July announced that its insurance coverage for members would be offered by a new carrier, First Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation of New York, one of the nation's largest and most respected dental insurers.
"We knew First Ameritas was a top insurer when we made them our provider in July, and we have worked with them to make their strong program even stronger since then," said Frank Szydlowski, director of sales for The Fund.
"Now, with a product, price, and service package that is stronger than ever, we are getting updated information to agencies and brokers, and we are submitting proposals to share this benefit with as many Council members as possible."
Program improvements were developed in response to feedback from Business Council members and The Council's partners in insurance brokerages, Szydlowski noted. These new improvements include:
employers now have the additional option of providing voluntary
dental coverage - that is, insurance that is paid for wholly
by employees at the employees' option. Voluntary coverage
is available to employers with at least 50 eligible employees.
The Fund and First Ameritas became partners last July, the
firm has increased the number of dentists in its upstate
New York network by 47 percent. This makes it easier for
plan participants to benefit from lower charges for services
rendered by these providers.
- Member employers can now buy full-service dental insurance for as few as two employees, according to Szydlowski. The previous minimum number of insured employees was five.
These improvements complement other strengths for which First Ameritas is well known, Szydlowski added:
Ameritas has always been renowned for exceptional claims
service, he said. As of June 2, for example, more than 95
percent of claims by Business Council participants were
paid within five days. This is considerably better than
the industry average, he added.
are available with virtually no waiting periods for employees.
In many plans, especially smaller ones, employers and/or
workers must pay premiums for up to a year before they can
take advantage of services, especially costlier ones, Szydlowski
said. Under The Fund's programs, there are no waiting periods
for any services except in voluntary plans.
- Covered persons may visit any licensed provider and receive a high level of benefits. Using only network dentists is not required, Szydlowski said.
These program strengths are reflected in the strong recent growth of The Council's dental insurance program.
Through May 2003, The Fund has set records in both new dental sales and new dental premium, with more than 50 new sales adding nearly $1 million in new dental premiums. The Fund's dental insurance program represents more than $10 million in annual premiums.
A central focus of The Fund's new marketing initiative will be offering the dental insurance to companies that already are Council members and Insurance Fund participants for other programs, said Bob Crandall, The Council's director of member services.
Small and mid-sized companies are the best prospects for realizing the full benefits of the program, he added.
First Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation of New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. It is ranked among the top six dental-benefit carriers evaluated in Employee Benefit Plan Review. A recent independent survey showed that it outperforms its competition in quality, value, claims processing, and customer service.
For more information and quotes, employers' brokers or HR managers should call Frank Szydlowski toll-free at 1-800/445-2023, ext. 223. More information is available at www.bcnys.org/inside/dental.htm.