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Guardian Expands Dental Benefit Options Helps Small Business Owners Lower Insurance Cost

Companies with Two to Nine Employees Now Have Choices and Flexibility

Typically Available on Larger Plans

NEW YORK, March 27 /PRNewswire / -- Small business owners with two to nine employees can now choose from a wider selection of dental plan designs, comparable to the choices typically available only to larger companies.

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), a leading provider of employee and voluntary benefits for small and mid-sized companies, today announced the expansion of options that enable small groups with Guardian's Dental Guard Basic and Basic Plus plans to mix and match the level of coverage for procedures such as root canals, crowns, bridges, extractions, and dentures.

"A budding technology company with primarily Gen X and Gen Y employees probably doesn't need coverage for dentures and shouldn't absorb the cost for a benefit that their employees probably won't use," said Clancy Merrill, Executive Director, Guardian Small Group Sales and Strategic Alliances. "With our enhancements, small business owners now have more choices that will help them to not only reduce costs, but also make their benefits relevant to their unique needs."

Additional enhancements for companies with two to nine employees include:

* Increased range of lifetime deductibles

* Optional coverage for posterior composites

* Optional in-network only plans to reduce plan holder costs (available in

allowed states)

* Availability of variable coinsurance for indemnity, NAP and value plans

* Liberalized participation requirements

And for companies with five to nine employees:

* More coverage limits on orthodontia work

* Elimination of 12 month deferment requirement on major and periodontal

work, giving members access to coverage sooner

"Dental insurance is a popular and relatively low cost benefit," said Jim Pogue, Vice President, Guardian Group Dental. "But in the face of economic uncertainty and cost pressures from healthcare, we wanted to eliminate barriers that would prevent companies with less than 10 employees from offering dental insurance. Our ongoing product and service enhancements, large dental network and ability to mix and match benefits makes our dental insurance affordable and attractive to small business owners and the brokers that cater to them. We already have one of the industry's broadest selections of dental, life, disability, voluntary and health insurance plan options for small to midsize companies and now the choices are even greater."

Guardian specializes in providing employee benefits to small and midsize companies. Guardian serves more than 120,000 employers, and 6 million employees and their families. The company has issued a series of educational surveys and reports to help employees, employers and benefit decision makers better understand how they can jumpstart their financial lives, improve employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction by maximizing the use and power of their workplace coverage. Three reports currently available in the series include:

* Benefits & Behavior: Spotlight on Dental

* Benefits & Behavior: Spotlight on Group Life and Disability Insurance

* Benefits & Behavior: The Voice of American Business Owners and Benefit

Decision Makers Today

About Guardian

Founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY (Guardian) is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. As of December 31, 2007, Guardian and its subsidiaries had $41.3 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory basis). With close to 3,000 financial representatives and 80 agencies nationwide, Guardian and its subsidiaries protect individuals, small business owners, and their employees with life, disability, health, long-term care, and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products and trust services. Specializing in the small to midsize business market, Guardian's Group business unit serves more than 120,000 employers, 6 million employees and their families. More information about Guardian can be obtained at:

SOURCE The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
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