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Guardian Introduces New Program to Help Employers Control Health Care Premiums

Guardian Premium Protect Sets Single-Digit Medical Renewal Rates at Initial


NEW YORK, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), a leading provider of employee and voluntary benefits for small and midsize businesses, today announced the introduction of a new program that helps employers manage health care costs by locking in a single- digit medical premium renewal rate when companies sign-up.

Traditional plans have an annual renewal cycle and often require employers to estimate their future healthcare expenses. This annual cycle has proven difficult for some employers at a time when health care premiums have significantly outpaced inflation.

Guardian Premium Protect(SM), a new offering for groups with 51-150 employees was designed to mitigate this problem by eliminating the guesswork related to second year medical benefit renewals.

The program will be available in New Jersey, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia and the Chicago and New York metro areas, for plans sold with effective dates beginning October 1.

"Guardian Premium Protect(SM) takes the guesswork out of health care budgeting," said Tim Bireley, Vice President, Group Medical, Guardian. "By locking in their second-year rates when they sign up, and incorporating additional member cost sharing, Guardian is providing employers with a path to a manageable, predictable healthcare budget. Employers enrolled in our program can save money and time on the budgeting process. Producers can help relieve their client's anxieties about unpredictable and out-of-control health plan renewal rates by offering the rate at the point of sale."

Guardian Premium Protect is a two-year medical PPO program with a prescription drug benefit, vision discount access*, wellness resources and high and low cost-sharing plans.

Added Bireley, "Medical is an important part of Guardian's overall portfolio of group benefit solutions and Guardian Premium Protect is just one way that we strive to meet employers' unique needs."

Guardian is celebrating the 50th anniversary of providing employee benefits to small and mid-size businesses. Specializing in this market, Guardian serves more than 120,000 employers, and 6 million employees and their families. In honor of this milestone 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 recruitment, retention and employee satisfaction by maximizing the use and power of their workplace coverage. Three reports currently available in the series include:

* Benefits & Behavior: Spotlight on Dental, the report can be found at

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

Benefit Decision Makers Today, the report can be found at

* Benefits and Behavior: Spotlight on Group Life and Disability

Insurance, the report can be found at

*Available in most markets

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, 2006, Guardian and its subsidiaries had $39.5 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory basis). With more than 5,000 employees and 3,000 financial representatives, as well as more than 80 agencies nationwide, Guardian and its subsidiaries protect individuals, businesses, 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. More information about Guardian can be obtained at:

SOURCE The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
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