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New Program Gives Guardian Dental Pre-Paid/DHMO Members Greater Access to Specialty Care

Enhanced Options Give Employees More Flexibility and Ease Administration for Providers

NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), a leading provider of employee and voluntary benefits for small and mid-sized companies, today announced its Direct Referral program that will give dental HMO (DHMO)/pre-paid plan members access to any in-network specialist without pre-authorization, providing faster, easier access to important treatment.

Through Guardian's Direct Referral Program, plan members can see any in-network specialist with a specialty referral from their primary care dentist, reducing wait times, a common issue for DHMO/pre-paid plans. The program also lessens the administrative burden for providers, an incentive that promotes provider retention which helps to expand the network offering members a wider selection of dentists.

"The goal of dental benefits is to help individuals maintain or improve their oral health which, studies show, is directly connected to overall health. Guardian's Direct Referral program is another step we're taking to meet the oral and overall healthcare needs of our members by making it easier for them to seek the treatment they need from the specialists they need access to," said Chris Swanker, vice president, Guardian Group Dental. "Dental insurance is an affordable and highly valued benefit. In today's economy, business owners are looking to manage their benefit costs while providing coverage that promotes oral health, which can have an impact on employees' overall health and the overall cost of care."

Guardian's Direct Referral Program is available for all Managed DentalGuard DHMO/Pre-Paid plans, as well as Managed Dental Care and FCW plans.

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 mid-size 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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