Members to decide on dental plan change

Guild members will decide whether to approve a possible switch to the Guardian dental plan or to stick with Empire Blue Cross. The vote will take place this Thursday from 11–1 pm and 5–6:30 pm in Executive Conference Room 2. The switch is contingent on all other unions in the building agreeing to the move.

Guardian has agreed not to place any kind of cap on how much coverage an employee can receive in a year, while not changing the rate it would offer. Originally the plan had proposed a cap of $2,500 for each family member.

For Guild members, the switch would save about $11 a year.

The insurance brokers from Rowlands & Barranca told union leaders last month that Guardian offers a broader network of dentists. If a dentist is not a member of the network, Guardian would still reimburse the provider directly whereas Blue Cross requires the employee to pay upfront and be reimbursed. The brokers also said Guardian offers a better discount.

The Guild’s leaders had encouraged members to talk to their own dentists’ office, ask about whether they accept Guardian and whether they think the coverage and cost to the patient is better or worse than Empire. If you have not already done so, we highly recommend you do before the vote.

Our own conversations have made clear some dentists accept Empire Blue Cross, others take Guardian, and the discounts are better for an in-network dentist but dentists outside the network still often take the insurance.

CLICK HERE for a list of participating dentists.

The company stressed it was offering it as an optional switch, not one they were seeking to require.

You can find information on Guardian at its website, www.glic.com. The plan we are being offered is the DentalGuard Preferred PPO.

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