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Alberta Blue Cross lowers rates based on dental guide

Insurance benefits to reflect fee changes

Alberta Blue Cross is lowering rates for employers in response to the recent dental fee guide changes.

“As the largest payer of dental services in Alberta, Alberta Blue Cross pays in excess of $430 million annually to dental providers on behalf of our customers,” says Ray Pisani, President and CEO of Alberta Blue Cross.

The Alberta Dental Association and College dental fee guide has been altered after the provincial Government put pressure on for them to reduce cost.

The new dental fee guide is voluntary, though, so not all dental offices will comply. Fees will continue to vary widely between dental practices.

Alberta currently has the highest dental fees in Canada.

A recent review of claims indicated that the cost of a check-up and cleaning ranged from $340 to well over $500.

As Alberta’s leading benefit provider, Alberta Blue Cross provides coverage to more than 1.7 million members.

Alberta Blue Cross is adjusting their fees in conjunction with the new fee guide and extending benefits on to their customers. It is the only insurance benefit provider adjusting rates based on the legislation, so far.

“As a not-for-profit organization with a unique legislative mandate to serve the health and wellness of Albertans, we are committed to delivering the best value to our customers and ensuring the continued viability of our customers’ benefit plans,” Pisani said.

Alberta Blue Cross administers group benefit plans for over 5,700 employers across the province with employees across the country ranging in size from small businesses right up to Alberta’s largest employers.

The adjustment will only apply to those employers whose plans reference the dental fee guide.

Alberta Blue Cross is giving customers rate reduction to the dental benefit rate of 6.5 per cent, effective March 1st.

The direct impact of the reduction will vary based on plan design, plan use, plan member and dental provider behaviour.

-Falk

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