Beyond Bundling: FUSE Dental and Vision

Two benefits in one plan for greater savings, choice and flexibility

We have all seen the potential for cost savings when both dental and vision are bundled with a single carrier. Ameritas Group has taken this bundling concept to a whole new level. To further drive down costs, we developed FUSION: The Ultimate Choice®, which fuses plan design elements of our dental and Vision Perfect® products.

With FUSION, Ameritas Group gives producers and employers the ability to design a dental/vision plan that shares maximums, deductibles and frequencies. Best of all, employers can provide both benefits at a price similar to their existing stand-alone dental plan.

If you think about it, FUSION really is a consumer-driven plan that lets employees and their dependents choose how to spend their dental and vision dollars.

Employees Choose: Dental Care, Vision or Both

  • In a typical dental plan with a $1,000 annual maximum, Ameritas can embed $150 of vision dollars at little or no extra cost.
  • By combining the annual maximums of these two coverages, employees have greater flexibility in spending their benefit dollars.
  • If a member uses $150 in vision benefits during the year, the annual maximum is reduced, with $850 remaining for dental expenses ($1,000 - $150).
  • If the member does not have vision expenditures, the full annual maximum of $1,000 is available for dental.

WHY FUSION?

Through our experiences in designing and selling dental and vision plans, we have learned a fundamental truth: Employees know their personal needs better than we do. This was the guiding principle we followed when developing FUSION, which is why we created it so employees can use their benefits where they need them most.

FUSION is simple in design, easy to understand and use, provides choices employees appreciate and is a differentiator for brokers and employers. Let’s review these features in depth:

  1. Versatility – With FUSION, dental and vision benefits are combined into one plan with a shared annual maximum, allowing employees to decide how to use those dollars.

Over the years we have discovered that often employees enroll in dental and vision plans not for their own benefit, but to take care of their families. Frequently one dependent may have vision needs, and another may have oral health concerns. With FUSION, they can use one plan to cover both needs.

For added value, FUSION can include our Dental Rewards® increasing annual maximum feature, which lets employees “earn” additional money toward future years’ annual maximums.

  1. Choices – In benefit surveys, employees consistently communicate they want choices. During the past decade, many employees have assumed responsibility for their medical care and expenses. They have learned to shop around for medical services, compare costs and find ways to save money. FUSION allows them to continue in this direction with dental and vision. Consider these options for how FUSION can be used:
    • Any dentist or our network provider for dental.
      • Employees and their dependents can use a network provider associated with the Ameritas plan for dental care. Seeking care in-network often can save them money. When it comes to claim payment, Ameritas is recognized for its claims customer service and generally pays claims within five to 10 business days.
      • Employees and their dependents also have the option to see any non-network dentist of their choice.
    • Any eye doctor for vision.
      • Partnership with Walmart. As part of this plan, members can save up to 15 percent on eyewear and lenses (except contact lenses) purchased at any Walmart Vision Center. More than 2,500 Walmart Vision Centers nationwide offer a wide selection of affordable and stylish frames and lenses for the entire family. This savings arrangement is available to members at no additional cost to their plan premium.
      • Coupons and discounts. Members can search for their best deal, from any eye care provider or retail chain, and submit their itemized expense to Ameritas Group for reimbursement.
    •  Integration with medical plans that offer a vision exam benefit.
      • Some medical plans include a vision exam benefit, but do not cover materials. With FUSION, employees and their dependents can take advantage of their FUSION dollars to buy a pair of eyeglasses, contacts or both.
  1. Flexibility and Ease of Administration – FUSION’s design allows employers the flexibility to offer it as a voluntary, partial- or full-pay benefit, along with their preferences for the annual maximum, deductibles and exam frequencies.

And since both dental and vision are combined into one plan, employers enjoy the flexibility of one certificate, one enrollment form, one payroll entry and one bill.

  1. Retention – Employers appreciate the value of the FUSION product, with the majority continuing to offer the benefit each year. Employees also are highly satisfied with the product, with most renewing enrollment in the plan.
  2. Differentiator – Producers and employers alike have welcomed FUSION as a differentiator. For producers, it is an innovative option for employers, especially for those that currently do not have a vision benefit. Employers value FUSION as a competitive benefit that assists them with employee retention and recruitment, and they appreciate the minimal administration, paperwork and record-keeping required.

FUSION is a unique product that brokers, employers and employees enjoy. It offers cost savings, versatility and flexibility in design, simple applications, easy billing and claims processing, and is innovative in meeting consumers’ needs. Learn more about FUSION by calling Ameritas Group at 800-776-9446 or visiting ameritasgroup.com.

Paul Policella is regional vice president of Northeast Sales for Ameritas Group, a division of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., with headquarters in Lincoln, Neb. He can be reached at ppolicella@ameritas.com or 860-844-0043.

 

At Ameritas Group, our focus is on designing dental, vision and hearing care products and services to fit the needs of employers, employees and individuals. As a division of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., we have served customers since 1959, and currently work with nearly 100,000 employer groups, insuring or administering benefits for more than 5.4 million people nationwide. Ameritas has one of the largest PPO dental networks in the country with more than 235,000 access points. We excel in customer service and earned BenchmarkPortal’s prestigious Center of Excellence certification for 2011, awarded for the fifth consecutive year, and placed fourth in its Top 100 contest. 

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