(PRU) Prudential Financial Expands Dental Insurance Business

U.S.life insurer Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) has expanded its dental insurance service offering across all fifty states in the U.S.

The enhanced geographical reach, through 190,000 provider locations, will make it more convenient for anyone to buy their preferred dental plan anywhere across America.

Prudential’s dental coverage is mainly intended for small businesses and is available under two plans – Preferred Provider Organization (“PPO”) and Indemnity Plans.

As part of the PPO plan, coverage is provided to members through a network of selected health care providers (such as hospitals and physicians). Subscribers may opt out of the network, but would end up incurring higher costs in the form of higher deductibles, coinsurance rates, or non-discounted charges from the providers.

Prudential provider network includes DenteMax, CAREington and CONNECTION Dental, along with the 4Most Network in West Virginia and surrounding areas.

On the other hand, an Indemnity Plan is one which reimburses the patient and/or provider as and when expenses are incurred.

Prudential Dental will be offered in conjunction with Prudential’s other insurance services – life, disability, and long term care insurance.

Dental insurance in America is primarily offered via employer-based benefit programs and forms one of the most necessary and affordable part of the employee compensation package.  Dental insurance closely follows medical and prescription drug coverage offered by employers.

The importance of employer-sponsored dental insurance plan has greatly increased over the years, since it forms a cost-effective way for the employees to take care of their dental problems. Prudential with is superior brand name intends to broaden its reach in the growing dental insurance market. It will use its wide distribution network to market the product.

A recent U.S. Census Bureau study showed that approximately 100 million people, or more than one-third of the population, do not have dental insurance. By marketing group dental products across the country, Prudential expects to fill that gap.

Other life insurance carriers that market dental benefits include MetLife, Inc. (MET), Principal Financial Group, Inc. (PFG), and American International Group, Inc. (AIG).

We have a Neutral long term recommendation on Prudential Financial. The quantitative Zacks #3 Rank translate into short term Hold rating for the company.

AMER INTL GRP (AIG): Free Stock Analysis Report

METLIFE INC (MET): Free Stock Analysis Report

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PRUDENTIAL FINL (PRU): Free Stock Analysis Report

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