Good news! The State of Michigan has approved Companion Life to be ACA Certified Effective 1/1/2015. Companion is working toward a process through which it will transition its groups to the pediatric oral benefit as requested. In the meantime, here are some strategies that have worked so far to navigate the pediatric benefit while retaining Companion dental in groups:
1. If it is a Blue group, you can write the pediatric oral benefit for the children with the Blues offering and keep the Companion with the adults. It would be ideal to remove the children from the Blue coverage come 1/1 when Companion is certified but we realize this could be difficult depending on the current environment for group wide change scheduled allowances per year.
2. Another idea is to use Delta Dental as a plan offering alongside a full Companion plan. Delta offers stand alone pediatric and does not require a minimum enrollment so you and the group can offer employees the option of purchasing the pediatric benefit. We've done this quite a lot for groups who might not have dental currently and it seems to go rather well.
3. Finally, you can write the pediatric oral benefit with the Blues or Delta and write the brand new Companion Plus Wrap product. It 'wraps' around the pediatric oral benefit. Here is a summary and sample rates for the plan, they are quite good! In a nutshell, this still covers the children for benefits the pediatric benefit leaves out while covering the adults with a full dental plan. This is a very cost efficient solution and allows adult members to continue their Companion coverage with no disruption to deductibles, etc.
We hope you find these three ideas sufficient to renew your Companion groups this Fall. Please don't hesitate to contact any one of us to discuss these strategies further.