CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is introducing a consumer-directed dental plan for employer groups to complement its consumer-focused health insurance offerings. The DentalBlue plans are priced 15 to 20 percent below comparable options.

The new plan is available beginning May 1, 2009 and includes $2,500 in annual coverage--more than any other dental plan--and covers all basic and major dental services at 70 percent after the deductible. The new plan, commonly called a high-deductible dental plan, or HDDP, will have a $250 deductible before basic and major services are paid.

Preventive dental care such as exams, cleanings and routine x-rays are paid for 100 percent and are exempt from both the deductible and the annual maximum to encourage regular use.

“As our consumer-directed health plans become increasingly popular, our members have asked for dental plans that work in the same way,” said David Stevens, director of dental programs at BlueCross. “These plans also respond to dentists’ requests for higher annual benefit maximums, so patient care is not disrupted.”

BlueCross has the largest dental PPO network in the state of Tennessee with over 2,400 network dental locations and has access to nearly 90,000 dental locations across the United States.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.