Intercom Online......December 2, 1999

Employee Benefits

Dental coverage

As announced in the Time to Choose material employees received last month, the Penn State dental plan, as administered by United Concordia, remains unchanged for 2000. Reimbursements will continue at the same level and there will be no out-of-network surcharge if the dentist is not participating with United Concordia.

While individuals are free to choose either a participating or non-participating dentist, services provided by a United Concordia participating network dentist are not subject to the $25 annual deductible. Also, participating dentists will accept as payment in full the amount specified as the maximum allowance by United Concordia. Patients may be responsible for a percentage of that allowable charge. While the percentage will depend upon the type of service provided, you will not receive a bill for the difference between the dentist's charge and United Concordia's allowance.

Listings of United Concordia participating providers are available on the Employee Benefits Division Web site at http://www.ohr.psu.edu/benefits/.

The number of participating providers has increased during the last year and representatives of United Concordia continue working to expand the dental network, specifically in Centre County.

Last March, United Concordia announced it would accept assignment of benefits for dentists who are not part of the network. An assignment of benefits allows United Concordia to pay the dentist directly when requested. Originally, the assignment of benefits was available only to participating providers. It is important to note, however, that those dentists who are not part of the United Concordia network are not obligated to accept the assignment. The billing methods and procedures remain the business decision of the individual provider.

Questions regarding the dental plan can be directed to United Concordia at 800-423-8217.

"Members Choice"

HealthAmerica HMO members have expressed interest in programs designed to broaden their health care options. HealthAmerica has contracted with American Specialty Health Networks (ASHN) to offer their Members Choice Program to all HMO members beginning in 2000. The Members Choice Program offers discounts for fitness clubs, nutritional supplements, vitamins, acupuncture and message therapy. No PCP referral is necessary for HealthAmerica HMO members to take advantage of these discounts:

-- Fitness Clubs: Beginning Jan. 1, HealthAmerica HMO members can take advantage of "best-rate" guarantees at fitness clubs contracted with ASHN by showing their HealthAmerica ID card.

-- Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins: Beginning Jan. 1, HealthAmerica HMO members can take advantage of ASHN discounts on more than 1,500 products by purchasing online via the Internet or through ASHN's mail order catalog. To receive a catalog, call ASHN's mail order department at 1-888-289-4325.

-- Discounts for Acupuncture and Message Therapy: Beginning Feb. 1, members can receive discounts averaging 25 percent for acupuncture and message therapy services when rendered by an ASHN contracted provider. There are no claim forms to submit. Members receive the discount by presenting their HealthAmerica ID card at the time of service.

ASHN's Members Choice Program Web site will be linked via the HealthAmerica Web (http://www.healthamerica.cvty.com), available Jan. 1 . In the meantime, HealthAmerica HMO members can contact ASHN Member Services Department directly at 1-877-327-2746 to obtain listings of participating fitness clubs and acupuncture and message therapy providers.

It is important to note that HealthAmerica HMO members will receive optimal online discounts for Members Choice Program services when they access the ASHN Web site via the HealthAmerica Web site link. Members wishing to directly contact ASHN's sites without linking may do so, but they will receive lesser discounts. HMO members who call ASHN's Member Services Department and identify themselves as HealthAmerica HMO participants will receive the higher discount.

The Members Choice Program is currently offered to HealthAmerica HMO members only. It is anticipated that the program may be offered to POS members at some time in the future. There are no plans at this time to offer this program to Advantra members. HealthAmerica HMO members with questions or concerns should contact HealthAmerica's Member Services Department at (800) 366-6433.

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