This week, a Harrisburg-based dental insurance company announced it has landed the world’s largest dental plan.
The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a five-year contract totaling $2.9 billion to United Concordia Companies Inc., which is based in Susquehanna Township and is a subsidiary of Highmark Inc.
Concordia already provides a dental-benefits program serving active-duty service members, known as the Tricare Active Duty Dental Program.
Starting Feb. 1, 2017, United Concordia also will be administering a dental program for anyone else qualifying for military benefits. That includes family members of active-duty beneficiaries, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve and their families.
Known as the Tricare Dental Program, it is the world’s largest voluntary dental plan, providing coverage to about 1.8 million people around the globe.
It is similar to civilian dental plans in that it covers diagnostic, preventive and restorative services.
“As administrator of the TDP, we are entrusted to care for military members and their families,” said Concordia President and CEO F.G. “Chip” Merkel. “It is our honor and duty to take every possible step to improve their dental health.”
This isn’t the first time Concordia has administered the Tricare Dental Program. It also did so from 1996 to 2012.
According to the Department of Defense, it received four offers for the dental contract before it settled on Concordia.
New York-based Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. is the current carrier, according to Highmark spokesperson Leilyn Perri.