Unum, Starmount acquire dental HMO in California

Starmount to expand Unum and Colonial Life dental products and operations in CA

BATON ROUGE, La. – November 5, 2018 – Starmount Life Insurance Company is at the center of efforts to build out the Unum (NYSE: UNM) dental portfolio to include dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) products in California.

Unum, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, acquired Jaimini Health, Inc., the California DHMO doing business as PrimeCare Dental Plan (PrimeCare), with efforts led by Starmount.

In 2016, Unum acquired Starmount to expand its presence in the U.S. dental market, making the Baton Rouge headquarters its dental and vision benefits hub in the U.S. Within the last two years, Starmount has supported both Unum and Colonial Life in their respective launches of preferred provider organization dental and vision plans across the country.

PrimeCare will join the Unum family as an extension of the Starmount operation, serving as a DHMO satellite office. DHMO plans will be marketed under the Unum brand, and a product launch is estimated for the third quarter of 2019. Details of a product launch under the Colonial Life brand will be announced once plans are finalized.

“The market response to Unum and Colonial Life’s dental and vision launches exceeded our expectations,” said Starmount President and CEO Erich Sternberg. “We want that momentum to continue with a proprietary DHMO solution in California. Through the PrimeCare acquisition, we will be able to offer our California clients more competitive benefit choices and our best-in-class service.”

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The transaction will not alter Unum’s earnings or capital management outlook for 2018, nor does it change Unum’s overall capital management strategy of investing in its business while also returning capital to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. It is expected to be neutral to accretive to Unum’s earnings per share in 2018.

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About Unum

Unum Group (www.unum.com) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, dental, vision, accident and critical illness coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. Unum acquired dental and vision carrier Starmount in 2016, and launched its new Unum Dental and Vision products in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2017. The company reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017 and provided nearly $7 billion in benefits.

 

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain information in this news release constitutes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are those not based on historical information, but rather relate to a company’s future operations, strategies, financial results, or other developments, may include words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” and similar expressions, and speak only as of the date made. These forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the potential timing for introducing newly branded DHMO products, are not guarantees of future results and are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Unum Group’s control. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or contemplated in the forward-looking statements.

These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Unum Group’s ability to effectively manage growth and integrate acquisitions. Given the risks and uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, any of the forward-looking statements in this news release could be incorrect and investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them.

For further discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of Unum Group’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and its subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this news release are being made as of the date of this news release, and the company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein, even if made available on its website or otherwise.

 

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Andrea’ Randall

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Unum finds significant number of Millennials value vision insurance

Elimination of popular benefit could entice more than a third to job-hop in already tight labor market

 BATON ROUGE, LA. (October 25, 2018) – Employee benefits provider Unum (NYSE: UNM) finds the elimination of vision benefits could motivate more than a third (34 percent) of U.S. workers ages 25 to 34 to look for a new job. These results and other key findings were part of an online poll among 1,227 working U.S. adults conducted by Unum in July.

While the likelihood of job-hopping was higher among this primarily Millennial age group, other age ranges also reported they would consider leaving their current employer if vision benefits were eliminated:

  • 29 percent of those 18 to 24
  • 24 percent of those 35 to 49
  • 21 percent of those 50 to 64
  • 18 percent of those 65 and older

Vision insurance covers the cost of comprehensive eye exams and can significantly decrease the cost of eyeglasses and contact lenses – items usually not covered by private medical plans. These plans have typically appealed to older workers with aging eyes. However, younger workers today are facing more vision problems compared to young adults 40 years ago, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology magazine.

“Vision plans help fill a gap in coverage to maintain eye health, appealing to a multigenerational workforce,” said Amy Marko, senior vice president of dental and vision products at Unum. “These benefits can help an employer decrease the cost of health care, increase productivity and minimize the current workforce trend of job-hopping.”

As competition for talent increases, some employers are increasing their benefits offerings to recruit and retain employees. According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual employee benefits report, the number of employers offering vision benefits has increased 7 percentage points within the last four years.

However, many employers still do not include vision benefits in their employee packages. In the Unum survey, only 50 percent of workers indicated their current employers offer vision insurance.

As millions of American workers enroll in employee benefits this fall, Marko encourages employers to reconsider the importance of vision care.

“Employers need to offer benefits that employees need and want – like vision coverage,” she said.

Learn more information about group vision insurance and Unum’s vision plans.

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About Unum

Unum Group (www.unum.com) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, dental, vision, accident and critical illness coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. The company reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017 and provided nearly $7 billion in benefits.

 

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Unum finds U.S. workers stressed about cost of dental care

Expense ranks as primary reason many adults avoid the dentist

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Oct. 15, 2018) — Employee benefits provider Unum (NYSE: UNM) finds that 41 percent of adults cite the cost of dental care, including out of pocket costs for procedures, as the top stressor about their personal oral health. This figure was higher among women (46 percent) than men (37 percent), and among workers ages 50-64 (45 percent). These results and other key findings were part of an online poll among 1,229 working U.S. adults conducted by Unum in September.

“It’s no surprise that the thought of going to the dentist evokes anxiety, but cost doesn’t need to be the trigger,” said Amy Marko, SVP of dental and vision products for Unum. “Dental insurance plans typically cover preventive care costs and significantly reduce the cost of other dental procedures, making oral health much more affordable. We also find that employees with dental insurance are more likely to use their dental benefits and seek preventive care, which can prevent bigger health issues down the road.”

In the same survey, 31 percent of respondents indicated cost as the primary reason why they avoid going to the dentist, followed by anxiety (8 percent) and the anticipated pain of treatment (8 percent). When asked what they consider to be the top benefits of having dental insurance, 52 percent cited regular, covered cleanings and check-ups, followed by coverage of routine dental care such as fillings and root canals (37 percent), peace of mind (29 percent), and the importance of good oral health as part of their overall health (25 percent).

Fall is the time when millions of American workers enroll in employee benefits, and according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), dental insurance is one of the top workplace benefits, with 97 percent of employers offering dental coverage.

Group polices purchased through the workplace are usually less expensive than individually-purchased policies and generally pay for routine cleanings, exams and offer significant discounts for the cost of common procedures such as fillings, crowns and root canals.

Unum started offering dental plans in early 2017, adding a valuable and popular coverage to the company’s comprehensive portfolio of workplace benefits. Unum dental plans include a national network of more than 109,000 dentists and specialists at 400,000 access points nationwide, flexible plan designs and digital tools including a mobile app and dental cost estimator, to help ease the financial anxiety of oral care.

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About Unum

Unum Group (www.unum.com) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life, and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident and critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. The company reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017 and provided nearly $7 billion in benefits.

For more information, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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How to hit a supplemental benefits grand slam…

Unum Account Executive Sidney Kidder gives advice to deliver a complete supplemental package in the August issue of America’s Benefit Specialist Magazine.

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Teachers receive grants at Starmount’s Strong Schools ceremony

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports on the 10 public elementary school teachers who won Starmount’s first annual Strong Schools Grant. Read the full article here.

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Starmount makes a difference with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

WAFB Channel 9’s Elizabeth Vowell helps the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank stand up to hunger by highlighting how corporate donor like Unum’s Starmount make a difference. Watch the video now.

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Unum’s Starmount Names Paul McLean Vice President of Operations for dental and vision business

BATON ROUGE, La. – September 13, 2018 — Starmount, the dental and vision center of excellence for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM), has named Paul McLean as vice president of operations.

In this role, McLean will oversee the expansion of the dental and vision insurance operations, as the products reach across Unum’s national customer base. He will be responsible for supporting the company’s efforts to achieve top-line growth and profitability.

“We are growing and transforming to meet the demands of a marketplace hungry for valuable dental and vision benefits as part of the trusted Unum and Colonial Life brands,” said Starmount President and CEO Erich Sternberg. “I am confident Paul will help us harness our ability to innovate, adapt and channel our company’s expertise, while we meet and surpass our audacious goals for growth and customer service.”

McLean most recently served as vice president and head of centralized services at Prudential. He has served more than 30 years in roles of progressively expanding responsibility in financial management, product development, operations, policyholder services and strategy and administration.

“We are very excited to welcome Paul McLean to our operations, and look forward to the continued growth of our dental and vision business nationwide,” Sternberg said.

Learn more about Starmount and the Unum Group family of insurers.

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About Starmount Life Insurance Company:

Starmount Life Insurance Company is a member of the Unum Group family of licensed insurers, and is a leading national provider and administrator of dental and vision insurance coverage for Unum US and Colonial Life. Starmount is rated A- (“Excellent”) by A.M. Best (2018), independent insurance analysts. For more information about Unum Group and its subsidiaries, visit www.unumgroup.com.

About Unum

Unum Group (http://www.unum.com/) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. The company reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017, and provided nearly $7 billion in benefits.

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Starmount Awards $10,000 to EBRP School Teachers

BATON ROUGE, La. – August 23, 2018 – Starmount Insurance Company is awarding $10,000 to public elementary school teachers as part of the company’s new annual Strong Schools Grants program.

The program supports teachers in the school district with innovative ideas for increasing student engagement and approaches to learning. More than 40 teachers applied to receive grants of up to $1,000 to purchase equipment and resources.

“Starmount is proud to launch Unum’s Strong Schools Grant program in Baton Rouge,” said Starmount CEO and President Erich Sternberg. “Education is the foundation of strong communities, and our corporate family is investing in our teachers to help make that foundation stronger.”

Strong Schools Grants are given to teachers who demonstrate effective and creative ways to positively influence students and improve their learning and achievement levels. These teachers earned the highest scores with the following projects:

  1. Cecilia Flores from LaSalle Elementary – Grant will purchase literacy books in both Spanish & English to promote reading at home.
  2. Emily Hand from Mayfair Laboratory School – Grant will fund the creation of an interactive garden-scape that can be used for kindergarten through fifth grade to explore different science concepts.
  3. Katelyn Fage from Mayfair Laboratory School – Grant will purchase iPads for her classroom to expose students to different aspects of technology, as well as teach them to make educational videos.
  4. Gia Washington from Claiborne Elementary – Grant will purchase materials to charter the first “Claiborne Council,” a student-led organization that plans monthly campus activities.
  5. Marie Perret Ivey from Highland Elementary – Grant will purchase classroom tools and playsets to expose her students to a variety of career professions in the community.
  6. Maribeth Andereck from Crestworth Elementary – Grant will purchase equipment so students can get access to other classrooms, arrange virtual field trips and have guests visit all via Skype.
  7. Cheryle Peters from Howell Park Elementary – Grant will fund a Makey Makey STEM Pack to teach students how to conduct electricity and design code to possibly spark an interest in engineering.
  8. Jamie Woolfolk from Merrydale Elementary – Grant will fund students with novels to support the Louisiana Guidebook curriculum and a field trip to the Louisiana State Capital.
  9. Keisha Skinner from Buchanan Elementary – Grant will fund the “Buddy Bags” for students, a project and activity designed to build their love of reading outside of the classroom.
  10. Sarah Norman from LaBelle Aire Elementary – Grant will purchase iPad minis and apps for students to overcome language barriers.

“East Baton Rouge Parish is very grateful that Starmount/Unum recognizes the need in our schools,” said Suzanne Navo of East Baton Rouge Parish School System, “and are kind enough to share resources with our teachers to carry out their great ideas and projects. Starmount has chosen wonderful projects that will make the most impact on students’ learning.”

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About Unum

Unum Group (http://www.unum.com/) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life Starmount and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families. The reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017, and provided nearly $7 billion in benefits.

 

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Experts talk about the Dental Market

Starmount’s sister company Colonial Life provides expert insights into the dental benefits market. Colonial Life’s director of products, David Polen, talks to Len Strazewski of Rouge Notes in the May article “Experts note plan enhancements and a move toward the voluntary market.”

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Starmount recognized for Corporate Responsibility and Community Giving

Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) honors Starmount Insurance Company, the Baton Rouge-based subsidiary of Unum Group, as the Partner in Education of the Month at the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting on March 15. Read more about the recognition in The Advocate.

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