NU Online News Service, April 12, 2005, 4:19 p.m. EDT

Aetna Inc. is adding a dental benefits program for companies that are unable or unwilling to foot the majority of the bill for dental coverage.[@@]

The Hartford company has started selling a program that will set up voluntary dental plans for employers with more than 50 employees.

Aetna is defining “voluntary” to mean that employees are paying at least 50% of the plan premiums.

Program options will include dental maintenance organization plans as well as dental preferred provider organization plans and indemnity plans.

Employers also will be able to choose options such as waiving the deductible for preventive care, requiring a waiting period for services such as root canal procedures, and shifting services such as endodontics and periodontics into the major services coverage category.