Prudential Financial, Inc.’s Group Insurance business, Newark, N.J., will offer dental coverage plans as part of its array of group insurance products following the establishment of a strategic alliance with dental administrator, Group Dental Service, Inc.

Group Dental Service offers a market-leading network, including 130,000 provider locations.

Prudential will initially offer preferred provider and indemnity dental plans to employers with plans covering fewer than 1,000 employees and expects to begin offering quotes to clients and producers in the second quarter of the year for new business beginning in the third quarter. Over time, the intent is to expand the offering to accommodate larger plans, as well.

Group Dental Service, a Rockville, Md.-based provider of managed dental care services, was formed in 1965 by a pair of dentists interested in providing quality, cost-efficient dental services. Group Dental Service is an affiliate of Coventry Health Care, Inc.

Prudential’s Group Insurance business manufactures and distributes a full range of group life, long-term and short-term group disability, long-term care, and corporate and trust-owned life insurance in the U.S. to institutional clients primarily for use in connection with employee and membership benefits plans.

Group Insurance also sells accidental death and dismemberment and other ancillary coverages and provides plan administrative services in connection with its insurance coverages.