Unum, Starmount to launch national dental, vision coverage next month

Less than five months after completing its acquisition of Baton Rouge-based Starmount Life Insurance/AlwaysCare Benefits, Tennessee-based insurance giant Unum will launch Unum Dental and Unum Vision coverage to its clients around the country beginning Jan. 1.

The rollout marks a big step for Unum, which announced the $127 million acquisition of Starmount/AlwaysCare this past April and closed the deal in August. Baton Rouge is now a hub for Unum’s dental and vision care division, operating out of the Starmount headquarters on Goodwood Boulevard.

For the past five months, the two companies have been merging their corporate cultures and planning to bring the dental and vision products that Starmount/AlwaysCare specialize in to the larger market in which Unum has a significant foothold.

For existing policyholders of AlwaysCare, the launch won’t really change anything.

“If you’re using AlwaysCare today you will continue to have a product under that name,” says Rene Milligan, a spokesman for Unum/Starmount. “We’re trying to keep confusion to a minimum.”

However, after Jan. 1, group benefits will no longer be sold under the AlwaysCare brand name.

Unum had $8 billion in premium income and 33 million covered lives in 2015. The company’s CEO, Mike Simonds, told Business Report in October the company plans to grow the dental and vision care division of Unum from $180 million in revenues to $500 million over the next five years, which would mean doubling the number of local employees.  

Unum also does business under the Colonial Life brand. The company plans to roll out its new product line to those customers in January 2018.

Read a Business Report cover story from October on the Unum-Starmount/AlwaysCare sale, which also details the next chapter for Starmount/AlwaysCare’s founders.

—Stephanie Riegel

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