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Congress Passes Bill To Expand Federal Employees'
Dental, Vision Benefits at No Cost to Taxpayers

CONTACT: Stacey Chazin, 215-238-8500

ATLANTA (December 6, 2004)- The United States Congress passed S. 2657, Federal Employee Dental and Vision Benefits Enhancement Act of 2004 that was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). It will give Federal employees the opportunity to purchase voluntary dental and vision benefits for themselves and their families and will offer the same opportunity to Federal retirees.

S 2657 passed unanimously today in the House of Representatives and was passed unanimously by the Senate last month. The bill now goes to President Bush who is expected to sign it into law.

Because these benefits are voluntary and would be paid for by employees and retirees, there will be no cost to the Federal government to provide these important benefits.

As a national leader in the dental and vision benefits industry, CompBenefits commends the leadership of Sen. Collins and Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) for developing the legislation designed to provide increased access to dental and vision care for our country's civil servants.

Stanley Shapiro, D.D.S., CompBenefits' vice chairman, who has worked on the development of this policy and specific legislation notes "Routine dental and vision care are intrinsic elements of overall wellness."

Oral health exams and teeth cleaning at regular intervals are keys to dental disease prevention, as recognized by the American Dental Association and the U.S. Surgeon General, and, likewise, recommended eye examinations not only determine the need for eyeglasses but also provide early detection of serious eye disease.

In addition, Dr. Shapiro notes "The leadership of Sen. Collins and Rep. Davis were indispensable in the development and passage of this important legislation.

Federal employees, retirees and their families should recognize their leadership in this effort to improve their overall healthcare options." Dr. Shapiro also notes that "FEHB is a successful model for demonstrating the purchasing leverage of the Federal Government and the ability to provide choice among the types of plans offered." "

In the competition for quality employees, voluntary dental and vision benefits fulfill employee expectations and create a competitive advantage for the Federal government," Shapiro continues.


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