New Year’s Day will not only see the launch of 2017, it will also mark the debut of Unum Vision and a portion of Unum Dental plans as a result of Unum’s acquisition of Starmount in 2016. On Jan. 1, Unum Vision, which is based on Starmount’s two-decade old vision program, will be launched throughout the entire U.S. Unum Dental, based on Starmount’s dental plan, will launch for brokers and clients in the Midwest and southern U.S.

Unum Dental will expand to the northeast and the west of the US in 2018.

Bloomberg/file photo

Unum acquired Starmount in the spring of 2016 and the deal was finalized on Aug. 1.

According to Deborah Sternberg, president of Starmount, the new deal benefits both entities. Starmount has access to a larger insurance base and Unum now has its own vision and dental plans.

“Starmount has been in existence for 30 years and focused in dental and vision as its core business space. We work with thousands of brokers and we are incorporating our sales team into Unum’s team,” she says.

Sternberg say that starting in the new year, the entire Starmount sales team will begin marketing efforts for Unum Dental and Unum Vision. The Starmount division will oversee the administration of the plans and handle all claims and it will continue to have the Starmount brand.

“This is a huge boost for brokers because now Unum has an entire portfolio for supplemental benefits and brokers can turn to one carrier and get the simple enrollment, administration and one stop shop in a comprehensive package,” Sternberg says.

Unum Vision and Dental members will have access to a Starmount web portal where they can access their dental and vision ID cards, find providers and view their claims. “We are bringing a lot of technology on the employee benefit side. We are bringing technology online not only to make it easier for the brokers but also the clients that they serve,” says Sternberg.

Starmount boasts 5,000 clients and close to 1 million members across the country. And the newly division of Unum has not laid off any employees following the acquisition and in fact plans to hire around 30 new staffers in the coming year. Sternberg expects that number to reach 100 in the next few years.

“Most of the hired will be in the Baton Rouge headquarters of Starmount. We will be adding to the underwriting and customer service team and make sure they are at scale and that the network is as robust as we expect them to be,” she says.

“We have had very good success recruiting and we have high standards and we are hiring people and we will hire as many as 30 people added to the Starmount team to manage the growth and add from there.”

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