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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Student fills cavity in market

    Students grinding their teeth because the university does not offer a dental insurance plan can look to one UA student who has started his own company to help defray these costs.

    Jeff Reed, 24, founded the Professional Dental Plans of Arizonan last October and now has 40 members. All members are entitled to half-price general dental care with five dentists and 25 percent off dental care with 10 specialists.

    And because the University of Arizona does not offer a dental plan to students, Reed has focused sales efforts on campus.

    Between 40 and 50 percent of his clients are UA students, he said.

    The UA offers students medical coverage under Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona. This fall it cost $184 and next spring it will be $298. Although the plan offers dental coverage for dental work needed as a result of an accident, the UA does not offer a dental plan.

    “”We’ve never had an indication of a particular interest,”” said Arthur Ashton, special assistant for strategic planning for the Arizona Board of Regents and chair of the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee. But Reed said, “” It seemed like a good business.””

    The general business senior settled into the insurance field following assorted sales stints in satellites, cars, photographic equipment and real estate.

    After a lot of research and $2,000 in lawyer fees to ensure all aspects are his business are legal, Reed hopes he has a future in insurance.

    But he isn’t an insurance agent and his company is not an insurance company. It is a preferred provider organization.

    Offering a preferred provider plan means Reed does not need to be licensed as an insurance agent and does not have to reimburse dentists the money that plan holders save.

    Under Reed’s six-month coverage plan, policy holders pay $15.95 a month, couples pay $17.95 and families pay $18.95.

    That money translates into free checkups, X-rays and cleanings. Policy holders also receive general dental care at half of the dentists’ regular price and receive a 25 percent discount on services from specialists, such as orthodontists, oral surgeons and periodontists.

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