School district duped by inflated dental network claims

A consultant hired by the Lee County school system in Florida may be let go for not properly vetting proposals for dental insurance provided by Humana, according to an article in the News Press.

Humana won the contract, but the county learned soon after that the company had exaggerated the number of dentists in its network by 10 times the actual amount, according to an audit released in March.

Humana wrested the two-year contract, worth more than $2 million per year, from its competitor Delta Dental, which had held the contract for 13 years. However, both companies were guilty of inflating the access to care they could deliver, the article noted.

The school district is holding Gallagher Benefit Services, who has served as a consultant for 10 years, responsible. Board members noted that the oversight seemed egregious enough for them to sever its relationship with the consultant. Humana, the district's dental services provider since April 1, may be next, due to the small network and out-of-pocket costs that ended up higher than projected.

A Humana employee who manages the state's public sector dental contracts cited a file downloading error as the source of the mistaken figures.

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