|By Mark Glover, The Sacramento Bee|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The agreement is subject to regulatory approval, and financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Started in 1989, Premier Access provides dental coverage and other care to employers and individuals in
On Wednesday, in response to emailed questions, Guardian spokeswoman
Volpi added: "Premier Access will retain its brand for the near future. The (Premier Access) Dental Centers will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian, operating independently, and will maintain their current brands."
Premier was started 25 years ago by
Calls seeking comment from Premier Access officials on Wednesday were not returned.
Guardian, which currently covers more than 8 million employees and their families, said the acquisition will strengthen its dental network for preferred provider organization and HMO plans in the Western states where Premier currently operates.
The company said that acquiring Premier Access also enables more access to state-run
In June last year, Premier Access was one of six insurance firms selected by Covered California to offer pediatric dental coverage on
"ACA is changing the dental benefits landscape. It is the responsibility of insurers such as Guardian to deliver cost-effective, quality dental care to more Americans where and how they are looking to be served," said
Guardian has about 5,000 U.S. employees and provides dental coverage for 115,000 U.S. companies. Premier Access has more than 600 employees.
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