When Florida Combined Life decided to become a primary player in the dental PPO and fee-for-service business in that state, it had two major challenges: an aggressive timeline and an inflexible claims system.The Jacksonville, Fla.-based subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida had been offering dental coverage as an ancillary product to its health insurance offerings, and it had been paying dental claims through its health claims system. But that system was inflexible, and would not meet the company's future needs, says Charles Brody, dental division vice president at Florida Combined Life.

In addition, the company had only eight months-from February to September 1999-to choose and implement a new system before it began selling its new products. "There was no way we could find a system we were comfortable with in that timeframe, as well as the cost factor to bring it up," Brody says.

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