Near-Time Data Transfer Allows Quicker Dental Coverage Use

December 13, 2004 ( - Hewitt Associates clients carrying MetLife dental coverage can take advantage of a new computer interface permitting near-time data transfer so participants can visit the dentist right after signing up with their employer for the insurance.

A news release from the two companies said the near-time data exchange includes an automatic XML-based response from MetLife, which confirms each transaction Hewitt sends or notifies Hewitt of any potential problems with the employee enrollment data. The consistency the HR-XML standard allows, paired with near-time positive confirmation of data exchanges, cuts the risk of errors and potential problems for employees and should decrease the amount of time and money health plans and outsourcers spend on issue resolution, according to the companies

“With typical custom batch data exchanges, people may have to wait several weeks after enrolling before using dental services. Through the near-time data exchange, consumers not only have the speed of enrolling online but can utilize dental care right away after enrolling,” noted Kathy Swinehart, health and welfare outsourcing business leader, Hewitt Associates.

While the near-time interface is currently available to joint Hewitt/MetLife clients who employ the HRXML standard and who have dental coverage from MetLife, the announcement said the two companies are working to expanding the interface to other types of coverage.