Guardian Expands Medical Plan Discounts For Yoga, Pilates, Massage Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Alternative Procedures

Complementary Alternative Medicine program provides up to 30 percent off

services and treatment at over 36,000 alternative medicine providers for

more than 38 disciplines

Apr 18, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

    NEW YORK, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Guardian Life Insurance Company
 of America (Guardian), a leading provider of employee and voluntary
 benefits to small and mid-sized companies, today announced that its group
 medical plan members now have greater access to discounts on alternative
 medical treatments in 38 disciplines including yoga, Pilates, personal
 training, massage/bodywork, nutritional counseling, acupuncture,
 chiropractic care, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, qi gong, tai chi and holistic
     Guardian's Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) discount program
 provides up to 30 percent off the cost of services and treatment at over
 36,000 providers. This program is an expansion of Guardian's alternative
 medical benefits. Many Guardian medical plans already offered coverage for
 alternative medicine procedures, but clients now have more discipline
 choices, locations and providers.
     "Alternative medicine, once considered fringe is now firmly part of the
 mainstream," said Tim Bireley, vice president, Group Medical, Guardian. "We
 live in a global, increasingly diverse society where people are exposed to
 different methods of managing their health and wellness. Clients value the
 opportunity to complement and enhance their traditional medical treatments
 with alternative procedures."
     The Complementary Alternative Medicine program was developed in
 conjunction with Whole Health Networks. Guardian medical plan members are
 able to access information about the practitioner network through the
 Guardian Anytime website: (
     Through a link, they are connected to WholeHealth's award-winning
 website with extensive information about:
       * Healing Centers: Provides step-by-step health paths offering
         comprehensive care and treatments developed by WholeHealth
       * Healthy Kitchens: Offers knowledge about how food can heal as well as
         taste great. Healthy Kitchen chefs share recipe makeovers and
         introduce consumers to a world of healthier cooking.
       * News and perspectives: Keeps members up to date on the latest research
         in complementary alternative medicine.
       * Reference library: Contains a comprehensive database of integrative
         therapies, supplements, foods, and drugs, including a drug/herb
         "checker" highlighting interactions between nutritional supplements
         and pharmaceuticals.
       * Expert Opinions: Provides helpful opinions in response to frequently
         asked member questions.
     Members can also locate a practitioner by calling WholeHealth Networks
 at 1-800-274-7526.
     "The Complementary Alternative Medicine program coincides with several
 trends that make this launch very timely," said Susan O'Connor, assistant
 vice president, Group Medical, Guardian. "We are a more sedentary society
 and obesity rates are on the rise. There is a lot of stress on the
 so-called sandwich generation as they manage the affairs of their children
 and parents while they prepare for their own retirement. And last, but not
 least, longevity and an aging workforce continue to put pricing pressures
 on our healthcare system. Taking a more holistic approach can help fight
 obesity, reduce stress and expose people to new ways of promoting good
 health and wellness -- and ultimately help reduce healthcare costs."
     Added Bireley, "As Guardian marks the 50th anniversary of our Group
 business the Complementary Alternative Medicine program underscores our
 commitment to providing high quality, affordable products and services to
 the small and midsize business market."
     Guardian also offers its medical plan members health and wellness
 resources, discounts to fitness centers, a 24-hour NurseLine(sm) and a
 nurse outreach program.
     For more information please contact your local Guardian Group
 Representative or log on to to find a
 representative near you.
     Guardian is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Group employee
 benefit business. In honor of this milestone the company will issue a
 series of educational surveys and reports to help employees, employers and
 benefit decision makers better understand how they can jumpstart their
 financial lives, improve recruitment, retention and employee satisfaction
 by maximizing the use and power of their workplace coverage. The first
 report released in the series is entitled, Benefits & Behavior: Spotlight
 on Dental. The report can be found at
     About Guardian
     Founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New
 York, NY (Guardian) is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies
 in the United States. As of December 31, 2006, Guardian and its
 subsidiaries had $39.5 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory
 basis). With more than 5,000 employees and 3,000 financial representatives,
 as well as more than 80 agencies nationwide, Guardian and its subsidiaries
 protect individuals, businesses, and their employees with life, disability,
 health, long-term care, and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k),
 annuities and other financial products and trust services. More information
 about Guardian can be obtained at:

SOURCE The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America