Wednesday, November 20, 2002

3 companies team in
long-term benefits program

Star-Bulletin staff

AssistGuide Inc., a Honolulu-based company that provides online information and systems for issues involving long-term care, seniors and disabilities, has teamed up with City Bank and Benefits Hawaii in a pilot long-term care benefit program.

"There is an incredible need for education about long-term care, and this program provides that to employees and program participants," said Kevin Sypniewski, president and chief executive officer of AssistGuide. "People need to be aware of what long-term care encompasses, how it benefits them and their families, and what their options are."

City Bank employees and family members in the program will receive long-term care benefit plans and online disability and eldercare education.

Group rates for the program, which are discounted up to 40 percent below traditional individual long-term care insurance rates, incorporate employees' extended families -- including parents, grandparents, in-laws, siblings and adult children.

Enrolled employees are provided with a basic long-term care benefit package, which will pay a benefit toward nursing-home costs, as well as home or community-based care. Employees are able to purchase additional coverage for themselves and their spouses, and also can select less-traditional coverage options, such as payment to a friend or relative caring for them.

Benefits Hawaii is the consultant working with City Bank to implement the benefit program and the technology provided by AssistGuide, which is currently looking to recruit other businesses.

AssistGuide, which was founded in Hawaii in 1998 and has expanded to Dallas, Houston and St. Louis, received a $1 million infusion of venture capital earlier this year. It has attracted almost $3 million in venture capital since its inception.

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