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L.A. Unified renews dental insurance deal with MetLife

The Los Angeles school board agreed Tuesday to renew a deal with the district’s dental insurance provider over the objections of a board member who had persuaded his colleagues to defeat an earlier version.

Two weeks ago, Richard Vladovic complained that MetLife had tried to overcharge him for a mouth guard and then provided poor customer service, even though he acknowledged MetLife representatives eventually apologized.

Vladovic won the support of three other board members to reject a three-year, multimillion-dollar contract renewal with the company, which provides insurance to nearly 100,000 current and former L.A. Unified School District employees.

MetLife is the district’s biggest dental insurance provider.

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After the Aug. 30 vote, however, L.A. Unified negotiated a new, one-year deal with MetLife for about $60 million that includes annual satisfaction surveys. The company will also provide quarterly updates to district officials.

MetLife had performed well on previous surveys, according to the district.

Vladovic was the only board member to vote against the renewal; Bennett Kayser abstained and Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte was absent. Kayser, LaMotte, Vladovic and Steve Zimmer voted against the original contract renewal, although Kayser later said he was confused about the subject and wanted the issue reconsidered.

jason.song@latimes.com


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