Principal Financial Group has introduced Principal Edge Network, a proprietary health care provider network, available in Austin, Texas, whichhelps employers achieve significant discounts while providing members access to local physicians and hospitals.

Principal Edge Network is available to current and future health insurance customers beginning March 1, 2010. Competitive discounts with physicians, specialists and facilities allow the network to offer access to health care services and levels of care.

, The company said that the health insurance coverage allows employers to control rising health care costs, while employees benefit from a member-focused approach. Online tools and resources guide employees in navigating the health coverage and making more informed decisions about health care.

According to Principal Financial Group, the key service features of coverage include, claim payment with a track record of 99.6% dollar accuracy; in-bound first-call solution accuracy; online access to claims status, patient eligibility and basic benefit information; and wellness discounts to help lose weight and become physically fit.

Philip Martin, president of Principal Edge Network, said: “Everyone is watching their health care dollars more closely these days, which is why we’re excited to introduce Principal Edge Network to Austin. By building our own network, we’re able to give our members quick and easy access to many of the area’s most prominent physicians and facilities.

“The network is an extension of our commitment to providing quality health insurance and excellent service for members, employers and health care providers.”