Get Dental Work Before You Retire


By:Kim Blanton

Caps, gum surgeries, implants, dental exotica – all kinds of things can and do go wrong in retirees’ mouths.

But dental coverage also drops sharply for older Americans, because when people retire, they give up their employer’s dental insurance. Without it, retirees needing dental work can face an unexpected, mini financial crisis.

Medicare does not cover routine dental procedures, a fact that a majority of working baby boomers are unaware of. But most seniors also aren’t covered through a spouse or under, say, a union dental insurance plan for retirees. The private dental insurance market is their only option for care, and very few purchase it.

Uninsured older Americans shell out $1,126 annually, on average, for dental work, which is $400 more than people with coverage spend. Out-of-pocket costs can be much higher in a year when extensive work is required.

There is also a hidden cost to not being covered.  Failing to deal with dental problems can cause other serious illnesses, from malnutrition to heart trouble.

For the rest of the U.S. population, cost has become less of a barrier to dental care, the American Dental Association reported in 2015. Seniors are the lone exception. One in four Medicare beneficiaries polled two years ago said cost is a higher barrier to dental care than it is for any other type of medical service, including hospital care and prescription drugs that are covered by Medicare.

Getting dental care is especially difficult for people over 65 with low incomes.  While state social programs cover low-income children, coverage rates have declined for their low-income grandparents.

Many uninsured middle-class retirees also struggle to pay for dental care.  Half of older households earning as much as $50,000 haven’t seen a dentist in the past year, and 21 percent earning more than $75,000 haven’t been to a dentist, according to an Oral Health America survey in 2015.

A “lack of money or insurance are the prime reasons to skip a visit,” the report said.

In rare instances, Medicare covers dental procedures as part of overall medical care, such as a tooth extraction prior to heart surgery or a dental procedure prior to radiation for oral cancer.

Most seniors aren’t covered, and they either prefer to go without it or can’t afford it.


Reposted from

Features vs Benefits


By Mathew Kennedy

At the surface, features and benefits sound very similar. Synonymous, even. It wasn’t until very recently that I took the time to think through the difference between the two and got a better understanding of why it is significant. Now that I have “figured-it-out,” I’ve found that the difference often ends up being the determining factor between a sale and a customer walking away uninterested, overwhelmed or confused.

As a salesperson, you are (hopefully) an expert in what you are selling. You know the ins and outs of your product or service, and you know all the different features. When a customer that you know your product or service is absolutely perfect for (it fits all of their needs / it would solve all of their problems) you excitedly list off feature after feature, just waiting for their face to brighten up and for them to say those three magical words; “I’ll take it!”

When that doesn’t happen and they walk away, that hand that was ready for a firm handshake is now curled up in a tight-fist pounding the table in frustration and despair. You ask yourself: “How could they have passed this opportunity up? It’s literally everything that they were looking for. It would solve all the problems that they brought up and it would make them a very happy customer. How could they say no?”

When you live and breathe your product or service, talking about its features become second nature. BUT more often than not, you probably forgot to talk about how those features will benefit the customer. There is a language barrier between seller and customer, and you were so excited that you forgot to translate. That’s why the sale was lost, or more specifically, why the customer walked away from a perfect product.

A feature is an important part of the product that needs to be stated. It’s an essential part of the sale, and often, it’s what makes the distinction between a sale and no sale. A benefit however, is different. A benefit answers the essential question that goes through every buyer’s mind: “So what; how does that feature benefit me?” If you can understand how to bridge these concepts together, you will experience many more handshakes and a lot less clenched-fist frustrations.

Take a television for example: When going to buy a TV, the salesperson will gladly tell you all of the features: 48 inch screen, LCD, multiple HDMI ports, direct streaming capabilities, etcetera. Those all sound great, right? But what do they mean to someone who is not plugged in (pun intended) to the world of TVs?  Well, not much. To those who know TVs, it means a clear, colorful picture, the ability to connect multiple devices, and having tons of entertainment at the tips of their fingers. These are things that any TV buyer would want, and the salesperson is technically telling them that they can get it. But, if the TV buyer just doesn’t understand, they may be getting confused by the terminology out of lack of familiarity. That can cause the customer (more likely than not) to leave empty-handed, not knowing that they’re walking away from their “TV soulmate.”

As a salesperson, hopefully you know the product/service inside and out. Hopefully, you know how to match a customer up with the product/service that’s right for them. But beyond that, when you don’t know how to connect the product’s features to how it benefits the customer, there is a real possibility of you losing the sale.
Remember, this is a subtle yet powerful distinction. Keep in mind, the customer may not be as informed or experienced as you (at least not in terms of your specific product/service).  Customers are coming to learn and it’s your responsibility to teach them. Every customer wants a product or service that will make their life simpler, safer, and more enjoyable. If you can appropriately get the message across that your product has both the features they are looking for and how those features will benefit them, you’ll have a better chance at closing a sale.

TruAssure Launches New Dental Insurance Plans with Comprehensive, Hassle-Free Dental Coverage

TruAssure Insurance Company, a standalone dental benefits carrier, today announced the launch of a comprehensive set of new dental plan options for small and large companies, as well as for families and individuals. These new options offer employers flexible, standalone dental plan coverage with a focus on prevention, easy administration and access to a large, national network of dentists.* Family and individual options offer hassle-free coverage focusing on prevention and flexibility, in many cases providing unique benefits such as teeth whitening and orthodontia.

The introduction of these plans is in direct response to the growing demand for dental insurance and preference for flexible, affordable benefits. According to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), three-quarters of employees expect their employers to provide dental insurance, with orthodontia and cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening among the most requested benefits. NADP research has also shown that individual dental coverage is a growing market, rising from 2 percent of dental coverage in the U.S. in 2011 to 7.2 percent at the close of 2014.

With this introduction of new plans, TruAssure is expanding its footprint and addressing these needs. The company now offers group plans and dental plans for individuals and families in more than 25 states, with other state filings pending regulatory approval. The company also offers dental savings programs, which are available nationwide.

“Dental insurance is a valued benefit that helps employers attract and retain the best employees. TruAssure’s flexible dental plans provide employers with straightforward, affordable options that keep their employees healthy and reduce administrative headaches,” said Bernie Glossy, CEO of TruAssure Insurance Company. “For small and large businesses as well as individuals, we reduce the complexities of dental insurance, making sure people have access to the dental care they need to keep smiling.”

The company’s new small group plans provide employers with flexible options and a range of deductibles and annual maximums to meet the needs of businesses with two to nine eligible employees. Plans are easy to administer, providing the coverage employees want at the best savings. For employers with five to nine eligible employees, TruAssure’s Small Group Select plans have no employee waiting periods.

As part of this rollout of new dental plans, TruAssure is also introducing customizable dental solutions for large groups. Whether these companies are looking for fully insured or self-funded options, these plans make administration for groups easy and affordable.

TruAssure’s new suite of individual and family plans — Max Savings, Choice and Choice Plus — include a variety of options and benefits that many other carriers don’t offer, such as three teeth cleanings per year and composite (white) fillings on all teeth. TruAssure’s Choice and Choice Plus plans do not have waiting periods and allow individuals to choose from a selection of annual maximums. All plans are easy to understand and offer child-only options and no age limits for individuals older than 65.

TruAssure small group and individual plans are now available in 26 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Additional states are pending regulatory approval.

TruAssure also offers Affordable Care Act (ACA)-certified plans for groups and individuals. The ACA-certified Basic and Preferred plans meet the requirements for pediatric dental coverage and include coverage for adults. ACA plans are available in 21 states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

TruAssure Insurance Company

Based in Naperville, Ill., TruAssure Insurance Company is part of a family of dental plan companies with over 50 years of experience and two million members nationwide. As a standalone dental benefits carrier, TruAssure offers dental plans to groups, individuals and families across the country. TruAssure provides comprehensive dental benefit options and strives to make dental coverage as easy and hassle-free as possible. TruAssure plans are not available in all states; some states are pending regulatory approval. TruAssure dental savings programs are available nationwide.

*TruAssure dental plans are offered in association with DenteMax dental networks. DenteMax dentists accept new patients.

The Benefits of Peeing in the Pool

By Mathew Kennedy

When you go to swim in a swimming pool, everybody knows there are a certain set of rules that everyone must abide by. No running. No swimming within half an hour of eating. No diving in the shallow end. But there is just one of those rules, that when broken, has the power to ruin everyone else’s day.

No peeing in the pool.

When someone pee’s in the pool, it’s a truly selfish act that would, if found out, make that person a pariah to the others in the pool. It could simply ruin everyone else’s day due to the fact that the pool should be closed down so it can be cleaned. This could potentially leave a lot of angry people forced to try to find something else to do on a hot summers day. Nobody would get more dirty looks than someone who was guilty of peeing in the pool.

Now if you’re selling something to someone, what you need to do is go pee in the pool. (Not literally, of course.)

Aflac has built themselves’ a reputation for having funny commercials that link humor to their product in creative ways. But, when it comes to this commercial, they did something that gave their competitors headaches for months to come.

At a simple glance, this ad seems to be a pretty basic ad for insurance. A humorous situation is portrayed; two characters casually discuss the benefits of the Aflac program compared to the “other guys” who are depicted as a reckless nay-saying goat. This effectively casts the competition in a light “seeming second-rate.” So, why did this commercial make the competitors cringe? In this case, Aflac peed in the pool. In other words, Aflac attempts to bias the customer against their competitors.

During the commercial they show a Goat chewing up the office. Listen closely while one of the guys asks the other guy … “If you’re hurt and miss work, does it pay cash like Aflac does?” and the goat brays, “Nah.” “Can you spend it in any way you want like on gas and groceries?” “Or will it help with everyday bills like Aflac does?” and again the goat brays, “Nah.” To the common consumer, these benefits sound like they are special to Aflac. When you think about it, other insurance companies offer these same benefits. But, other insurance companies didn’t mention this before due to the fact that they assumed that it was inherent. The beauty of this commercial is that it ruins it for everyone else. After this commercial aired, the other insurance companies couldn’t come out and say that they’ve had these same benefits all along, because people will think they’re just copying Aflac and trying to get in on Aflac’s piece of the pie. It ends with the company’s logo and tagline in order to ingrain the brand into your brain the way all good advertisers do.

So, what can you do to make your product stand out? Whether your product is any different than any of your competitors or not, the key here is to find “a slant.” What are the unique features of the product/service that even though multiple sellers might also have them, they haven’t sufficiently called attention to them, yet? This is why it’s so effective to differentiate your message from your competition in a way that makes them look less relevant. Therefore, it biases the consumers decision process.

Also, remember that when peeing in the pool, it’s done in a figurative way. Not literal.

P.S. While everyone obviously wants to sell as much as possible, our main goal should be to make sure that our customers understand WHY we do what we do; and it can’t just be about selling your product. Read more on that in our next article…

The Capital Report Holiday Edition 12/23/16

Week of December 23rd, 2016

In This Issue:

For this week’s edition of the Capital Report, we wanted to take a step back from the our usual emphasis on political and business articles, and instead show articles that have to do with your own health. After all, it is the time of year where we should be thankful for the blessings around us, and good health is often something we take for granted. Here at cbg, your health is very important to us, so we want you to make that one of your priorities this holiday season. Happy holidays from us and we hope that you have a great end of the year!

Holiday health risks: Deep vein thrombosis

“During the holidays, many Americans travel long distances to be with family and friends and this can mean prolonged sitting in cars and buses, trains or planes. This type of extensive travel can put you at risk for developing a particular type of blood clot known as a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. DVT can become a medical emergency…”

Read Article

The hectic holiday guide to keeping your health goals through the silly season

“Fitting fitness in is difficult at any time of the year… Add in holiday parties, end-of-year work deadlines, family visits, and travel, and it feels nearly impossible to make it all happen. Plus, the pressure mounts as the new year approaches and everyone starts asking: “What are your resolutions?”

Read Article

Doc Eifrig: This is some of the most exciting health research I’ve seen in 30 years

“The No. 1 resolution Americans make each year is to lose weight. So, there’s a good chance you’re one of them… and it’s a nearly 50-50 shot you’ve given up already. According to a survey from the University of Scranton, after one month, 46% of people have quit working on their resolutions.”

Read Article

Becoming the Best Version of You

“This is a special episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. The audio is from a live conversation with not one, not two, but three guests: Josh Waitzkin, Ramit Sethi, and Adam Robinson.
Josh Waitzkin is an endlessly fascinating person who gets mentioned a lot on this show for good reason. For the uninitiated, Josh was the basis for the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fischer…”

Read Article

Happy Holidays!

The Capital Report 12/16/16

Week of December 16th, 2016

In this Issue:

In this week’s issue of The Capital Report, we delve into the changes happening around us in the world of healthcare. We take a look at the ever-changing developments going on with Obamacare as it nears it’s inevitable demise. The leaders in health care give their opinion on what could be a troublesome future in the field. A question of ethics also comes up – would you lie about your beliefs in order to help your family get health insurance? We also take a look at the mysterious millennial. How does this generation seek information and communicate differently than the generations before them? How does that impact the health care industry?

We Interviewed Health Care Leaders About Their Industry, and They’re Worried

“There’s a growing realization that the transformation of the health care system will require existing organizations to develop new business models and new organizational structures.”

Read Article

Should I Lie About My Beliefs to Get Health Insurance?

“Here’s an ethical dilemma. If you could save your family more than $8,000 next year simply by signing a statement affirming belief in principles you find repugnant, would you?”

Read Article

Speed and convenience overtake face-to-face health interactions

“At 53.5 million workers, millennials now represent the largest number of people in the workforce, surpassing Generation X in 2015, according to a new study conducted by Blue Research on behalf of WebMD Health Services.”

Read Article

 This Week’s Report in a Nutshell

The future in the world of healthcare is quite uncertain. Industry experts are on-edge about what the aftermath will be once Obamacare is repealed and replaced. Carriers will clearly have to change in order to do well in this new world. Questions on ethics are always tough. How much value do you place on your beliefs when money (potentially for your family) is on the line? The differences between millennials and prior generations are becoming clear to us. Millennials simply get their information in a different way and communicate in a much less personal way. This is apparent when it comes to how they interact with their insurance carriers. When it comes to information and communication on the ever-changing world of health insurance, be sure to check us out in order to stay informed on all things healthcare.

Key Insight:  With the world changing around us, it is important to be adaptable, while at the same time staying true to the values that define us.

The Capital Report 12/9/16

The Capital Report

Week of December 9th, 2016

In This Issue:

With the unexpected results from the 2016 election behind us, we now find ourselves at the beginning of a Trump presidency.  Although he has a reputation for being bold and a penchant for pushing big reform, it’s hard to know how much will really change. Currently, our healthcare system is one of the most inefficient in the world. We spend more on healthcare than any other country yet we’re ranked 37th*. Until now health care has been immune to a rigorous analysis process. Are we willing to accept being ranked 37th? Like you, we have many more questions than answers.

*Christopher J.L. Murray, M.D., D.Phil., and Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. N Engl J Med 2010; 362:98-99January 14, 2010DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0910064

Trump’s radical health care team

“Mr. Trump’s choice to head the department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, is not just a leading critic of the Affordable Care Act. He also is somewhere to the right of House Speaker Paul Ryan…”

Read More

‘Please take away my health coverage.’

“The Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare – is likely doomed… A whole lot of Trump voters are among those who will have their own healthcare coverage yanked away as a direct result.”

Read More

Obamacare is not the only insurance plan in trouble

“We can all speculate as to what President-elect Trump is going to do to try to fix the healthcare problem. Based on what I have been reading, his focus is not limited to the exchanges.”

Read More

This Week’s Report in a Nutshell / Key Insights

Donald Trump spent his entire campaign pushing a rhetoric based upon shattering the mold, challenging the status quo and lifting our expectations for the way we are represented.  At this point no one is quite sure how much will actually change. With healthcare in the forefront of the minds of many Americans it’s safe to say we are all anxious to see if the healthcare delivery system can be changed. We all know something needs to change to move America up in the rankings from 37th in the world. Stay tuned for next week’s Capital Report and join us in the conversation. Lets help each other stay abreast of the evolution in healthcare thinking.

Multiply Your Earnings with Online Enrollment

sign up money treeTraditional benefit enrollment is often described as stressful, time consuming and often a badly needing an update. This is why simplifying the process with one of the many online enrollment applications is catching on and making the lives of many company benefit administrators’ easier in the process. But more importantly, the advantages of online enrollment can translate into cost savings as well as extra earnings for your business… and here’s how.

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generational marketing

Communicating Through The Generations

While marketing is not an exact science, marketing efforts always yield better results when you understand the characteristics and behaviors of your customers. This is why, instead of struggling with the differences between each generation, today’s successful businesses embrace the contrasts and offer products that specifically meet the wants, needs and expectations of every age group. But grabbing the attention of multi-generational consumers can be tricky in todays’ world of digital technology. Just as each group has its own product preferences, each generation also has a preferred method of communication. So now may be a good time to reevaluate your messaging and determine whether or not you are reaching your target audience.

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2016 Trends in Benefits Enrollment [Infographic]

In 2016 we have seen vast innovation and improvements in benefits management. However, as the industry continues to change rapidly, it is important to keep an eye on the recent trends. Using a survey from BenefitsPro, we put together this infographic to help you visualize what brokers are saying about their clients’ benefits needs in 2016.

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