professional african american holding jaw experiencing dental pain

5 Most Common Dental Problems And How To Avoid Them

According to American author William Arthur Ward, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” Smiling is something we do instinctively as infants and something we carry with us all throughout our lives. Unfortunately for some, their smiles may not prove to be as warm and welcoming as they would hope. Problems such as gum disease, yellowed teeth, and chronic bad breath can have a negative impact when meeting new people and could be a sign of a deeper issue due to the close link between oral and overall health.

Many people learn the importance of oral hygiene at a young age. Those who don’t may face a variety of oral health problems down the road, some being scarier than others. So, what are some of the most common dental diseases?

  1. Bad Breath

While some cases of bad breath can be the result of eating foods like onions, garlic, or hard-boiled eggs, other cases may prove to be more serious. Bad breath, otherwise referred to as, Halitosis, may be something that even a good solid brushing won’t be able to fix. Halitosis can be a symptom of larger problems such as gum disease, infection, dry mouth, or even other seemingly unrelated issues like gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In some instances, Halitosis may even require a trip to your doctor.

  1. Gum Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are over 3 million cases of gum disease each year. And while gum disease, otherwise known as Periodontitis, may be common, that doesn’t make it any less serious. In fact, those with gum disease have a higher chance of developing diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and other ailments. In order to lessen your chances of developing gum disease, it is advised to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular cleanings with your dentist, who may decide whether more preventative action is needed.

  1. Yellow Teeth

While not exactly a disease, yellow teeth can be a sign of poor oral hygiene and can, in some cases, indicate other dental issues that may be lurking just beneath the surface. Visiting the dentist once every six months for a thorough cleaning can help prevent yellowing teeth due to diet or lifestyle choices. In some severe cases, veneers may be recommended.

  1. Toothaches

A toothache should never be ignored. While some cases of a toothache may be related to minor inflammation, other cases could indicate the presence of gum disease, cavities, pulpitis, a broken tooth, or more. When confronted with a persistent toothache, the best course of action is to have a dentist find the underlying cause.

  1. Tooth Erosion

There are few substances within the human body that are stronger than our enamel. This is why everyone from our dentists to television commercials are constantly urging us to protect it — because once our enamel is gone, it cannot be brought back. The loss of enamel is referred to as tooth erosion. Soda, sugar, and some acidic foods can eat away at our enamel. In order to combat the chances of experiencing tooth erosion, brushing with a soft-bristled brush is suggested as well as reducing the number of acidic drinks consumed.

Taking Control of Your Oral Health

When was the last time you visited the dentist? Could you be at risk of developing one, or even all, of these potentially costly dental problems?

Members can secure dental and vision insurance coverage for the whole family. Visit your association page to learn more about what our dental and vision insurance plans can do for you.

young business man explaining group health insurance options to business group at a table in an office

New Strategies to Save Money on Group Health Costs in 2019

As group health insurance costs continue to increase, many employers are looking for new, creative ways to save money while still providing their employees with coverage.

Reference Based Pricing

Reference Based Pricing is a rapidly growing strategy that a number of employers are using to save money on group health insurance costs. This technique gives the employee the ability to choose any provider without the limitations and higher costs of a traditional provider network. By choosing to take advantage of this method, employers have the potential to save between 15 and 20 percent on group health insurance costs.

Association Health Plans

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Association Health Plans are defined as “group health plans that employer groups and associations offer to provide health coverage for employees.”

In April of this year, the federal government will begin to allow small employer groups to form new associations based on industry and finally receive access to group health insurance plans typically only reserved for larger companies. While many association health plans already exist, the new legislation eliminates the geographic barriers previously in place.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, “four million Americans, including 400,000 who otherwise would lack insurance, will join an AHP by 2023.”

Direct Primary Care

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an alternative payment model to third-party billing. With DPC, there is a flat monthly membership fee and nothing else. Employees have access to a physician of their choice and the physician remains accountable to only their patients. This option can also exist alongside a comprehensive major medical plan.

Level Funding

For groups of five or more, level-funded plans are becoming increasingly popular. These plans boast a nationwide network of hospitals and physicians and are offered by a number of reputable insurance carriers. Designed to offer more flexibility to employers, level-funded plans are ERISA complaint and partially self-insured with a savings potential of 10 to 15 percent. Many also offer return-of-premium potential.

Learn More

Want to learn more about these strategies? Tune in to our free webinar on March 7th at 1 pm EST. Jason Cleary, a licensed Benefits Counselor with over 18 years of experience, will be sharing information on how to utilize these tactics and save on group health costs in 2019.

Click to register today.

 

Chip Trefry Member Benefits CEO Gator100 2019

Member Benefits Selected to Gator100

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Member Benefits was named to the University of Florida’s 2019 Gator100 during a ceremony on Feb. 22 at UF’s J. Wayne Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.

Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UF alumni.  Ernst & Young calculated each company’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years to generate the ranking.

Member Benefits is a family-operated, full-service insurance and financial services organization specializing in Third Party Administration of professional affinity group and association member benefit programs.

Chip Trefry Member Benefits CEO Gator100 2019Member Benefits has been previously featured in the Gator100 two other times since its inception in 2015.

Member Benefits CEO, Earl C. “Chip” Trefry Jr., CLU (72’) and COO, Nicklaus A. Trefry (01’) both graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in Business Administration from the Warrington College of Business.

On news of the selection, Chip Trefry had the following to say: “It is my privilege and honor to be selected to the Gator100 for the third time. There is just something extra special about being acknowledged by your alma mater.”

“The Gator100 honors UF alumni from across the university who are founding and growing amazing companies around the country,” said Kent Fuchs, president of the University of Florida. “It’s an incredible affirmation of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Gator Nation.”

To qualify for the Gator100, companies must have been in business for five years or more as of Sept. 28, 2018 and have had verifiable annual revenues of $250,000 or more every year since 2015. Additionally, a UF alumnus or alumna must have met one of the following three leadership criteria:

  1. Owned 50 percent or more of the company from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018; or
  2. Served as company’s chief executive from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018; or
  3. Founded the company and been active as a member of the most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018.

View the full list of Gator100 honorees at gator100.ufl.edu.

 

About Member Benefits

Member Benefits is a technology-driven insurance brokerage and third-party administrator that focuses on benefit programs and insurance exchanges for member-based organizations. Member Benefits specializes in the design, marketing, and administration of programs for employer groups, associations, affinity groups and franchises. Member Benefits operates in many states with locations in Jacksonville, FL and Austin, TX. For more information, visit www.memberbenefits.com/.

3 Ways Pets Keep Us Happy And Healthy

According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households (about 85 million families) own a pet. This number is up a whopping 56% since the first survey conducted in 1988 and has led to a steady increase in the amount of money people are spending to keep their pets happy and healthy.

In 2018, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimated that Americans were on track to spend approximately $72.13 billion on their pets, up $2.62 billion from the confirmed numbers of 2017.

But aside from spending our hard-earned money on our four-legged friends what do pet owners really get out of the relationship?

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business man sitting at a cafe discussing his health options on his cell phone

I Missed Open Enrollment and Need Health Coverage — What Are My Options?

The next official ACA Open Enrollment period isn’t slated to begin until November 1, 2019. But depending on your circumstances, you may not have to wait that long to obtain coverage.

Qualifying Life Events and Special Enrollment Periods

Sometimes our circumstances change, and if they change due to specific events, you and your dependents may be able to secure health insurance through a Special Enrollment Period. When this occurs, it is called a Qualifying Life Event, otherwise referred to as a QLE.

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parents watching and smiling at little girl putting coins in a piggy bank

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your 401(k) in 2019

The start of a new year is universally acknowledged as a time for new beginnings and inevitably, reflection. Whether your new beginning involves cutting calories, making a daily trek to the gym, or working on a bad habit, this is also a good time for setting goals aimed at self-improvement.

It’s a time for thinking about your future. What will your life be like in twenty years? Ten Years? Next year? How far are you from retirement? Do you feel comfortable with your existing retirement planning strategy? Do you have a 401(k)? When was the last time you looked at it?

These are all important questions but, for many, are often overlooked. We tend to see retirement as something far off in the future, something that there’s plenty of time to prepare for — not at all like those pair of pants in the back of the closet that have always been just a little too snug.

This year, why not make room on your resolutions list for your 401(k) plan as well?

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The Washington State Bar Association WSBA Member Benefits Association page img

Member Benefits Launches Private Health Insurance Exchange to Assist Members of the Washington State Bar Association

Jacksonville, FL – Member Benefits, a national leader in association benefits and private health exchanges, announced that it has been selected as the provider of a private health insurance exchange for members of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA).

Member Benefits, a national leader in association member benefits and private health exchanges, announced that it has been selected as the exclusive administrator a private health insurance exchange for members of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). The offering is a unique online marketplace that offers customized benefit plans for individual WSBA members and group health options for law firm groups of all sizes. With a full line of health insurance plans and other benefits, the exchange also provides an integrated and efficient shopping experience that utilizes decision support technology to help members choose the plans that best suits their needs.

The Washington State Bar Association joins several other state bar associations such as the State Bar of Texas, The Florida Bar, State Bar of Georgia, and The Missouri Bar currently taking advantage of leading association health insurance platform offered by Member Benefits.

“With healthcare on the minds of many of our members, the Washington State Bar Association is proud to partner with Member Benefits to offer an insurance exchange,” said Bill Pickett, president of the WSBA. “We’re delighted to offer an option that fits the needs of solo and small firm practitioners, as well as law firms alike.”

Initial offerings being introduced to WSBA members include:

  • Group Health Insurance (fully insured, self, and level-funded options)
  • Individual Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance

Products and services are available to WSBA members, their spouses, eligible dependents, and employees through Member Benefits proprietary insurance marketplace exchange technology.

The new WSBA Private Health Insurance Exchange marketplace helps address a clear need by members – assistance in finding affordable insurance for themselves, their families and their staffs. WSBA members may now access the information and services provided. 2019 ACA individual health insurance plans and rates will be ready to view when the open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2018.

“We find that when we launch new exchanges, the members are often pleased with the service model behind the exchange. Members find that there is much more that the exchange offers than just products. Our team of in-house Benefits Counselors have extensive experience working with lawyer’s insurance needs and provide an enhanced customer experience to the member” said Chip Trefry, President of Member Benefits. “As participation in the program grows, our goal is to have the numbers that allow us to add an exclusive group option such as an Association Health Plan (AHP) to include on the exchange” Trefry added.

About Member Benefits

Member Benefits is a technology-driven insurance brokerage and third-party administrator that focuses on benefit programs and insurance exchanges for associations and member-based organizations. Member Benefits specializes in the design, marketing, and administration of programs for employer groups, associations, affinity groups and franchises. Member Benefits operates in most states with locations in Jacksonville, FL and Austin, TX. For more information, visit www.memberbenefits.com/.

About the Washington State Bar Association

The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state’s nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals. In furtherance of its obligation to protect and serve the public, the WSBA both regulates lawyers and other legal professionals and serves its members as a professional association – all without public funding. The WSBA’s mission is to serve the public and the members of the Bar, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.

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