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• swaRtzbaugh-FaRbER & assOCiatEs, inC.

todays savings

impact!

• yOuR dEntal hEalth

tribute ENVISION

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TO A YOUR

refresher? jim olson

Ibrought RECENTLY METwith someone who a life insurance policy issued in 1981 to a meeting. He had dutifully paid his premium each year, but he didn’t know exactly what kind of policy he had or what the current death benefit was. I was able to help him work with his insurance company to figure things out, but the experience underlined the importance of periodic policy reviews.

leader scaredy

stephanie vondrak d.d.s.

cat! in the dental profession, Dr. Bob Barkley,AND once said: A PIONEER “Dental health is peculiar. The rich cannot buy it, and the poor cannot have it given to them. I can make people more comfortable, more functional and more attractive. But I cannot make them healthy. I can teach them how to become healthy, but whether they remain that way will be up to them.” ~Dr. Bob Barkley, 1923-1977

Our approach to policy reviews varies based on the type of insurance the client has. Many of our clients have term coverage. A term policy is the simplest form of life insurance and it is a cost-effective way to provide coverage through one’s working years. Term coverage lasts for a stated duration (10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year policies are the most common) and the premium and death benefit are usually guaranteed for the length of that period. The goal of term policy reviews should be to ensure that the amount of coverage is still adequate, that the beneficiary designations are up to date, and to go over policy options such as the right to convert the policy to a permanent plan without going through underwriting. Other clients have permanent coverage. Permanent life insurance policies are designed to provide coverage for the duration of the insured’s life. They feature a cash value account and are more complicated than term policies. A thorough discussion of the mechanics of permanent policies and the several types of permanent plans that are available is outside the scope of this column. What is important to note is that permanent policies usually have non-guaranteed elements that will be affected by factors such as changes to interest rates and policy expenses. Some permanent policies are directly affected by stock market performance. In addition to covering the same topics mentioned above for term policies, a review of a permanent policy must examine how changes to these non-guaranteed elements are affecting the policy. For example, many policies are sensitive to changes in interest rates and it is very important to examine how the current interest rate environment is affecting those policies. The long-term outlook for such a policy that was issued in 2003 with the assumption that the insurer would credit an effective annual interest rate of 6.25% to the policy’s cash value may look very different in 2018 if the company is now crediting 4.25% to the same policy. In that situation, the policy owner will likely have to pay a higher premium if the original goals for the policy are to be met. A review of a permanent policy is usually done by obtaining an “inforce illustration.” This is a current snapshot of an existing policy and how it is projected to perform under both guaranteed and non-guaranteed assumptions regarding the policy. These illustrations are imperfect and should not be regarded as anything other than an educated guess about future policy performance. That being said, they can be a useful tool in helping to determine if a policy is on track or not.

Dr. Barkley exposed the world to the concepts of preventative dental care. He was an outlier passionate about helping people and changing a paradigm. To fully understand his influence, you will have to think back to his years of practice. Remember that in the 1950s and 1960s, it was not uncommon for an 18-year-old to undergo fullmouth extractions or, as Dr. Barkley would refer to this procedure, “dental suicide.” He was scarred by observing the debilitating effects of full-mouth tooth loss and set out to make a difference. As an outlier myself, I continually challenge the norms of society to expect more from dentistry, by creating a paradigm in which dentists are viewed as primary care providers; better yet, as primary care participants in their patients’ overall health. The preventative tools available today, like intraoral cameras to photograph health or disease in addition to saliva testing to isolate strains of oral bacteria for more precise periodontal therapy, would no doubt astonish and amaze an icon like Dr. Barkley. Dr. Barkley understood and taught the value of developing the doctor-patient relationship built on trust and mutual goals. Additionally, Dr. Barkley was a co-author of the philosophy that “co-diagnosis” or “codiscovery” would lead to more successful dental outcomes. Co-diagnosis is the process of helping a patient understand his or her individualized goals and treatment options before completing any dental procedures, thus creating ownership by the patient regarding treatment decisions. The process of co-diagnosis would be the foundation for Dr. Barkley’s practice success and the cornerstone of his teaching career. Wouldn’t it be amazing if codiagnosis was applied and nurtured within the foundation of our medical world? Dr. Barkley stated, “As my philosophy of dental care matured, my self-image slowly changed from that of ‘healer’ to one of an interested, empathic teacher of health who is also capable of good restorative dentistry.” In my opinion, Dr. Barkley’s thoughts and actions are more relevant today than ever before. We live in a society financially crippled by results of “disease management” and the absence of true health care. In fact, the CDC estimates that 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to health care expenses. I am grateful that I was exposed to Dr. Barkley’s concepts just four short years into practice. I have adopted and molded his ideas to create a like-minded philosophy of care. I believe my purpose as a dentist is to teach and inspire as much as it is to restore teeth and eliminate TMJ pain. So, thank you, Dr. Barkley, for your commitment to health and your perseverance for a better future. I admire your legacy and strive to expand the capabilites of prevention within the field of dentistry for an improved future and the betterment of society.

If you have a policy that you haven’t looked at in a while, I would encourage you to contact your agent or broker and set up a time to review your policy, refresh yourself on how your individual plan works, and check to see if it is meeting the expectations established when the policy was issued.

“The patient’s future health maintenance is strongly influenced when he understands that the dentist fully expects him to fulfill his responsibilities.” ~ Dr. Bob Barkley For more information, please contact your trusted advisor at Swartzbaugh-Farber – ‘Client Centered – Client Advocates™’. This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor or plan provider. Securities Offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a Registered Broker Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Swartzbaugh-Farber & Associates, Inc. is independently owned and operated.

Dr. Stephanie Vondrak is board certified by the American Academy of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine to treat patients suffering from sleep apnea with sleep apnea appliances. 29

mmagazine • DeCemBeR 2018

metroMAGAZINE’s DECEMBER 2018 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE presents our DECEMBER 2018 issue online now! metroMAGAZINE is published quarterly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Linco...

metroMAGAZINE’s DECEMBER 2018 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE presents our DECEMBER 2018 issue online now! metroMAGAZINE is published quarterly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Linco...