Your Insurance Solution

Five Reasons to Get a Vision Plan

There are many different kinds of insurance and each covers a variety of health problems. Vision is just one health issue that you can get covered by an effective health plan. But why choose a plan with vision coverage? Here are five reasons we recommend obtaining vision insurance:


1. Keeping your eyes healthy. Buying vision insurance allows you to keep your eyes healthy as you age. Additionally, if you have children, it allows you to monitor their eye health and provide glasses, contact lenses, and other corrections without an enormous cost.


2. Vision insurance is affordable. While a yearly exam, a pair of bifocals and contacts might stick you with a bill of a thousand dollars or more each year, vision insurance usually provides cheap co-pays and inexpensive eyewear.


3. Covering more than just glasses. Bare-bones vision insurance plans may only cover eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses, but many plans go further. A comprehensive vision plan may help defray the costs of eye surgery, eye disease, and permanent vision impairment. Some insurance plans may also provide discounts on laser-eye surgery.


4. Providing you with real care. Almost 40% of visually impaired Americans do not visit the optometrist when they should due to lack of insurance. Instead, some buy drugstore glasses at the wrong prescription and squint their way through life. This can actually make eyesight worse. Vision insurance is an affordable way to keep your eyesight as strong as possible for as long as possible.


5. Giving you the opportunity to go to the optometrist for a yearly checkup. Getting your eye health checked every year is extremely important. Besides vision checks, the optometrist looks for any indication of disease in the eye itself. This means they can catch early cataracts, ulcers, diabetic symptoms, and more. Vision insurance will encourage you to go to your yearly checkups, and make it affordable to do so - even if you have 20/20 vision.

There are more reasons to visit an optometrist than getting glasses. If you need help obtaining vision insurance, give us a call today. Our goal is to provide you with the best insurance possible so you can stay healthy and happy throughout your long life.

How to Prevent Cold and Flu from Invading Your Office

Fall is in full swing here in Portland! The temperatures are cooling down and we are (finally) getting some rain. With the decrease of temperature comes an increased likelihood of people staying indoors. Unfortunately, this also means that it’s cold and flu season.

Usually cold and flu season lasts from late fall to mid spring. No one has any love for that miserable time when the kids get sick, then one parent gets sick, then the other parent gets sick, and finally the illness is spread out to the office. Instead of letting cold and flu run rampant in your office, take a look at this “how to” and prevent those nasty germs from gaining a foothold:


Cold and flu are spread both by face-to-face contact and from germs left behind after a sick person touches his or her keyboard, the handles of the sink, your hand, and many other places. Be sure your cleaning crew knows to disinfect things that people touch consistently. This could be the light switch, door handles, keyboards, desk chairs, microwaves, and more.

You can also provide disinfectant wipes for your employees to use at the end of the day, wiping down their keyboard, desk chair, desk top and mouse before leaving. Also, encourage employees to wipe down both their office phones and their cell phones.

Wash Your Hands - Everyone!

Even if you don’t work at a restaurant, washing your hands consistently when you encounter ill people is incredibly important. As human beings, we tend to touch each other physically in order to connect. If we touch someone who is sick and then touch our own face, we can become infected with their virus. But if we wash our hands first, the virus is less likely to spread. So, ask employees to be vigilant about washing their hands.

Use Sick Days

There are two things that happen when people come into work sick:

  1. They spread disease to other employees, taking them out of commission.

  1. They don’t work as effectively or efficiently and often make mistakes. This isn’t their fault, they’re just sick!

Don’t let overeager employees come in and work while sick. Ask them to visit the doctor and get well.

If a really key employee is sick, you might want to provide the option to allow her to work from home. That way, she doesn’t spread the illness to other employees, but you can still get her help on key projects. Just remember - she’s still sick! So, you may want to ask that, even if working at home, your employee only work a half day or only help on specific essential actions.

Where Can I Get a Flu Shot?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, flu shots are the single most effective way to prevent the flu. Luckily, there are many, many locations all around Portland that offer flu shots. Find out where employees can go to get flu shots that are covered by their insurance and post that information in the staff notice board or inform insured employees via email. You may not be able to require all employees get flu shots, but giving them the option and helping them find the most convenient location will help provide more immunity to flu among your workforce.

Sip on Hot Tea

Dr. Murray Grossan from Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles says that breathing in the steam from hot tea helps stimulate the hair follicles of the nose. This process allows germs to move out of the nose more effectively. So, provide hot tea options in your breakroom. You can also provide the option to add honey to the tea, as it’s a natural antibacterial. Just make sure everyone washes out their mugs with dishwashing fluid before putting them on the drying rack.


Stress is a huge cause of disease. You can ask employees to help keep stress down in the office by taking their mandated break times and providing a quiet space in the office for them to stretch, sit and read, play games, or do other stress-free activities. Allowing employees some time to decompress can help keep them healthy and working effectively.

So, your rapid “how to” summary for preventing cold and flu in the office:

  1. Ask cleaning staff and employees to disinfect common areas and things they touch.

  2. Encourage employees to wash their hands frequently.

  3. Ask sick employees to stay home and get better.

  4. Encourage employees to de-stress.

  5. Provide hot tea, honey, and disinfectant wipes.

  6. Provide a list of locations that will perform flu shots under the employee insurance plan.

We hope you and your employees stay healthy and happy this cold and flu season!

If you are looking for a great employee health plan to offer your employees this cold and flu season, contact us today. We provide health plans to businesses small and large!
Is Life Insurance Worth Buying?

Statistics show that only 49% of Americans have life insurance. This is a significant drop from the 72% of Americans who owned life insurance in 1960. With so few Americans purchasing life insurance, it begs the question: Is life insurance worth it?

Why Buy Life Insurance?

No one likes to think about their death. However, it is something you should consider - especially if you have a family or business. Life insurance is a solution to many problems that could happen due to your passing. It can cover funeral costs and help cover everyday living expenses for surviving family. It can also help a business function so that, if a partner passes, other business partners can buy out the heirs and continue to operate the company.

Here are just five things life insurance can cover in case of the death of you, your business partner, or an income provider in your family:

1. Income replacement

2. Help survivors pay off debt

3. Aid in paying off estate taxes

4. Cover educational expenses for surviving children

5. Pay expensive burial costs

Possible Investment

Life insurance can also provide investment opportunities, depending on the type of insurance you buy. Whole life insurance plans begin to invest a portion of your premium each year so the annual cost doesn’t increase as you age. Additionally, whole life insurance has a cash value that can be borrowed against over time. This may be the right strategy for your portfolio.

Buying Early

As one gets older and responsibilities accumulate, life insurance makes more and more sense. However, after about age 50, life insurance prices go through the roof. So, if you believe you will have a family one day or you are starting a business, it may be a good idea to buy life insurance now - before your insurance prices climb.

85% of Americans agree that people need life insurance, but few feel they have adequate insurance or don’t have it at all. It may be unpleasant to think about insuring your own life, but having life insurance will likely be a huge help to your family and your business during a difficult time.

10 Things You Need to Know About Dental Insurance

There are many benefits to medical insurance. Unfortunately, most medical plans do not cover dental. Routine teeth cleaning and more extensive dental work is important medical care, and an individual should be sure to get dental coverage.

That said, there are factors to consider when looking at dental insurance. Here are the top 10 things you should know when looking at dental insurance:


1. Dental plans have a variety of limits. For example, your plan may limit you and your family to a specific number of exams or only one full set of x-rays every 36-60 months.

2. Many dental plans will have a waiting period during which you must pay for the plan, but you are not covered to receive specific services. So, if you need those dental services during the waiting period, you will have to pay for them out of pocket.

3. Some plans have an “alternate benefit” provision. This is when the plan will not cover the service your dentist proposes, but covers a lower cost dental service that ends up with a similar result. For example, the plan may only cover amalgam fillings instead of composite fillings. If you want to get a composite (tooth-colored) filling, you will have to pay more out-of-pocket.

4. There are plans that will only pay a percentage of your dental services. If you need more than routine dental maintenance, a Dental PPO will almost certainly require that you cover a percentage of the cost out of pocket. Dental HMO’s often require co-pay.

5. Both PPO and HMO dental insurance will likely require that you pay a deductible. This means that there will be out of pocket expenses associated with some dental procedures.

6. There are many types of dental plans. Some are traditional PPO and HMO plans. Others, like a Dental Indemnity plan, will allow you to choose the dentist you want, but will have a cap on how much you can spend per year on your dental needs. Be sure to thoroughly research the benefits and pitfalls of each plan before deciding what is best for you.

7. A Dental Discount Plan is not insurance. Instead, it is a plan that has contracted with a network of dental providers to give you care at a discounted rate.

8. Many dental insurance plans have a dispute resolution mechanism set up so that disputes between dentists and patients can be resolved without court costs.

9. While dental insurance generally isn’t addressed by the Affordable Care Act, children’s dental coverage is, so be sure to look at what benefits your children are allowed under your health insurance before buying dental insurance for them as well.

10. Some dental insurance plans have prior injury-type clauses. This could be a “missing tooth” clause, which won’t cover dental work on a tooth lost before coverage was started. Be sure to review this information carefully before deciding on a dental plan.


Dental work is an important part of overall healthcare. Be sure to review a variety of dental plans thoroughly before deciding on the right plan for you and your family. We offer insurance solutions right here at IBG, so if you have questions about how to keep those pearly whites shining, contact us today.


What to Consider When Shopping for Insurance

It can be hard to pick the right insurance plan for your circumstances. We don’t know what will happen to us in the future and we can only plan for so much. However, here are some things to think about when shopping for insurance:

  • What insurance options do I have at work? Many businesses offer really great insurance plans that you can take advantage of. Make sure you know all of your options and that you understand them. Understanding an insurance plan may be easier said than done, but HR should be able to provide you with a comprehensive idea of what your office has to offer.

  • Do I have a major life change coming up that could require medical care? You may be planning to get pregnant or perhaps you are going to run an extreme marathon in a remote location. Be sure you understand what kind of insurance would be useful for your upcoming activity. You may want to get insurance with a low deductible or buy additional insurance that can help make sure you will get to a hospital or medical care facility.

  • How does this insurance deal with outside providers? Some insurance will not cover health care provided by a doctor or nurse that does not work within a specific network, while others are a little more open to covering at least part of a visit to an outside provider. If you do not live or work near a doctor that is covered by the insurance network, you may want to consider different insurance.

  • What is important to you when it comes to insurance? A person who wants to stick with the same doctor may treat their insurance choices differently than someone who wants to go for the cheapest insurance possible.

  • Does the plan cover your children or spouse? Many office plans will allow you to cover your children or spouse with the same plan, but they will often not pay for the additional people on the plan. So, your plan may require additional out-of-pocket monthly expenses to cover your child or spouse.

  • Do you already have a plan that you are signed up to? It is always smart to review your plan at the end of each year to see if it has changed at all or to find out if a plan that better fits your needs is now available.

Health insurance is incredibly important for everyone to have. Be sure you get the right insurance that will give you the most benefit for the price. You want to get the biggest bang for your buck!

The Water Tower 5331 SW Macadam, Suite 260, Portland, OR 97239 Email: Phone: 503.972.4285 Fax: 503.972.4284