Many people — maybe your clients, maybe even you — inadvertently take dental, vision, and hearing insurance for granted. It’s time we see dental, vision, and hearing sales in a new light, especially since these plans can be sold in four incredibly simple steps.
Dental, vision, and hearing insurance may not be a major form of medical coverage, but it is a mighty form of ancillary coverage, helping to make routine visits to special doctors and dentists affordable for thousands of Americans. Many of us grow up with dental and vision coverage through a parent, then switch to employer plans once we leave the nest. However, not everyone has access to coverage through a parent or employer, especially seniors left to (sometimes unknowingly) fend for themselves after they retire. This creates a huge market opportunity for insurance agents that is often overlooked!
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Don’t know how to sell dental, vision, and hearing insurance (DVH insurance) or simply want to improve your closing rate? Sink your teeth into, feast your eyes on, or lend an ear to these easy steps for selling DVH plans!
1. Introduce DVH Insurance into the Conversation
What the eye doesn’t see, or the client doesn’t hear, the agent doesn’t sell. You never know how far a single appointment can take you unless you actually fact-find and talk with your clients. One simple question can open the door to an entirely new conversation and a new coverage need (or two or three!) to address.
What the eye doesn’t see, or the client doesn’t hear, the agent doesn’t sell.
Following up with a Medicare client? After you ensure they’re still satisfied with their current coverage, try asking these questions:
- “Do you regularly visit the dentist or eye doctor?”
- “Do you have coverage to help pay for those types of visits?”
- “Who do you have your dental/vision insurance with?”
It’s even easier to bring up DVH insurance if you see your client wearing glasses or a hearing aid. For example, you can try this simple approach: “I noticed you’re wearing glasses. May I ask, when it comes time to replace them, will you have to pay out of pocket, or do you have an insurance plan that will help the costs?”
2. Find Out What DVH Plans Your Client Has (or Thinks They Have)
The blind can’t lead the blind. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to ask your client what DVH plan(s) they have and who they’re with.
If they have a DVH plan, or multiple plans, ask them if you can check if they’re enrolled in the best one(s) for their budget and needs. Let them know you just want to make sure that there isn’t a plan for a better price or one with better benefits, based on their personal needs.
Many people with Medicare coverage could benefit from purchasing additional dental, vision, and hearing coverage; they just might not realize it… yet.
Asking your clients about their current DVH coverage is actually extremely important to ensure your client doesn’t think they have coverage that they don’t actually have. Contrary to what some Medicare beneficiaries believe, Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans don’t offer coverage for routine DVH services. Medicare Advantage plans don’t always provide comprehensive dental, vision, and hearing coverage either. Many people with Medicare coverage could benefit from purchasing additional dental, vision, and hearing coverage; they just might not realize it… yet.
3. Educate Your Client on the Value of Good DVH Coverage
Clients may not always see your pitch through rose-colored glasses. Another monthly premium or two may tempt them to view the glass as half-empty when it comes to purchasing proper DVH coverage, but explain to them why it’s actually half-full!
Let your clients know that good DVH coverage is important because it can help them maintain healthy teeth, eyes, and ears. Also, inform them there’s even evidence that good oral health and eye health can be linked to good overall health! Additionally, make sure they’re aware of the average costs of certain DVH services and how paying for a plan can actually be more budget-friendly than paying for services out of pocket.
While you’re at it, tell them about some common benefits of DVH plans:
- Coverage for routine dental services and most dental supplies (e.g., cleanings, exams, fillings, extractions, etc.)
- Coverage for routine eye and hearing exams and treatments
- Network savings available for reduced services fees
- The freedom to choose the provider of your choice
- A calendar-year maximum benefit to pay for services
- No underwriting required for guaranteed issue plans
If you need some help explaining DVH plans and their value to your clients, check out Ritter’s DVH cheat sheet and watch the video below!
Note: Brad Sumski’s title is now Agent Sales Specialist.
Pro tip: As you’re explaining the value of DVH insurance, do your best to avoid using elderspeak when talking with clients age 65 or older. Also, refrain from going overboard with details and insurance jargon that will just go in one ear and out the other. It’ll save both you and your clients time.
4. Write Them into a New DVH Plan If It Makes Sense to Do So
You’ve made it this far. When it comes time to potentially make a DVH sale, don’t let your eyes be bigger than what you can or should manage to do for the client. Just because they’ve listened to your amazing insurance sales pitch and allowed you to look into their other options, doesn’t mean you should change up their current coverage.
We recommend that, when you’re in DVH sales situations, you should play them by ear. Analyze as many factors as you can, including your client’s budget, their coverage needs, and their available options’ premiums, networks, and benefits. If your client could benefit from enrolling in a (different) DVH plan, great! Tell them your recommendation and explain why you think it’s the best route for them to take at this point. Then, if they’d like you to do so, help them enroll into the plan via a paper or online application.
Analyze as many factors as you can, including your client’s budget, their coverage needs, and their available options’ premiums, networks, and benefits.
If you find your client currently has the best DVH coverage for their budget and needs, it’s best to let them be. Unfortunately, you won’t see any extra commission for your hard work right then and there, but this move will go a long way toward building client loyalty.
BONUS TIP: Streamline your DVH Sales with Medicareful
Do you feel up to your eyeballs in work? Did you know Medicareful doesn’t just help you sell Medicare? It can also help you sell ancillary products, like DVH plans!
The online Scope of Appointment form on your Medicareful page has boxes your leads can check off for dental, vision, and hearing. Additionally, the Medicareful Living blog has some great educational articles related to DVH insurance you can share with your clients. And, as long as you use your unique agent slug, it’ll show your name and number on the blog and link all of the “Find Your Plan” buttons on the site to your Medicareful page!
Here are a few posts your clients may find helpful:
- Is Medicare the Only Health Insurance I Need?
- Does Medicare Cover Dental Care?
- Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
- Clouded Sight: Living with Cataracts
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We all have 20/20 hindsight. One of our goals is to help you realize potential sales opportunities before they pass. DVH insurance is so commonplace that it’s easy to forget. Many of your clients are probably so used to having it with their employer coverage that they may not realize they could benefit from picking up a plan or two to complement their Medicare coverage after they retire. But, as long as you follow the aforementioned steps, you should have no problem uncovering and satisfying your clients’ DVH needs.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2019. It has been updated to include more current information.