Spirit’s latest initiative with the Smile Network helps provide free, life-changing surgeries to children born with cleft lips and palates in developing countries.
In 2016, Spirit helped two children, Uziel and Naomi, both from Lima, Peru. The dental insurance company wanted to get involved with this wonderful organization, so they funded two smiles. In just 45 minutes and with $500 per smile, two children’s lives were changed.
In November 2017, Spirit wanted to continue their effort to help support this great cause. Instead of buying individual smiles, they decided to give a little with each application. So, not only was Spirit helping, but the individual who purchased a dental plan was also aiding in these endeavors. Together, plan holders and Spirit were able to raise $2,000 which helped change four children’s lives.
Pictured below, Tom Mayer, founder of Spirit Dental & Vision and Kim Valentini, founder of the Smile Network ringing the gong of success at the Direct Benefits office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Smile Network International is a non-profit organization that provides the gift of a new smile through life-altering surgery. Since 2003, the Smile Network has completed more than 70 missions and operated on over 4,000 patients in 11 countries around the world. For more information, please go to smilenetwork.org.
Tom Mayer is not just the founder of Spirit Dental & Vision, he also manages the parent company, Direct Benefits, Inc. He's a strong advocate of teaching entrepreneurship; after all, he’s the founder of five companies! His first was a lawn service called, Kid for Rent. But his finest accomplishment has been his non-profit, Junior Achievement. An organization that works with local businesses to create programs that focus on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship to students in kindergarten through high school.
With these initiatives, it’s clear that Mr. Mayer knows the importance of giving back to the community. "I have long supported Junior Achievement's mission of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in America," Tom said. A few years back, he presented his small business stories to over 100 4th graders, "their questions were some of the toughest I've ever faced," he exclaims with a grin.
If you want to learn more about Spirit Dental and their involvement with these organizations, check back for big announcements on this page or follow along on our social channels to stay updated. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
September 30, 2014
|For immediate Release
St. Paul - September 30, 2014
Open enrollment is just around the corner. As you prepare to finalize your health insurance selections for 2015, there are a few things you should know about retiree health care your dental coverage. A growing number of American employers are dropping their dental benefits, especially for their retirees. To make matters worse, in spite of the persistent myth that Medicare provides dental insurance, the fact is, in nearly all cases, Medicare does NOT provide dental care insurance. In other words, you need to add one more step to your open enrollment process: shop for dental insurance in the private marketplace. It's an unwelcome surprise, and an overwhelming one. Too often, when retirees learn the costs of stand-alone dental insurance, they decide to skip it altogether. What may seem like a way to save money ends up being a costly mistake. Treating dental insurance like a luxury can be dangerous to your health.
According to the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), regular dental check-ups – and the prompt treatment of any dental issues they uncover – are keys to warding off serious illness. Indeed, countless studies show the link between gum disease and medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Yet 75% of American adults have periodontal disease and don't even know it, increasing their risks of complications associated with these other diseases. And nearly 20% of people age 65 and over, have untreated dental cavities, putting them at risk for potentially fatal infections.
It is a necessity, albeit an increasingly unattainable one. In his recent Huffington Post article, journalist and health care reform advocate, Wendell Potter discusses how the inadequacies of a typical dental insurance plan can end up creating prohibitive out-of-pocket expenses. Potter worries that such costs lead many of us to delay those trips to the dentist, putting our overall physical health at risk.
Tom Mayer, Spirit Dental's founder and CEO, agrees. He says he designed Spirit Dental's insurance products to address the concerns that retirees face today, "because I wanted to change this industry. I wanted to see dramatically improved, affordable dental insurance for people like my own dad." Mayer's father, a school janitor, was a diabetic who suffered the many dental complications associated with diabetes. "By January of each year, he would have his annual deductible spent. The rest of the year, he paid for everything himself."
According to Mayer, the key to that change is education. "We designed spiritdental.com to educate consumers, take the confusion out of the research process, and provide fast, accurate quotes with side-by-side comparisons. This Open Enrollment Period, I invite everyone to take 30 seconds out of your day. Get dental insurance quotes from Spirit Dental, along with our (much larger) competitors. You will see the differences." After that, says Mayer, consumers can choose their next step: "sign up with Spirit Dental or go back to the giant insurance companies and ask them why they won't offer you $5,000 annual maximums, no waiting periods, and coverage of major procedures," says Mayer. Either outcome would be a success to him. "I'm not trying to grow Spirit Dental a lot bigger," says Mayer. "I'm trying to change the national conversation about dental insurance."
Founded in 2003, Direct Benefits and Spirit Dental provide individual and group dental and vision insurance through over 5500 independent insurance agents, serving thousands of individuals & 5000+ employers in all 50 states. To learn more about Spirit Dental and Tom Mayer, please visit us at www.spiritdental.com. Click here to get your Spirit Dental 30 Second Quote.
At Spirit Dental, we’re always here to help. Our friendly and experienced team is standing by to answer your questions, listen to your concerns and help you select the dental plan that best meets your needs. Call us today or reach us online.
Tom Mayer is an energetic and resourceful professional with more than 25 years' business experience, predominantly with entrepreneurial growth firms.
Tom entered the business world at age 11 with Kid for Rent lawn service, followed by White Wolf Maintenance, a cleaning restoration company. After graduating from Hamline University in St. Paul in 1991, he sold White Wolf to his brother, Pat, who still owns it today.
Tom then co-founded the Five Star Gourmet Meat Company, grew it into a $4 million home-delivery business with 90 employees, and attracted the attention of business publications including Forbes, Success, and Twin Cities Business Monthly. Tom sold his interest in Five Star in 1991, and then earned an MBA in marketing and strategy from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. During graduate school, Tom started Superior Foods, Inc. and happily sold frozen foods door-to-door in his 1995 Nissan Pathfinder.
In 2001, Tom founded Direct Benefits, Inc., a managing general agency specializing in the distribution of dental, disability, life and vision benefits to more than 8000 agents, brokers, consultants and general agents nationwide. Tom and his staff have helped agents write more than 100,000 Americans.
From 2006 to 2009, Tom served as the Retention Chair for Region 4 of the National Association of Health Underwriters and was named National Recruiter of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2009. His hobbies include backpacking, cooking, dog sledding, kayaking, mountaineering, rabbit hunting, reading, scuba diving, traveling, trout fishing, and tubing with his gas-powered blender. His favorite foods are Nueske's applewood-smoked bacon and oatmeal raisin cookies.
Spirit insurance is a product offered by Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., whose mission is to help customers find reliable and valuable individual and business insurance plans for all life stages and all needs.
With a strong commitment to its customers, Ameritas has been able to provide high-quality insurance options like Spirit Dental & Vision for many years.
Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and its affiliated companies have a rich, proud heritage that dates all the way back to the late 1880s, so you can rest assured that, when you invest in their products, you will begin benefitting from a long history of expertise and customer service.
In addition to positive feedback from customers, Ameritas has also received praise from Standard & Poor’s, which gave this insurance carrier an A+ (Strong) for insurer financial strength—the 5th highest of Standard & Poor’s 21 ratings.
Ameritas was also named an A.M. Best Company, receiving an A (Excellent) for financial strength and operating performance—this is the 3rd highest of A.M. Best’s 15 ratings.
Interested in getting a free Spirit insurance quote? Click here.
For more information, contact us today.
All Spirit Individual Dental and Vision plans come with our 30-day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. You have 30 days after your plan becomes effective to cancel your plan if you are not satisfied for any reason. Any premium paid will be fully refunded provided no covered services have been rendered. If services have been provided, you may still cancel your policy, however, the premium paid will not be eligible for reimbursement. This refund does not include the non-refundable enrollment fee of $25 made at the time of enrollment.