How does it feel to be the DarthVader of the benefits industry? (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Darth Vader?

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I wasn't sure what to make of it last fall at the Q4 Intelligence Summit when someone walked byafter my keynote and asked, “How does it feel to be the Darth Vaderof the benefits industry?” I could not tell initially if it wasintended to be a compliment, but for those who already know me, youwill understand that either way, driving action items from audiencemembers is what gets my blood pumping the most, so I'll takeit!

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“You jumped from the dark side, coming from the hospital side over to join us brokers andbenefits advisors. You're ratting them out,” the gentleman added.Realizing now that he was attempting to compliment me, I decided totake my dark helmet off and introduce myself.

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While I was not truly wearing a dark helmet as I left the stage,his point was right on. I am here to shake the tree, as Americanbusinesses are being bankrupted by skyrocketing health care costs.I do not ever intend to be an expert on benefits or healthinsurance, but what I do hope to do is leave a legacy of Americanbusinesses engaging in the health care benefits discussion to startdriving their costs downward.


➤➤ Be sure to attend JoshLuke's Closing Keynote session, “Ben Talks – Why Does It Matter?”April 3 at 4:15 p.m. at the 2019 BenefitsPRO Broker Expo.


Think of me more as the “Chief Tree Shaker” rather than the evilemperor's protégé.

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I am looking forward to serving as a keynote for the closingsession at this year's BenefitsPRO Broker Expo. The closing keynotesession will feature Ted-Talk style speakers that will engage,entertain and educate on the latest in benefits trends andcorporate benefit wish lists. During the session you can count onseeing my recently released “Welcome to the Hospital” 1980srock-n-roll parody video as part of my tree-shaking efforts inMiami. The video launched on my YouTube Channel in January and hasalready surpassed 50,000 views.

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Now more than ever, American businesses are declaring war onskyrocketing health care costs. My closing keynote, “The EightWords that Killed American Health Care” will dispel the myth thatit's just global brands like Amazon, Google, Apple and Tesla thatare transforming their benefit offerings. In just a few shortminutes from the stage I will provide examples of small andmid-market companies that are pushing the envelope to includegenomics, DNA testing, functional medicine, disease-specificprograms, cost sharing options and behavioral health and anxietysupport services.

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The message is resonating. Benefits are the number-two cost inmost businesses and there is no longer room to allow those costs tounjustifiably increase year over year. America is declaring war onhealth care costs. While Amazon and Google may be leading thecharge, small and mid-market businesses are not waiting to see howit goes, they are hungry for options to reduce costs and enhancepersonalized and preventative medicine options as well. As abenefits adviser, if you are not well versed, educated and preparedto have an educated discussion with your clients and prospectsabout these offerings, well, they're likely to turn to someone whowill.

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Let's make a deal: I'll keep shaking the tree, you engage andprovide clients options. Then we all win. See you in Miami. I'll bethe guy in the dark cape and helmet in the closing session.

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Can't wait for the Expo? Here are some more quickreads to get the tree shaking: 

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