Do you know the difference between a Medicare Insurance Broker and a Captive Agent?

I hope your week is going well despite these crazy times.

It’s beginning to feel like fall here. Can  you believe we’re already having snow in the mountains? Hopefully it’ll put out some of the fires.

Not knowing the difference between a Broker and an Captive Agent during this Annual Election Period can cause consumers to seriously limit their Medicare options.  Click on the picture below to learn more and to see my family 😊.

When I first began working in insurance many years ago, I was a Captive Agent.  But after two months, it became clear that I couldn’t truly help people shop for coverage unless I became independent and I’ve been a Broker ever since.

What I love about being a Medicare Insurance Broker is the freedom to provide clients with the unvarnished truth, the good, the bad and the ugly about all the plans. I’m not always able to help everyone, but I do try to do my best and to learn from every interaction and continue to grow. That’s all we can do, right?

The Annual Election Period is now in full swing and all of the plans for 2021 are out. Medicare Supplement Plans really don’t change much from year to year. Many of the Medicare Advantage Plans have raised their Maximum out of Pocket levels but they’ve also increased some of their offerings, $0 copay telehealth visits and over the counter spending benefits. Every person’s needs are different.

The important thing? Book a time on my calendar if you are not sure if your current coverage fits the bill. Also remember to look at your drug costs and make certain your drug coverage is still working, especially if your taking expensive brand name drugs.

Have a great week and let your friends know I’m here if they have questions about Medicare.

Who needs a flu shot?

Greetings Neighbor.

I hope this note finds you in great health and excellent spirits despite the crazy times.

Elections, COVID, and crazy weather, believe me, everyone is ready for 2020 to finish 😊.

We’ve been getting a ton of questions about the new flu, and from what I am reading, this year’s strain could be extra dangerous. Click on picture and learn how to protect yourself.

Of course you know you need a flu shot, but did you get one yet? If you have a Medicare Supplement, getting the shot in your local pharmacy for most plans will keep the cost to $0.

If you have an Advantage Plan, confirm with your doctor’s office there is no copay.

In talking with my pharmacist, there are different versions of the vaccine, but they were recommending the High Dose Flu vaccine. It has four times as many antigens (whatever those are). Talk to your doctor, but do the right thing, please, because I actually like having Medicare clients 😊.

Here’s more information about the flu and vaccination options.

Remember, the Annual Election Period is upon us and the new plans for 2021 are finally out. Let me know if your friends and family need help, that’s why I’m here.

Stay safe and please book a time on my calendar if you need me (my calendar only runs 7 days in advance, so be patient).

 

What do you know about COVID-19 and Social Security?

Greetings Neighbor!

I hope you are having a great week despite the crazy times. We’re having beautiful fall weather here except for the ashes from the fires on the patio every morning. Like you, I can’t wait for 2020 to end.

In the meantime, I keep doing my best to help people with their Medicare Insurance questions. This week, I learned two super interesting things. The first may help you avoid dying (seriously) and the second could help you avoid running out of money.  Click on my picture to watch the video.

Vitamin D, who knew it was this important? Having adequate Vitamin D levels seems to be critically important in strengthening the body’s natural immune system from the COVID virus, reducing the risk of contracting and surviving the virus by 50%.  That’s huge!  You can get vitamin D from the sun, in your foods or as a supplement.  So if your not sure, talk to doctor or your pharmacist and check out this article.

As mentioned in the video, three different clients starting Medicare this week asked me the best time to start Social Security. Now I am NOT a financial planner and I don’t play one on TV, but this is what I learned from Social Security Planning workshop this week:

You can start Social Security as earlier as 62 and as late as age 70.

Depending on your income, up to 85% of your Social Security income will be taxed.

The earlier you take Social Security, the less you receive.

Now some folks need the money immediately to replace lost work income. Others can afford to wait or maybe they plan to work part time till age 70 to max out the Social Security income.  There is no single correct answer so do talk to your CPA, your financial planner
or your wife 😉 (she’s the boss in our house) to find out what makes sense for you and your tribe. Here’s a link to the Social Security brochure with more information.

Drum roll please… the Annual Election Period for Medicare has begun. Plans are now available to review, changes can be made October 15th through December 7th. Do read through your Annual Notice of Changes and if you have questions, please book a time on my calendar and tell your friends to call me or book a time on my calendar if they have questions.

Are you ready for the Medicare Zombie Invasion?

I hope you are having a great week despite the crazy times.

Now hold on, I was kidding about the Medicare Zombies, but only slightly.

I have been getting calls and emails from Medicare clients all over who tell me they are being hounded online, over the phone, on TV and by email about all the amazing things coming out from Medicare.

Just remember, if something sounds too amazing, then it probably isn’t true. So beware of the marketing ploys you are being bombarded with. If something does sound interesting to you, write it down, book a time on my calendar and we’ll find out together if it’s true. We can
start reviewing the new Medicare plans after October 1st, but we can’t make any changes until October 15th and we have until December 7th.

So in the meantime, don’t let the Medicare zombies scare you into believing you are missing out.

When you are ready, we will review all the Medicare plans in your area and pick what serves you best.

In the meantime, click on the picture below and check out the real tarantula invasion.

On a whim, Quantz and drove south to La Junta Colorado and watched the annual tarantula migration. It was fascinating to Fort Bent, another national monument from where we built the west. It was a great excuse to take one more small trip before the Medicare Annual Election Period begins in October.

During AEP,  the Medicare Annual Election Period, that’s when I’m working my hardest to make certain everyone is up to date on their coverage. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, if something about your coverage is making you unhappy, this is the time to contact me and get things right. If you are happy and everything is fine, you don’t need to book a time. But if you aren’t happy, that’s why I’m here.

 

How a Public Adjuster can save your bacon$!

I hope this note finds you in great health and excellent spirits in these times of fire, hurricanes and madness. Are you finding ways to take care of yourself and family?

Even though my focus is Medicare Insurance and helping consumers shop for coverage, I am always looking for ways to help people save money and protect themselves from risk.

Speaking of fire and hurricanes, thanks to Rob, a pilot in Texas. He explained to me how to make certain you don’t get ripped off by your insurance company the next time something happens to your house or your property.

Click on the link and give it a listen.

Until my conversation with Rob, I had never even heard of a Public Adjuster. Their role can vary depending on the state you live in.  And even though most Property and Casualty Insurance companies are honorable and easy to work with, some insurance companies will try to wear you down and underpay if they think that they can get away with it.

If it makes sense, a licensed Public Adjuster can be your advocate to make certain you and your family are made whole after a catastrophic event. Rob said that hiring one in Texas made the insurance company pay out thousands more. So read this article by clicking this link and learn how to protect yourself and your family.

The Medicare Annual Election Period is coming fast, October 1st. Your plan benefits for 2021 will be arriving then and you can read about what’s going to change. Interesting stuff is coming down the pike, so keep an eye out. We can make changes from October 15th to December 7th.

So tell your friends and family to call or book a time on my calendar below. Referrals are the lifeblood of my business so let me know who I can help.

And most important, send me pictures of your critters for the newsletter, that’s what I love.

Stay safe, do a good deed for a stranger, and let’s talk soon!

You Get What you pay for!

I hope this note finds you in great health and good spirit because of these crazy times. Imagine the great stories we’ll someday be able to tell our grandchildren.

Oh wait, most of already have grandchildren so scratch that idea 😊. Instead, imagine how thankful we’ll be when we finally get through this.  We all just have to do our best and keep going, right?

After a month on the road we are home, safe and sound. Working on the road turned out to be no problem, the main reason we came home was the fires out west, they were everywhere. We saw a big chunk of America I had never seen before (even when it was covered in smoke).

So today, it’s time to get what you paid for, really!  Click on this video and learn how.

 

We truly have one of the greatest National Park Services in the world and the great news? There are parks in every state (except Delaware). For $20 bucks you can get an annual pass and get out of your head and out of your house. Now that we are home again, I realize how happy it made us to be outside every day. So, even though we are home, I’m committed to getting outside every day, it really helps.

During our last hikes in Utah, it was over 100 degrees in the mountains and since my goal is to continue to be your Medicare Insurance broker forever (or least three more decades)that convinced us to come home, for a while.

Of course then it snowed. 94 degrees the day before and then this! Hopefully its putting out some of the fires here in Colorado.

Now back to Medicare: The Annual Election Period is rapidly approaching, October 15 till December 7th.

This is your chance to make certain you are maximizing your benefits and you are completely satisfied with your coverage. So take a few minutes to think about how your coverage worked this year so far.

Are you happy? Are you disappointed? Are you neutral? Regardless, please check in with me starting in October (or sooner if you are really concerned).  My sole purpose as a Medicare Insurance Broker is to help you navigate and get what you need.

That’s it for this week.  Let your friends and family know that I’m here if they need help with their Medicare Insurance coverage.

There is no them, there is only us!

I hope this note finds you in great health and excellent spirit, despite the madness of the times. This joke I heard sums it up this year:

A guy walks into a bar in New Orleans and says, “Give me two Hurricanes and a Corona.”

The bartender responds, “That’ll be $20.20!”

Many of you know my wife and I have been exploring the Northwest to celebrate her retirement and loving it. We’ve had some amazing adventures and also some very strange encounters.

Click on the video picture below and hear what I learned that truly gives me hope.

May we remember there is no them, there is only us. Time and time again, I have watched strangers perform incredible acts of kindness, helping to repair cars, sharing food, donating time and money and doing good deeds.

Do not be fooled by stories of the extreme that are designed to polarize, divide and conquer us. When Americans connect with each other, face to face, one on one, we show compassion, we forgive imperfections and we accept differences. Differences are the fabric that makes our nation great, Epluribus Unum, out of many, one. This is not an easy motto to live by but it sure is a great one.

The Medicare Annual Election Period is seven weeks away. How is your plan working? Are you happy? Do we need to make changes? If so let me know and remind your friends to check in with me.

Take Care of Yourself During COVID!

My wife Q and I are into our third week of exploring the great Northwest, taking hikes, wearing masks, staying at Airbnb’s and doing as we/she pleases. After a career of 70 hour work weeks, it was definitely time for Quantz to take a break and we are loving it.

Here’s the funny thing, as a Medicare Insurance Broker, I’m actually more productive on the road than when I am working from home, crazy right? Here’s the thing, on the road, there are so many less Honey do’s, no lawn, no garage, no big fridge filled with snacks😊. Now it’s work hard and play hard, so don’t worry, I plan to keep this schedule for a long, long time.

Today, let’s remember the importance of self-care. It’s too easy to ignore our own needs when life is screaming out for our attention. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to take of others. CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW and watch the video.

So many of us are caregivers for parents and family and it is so easy to dismiss our own needs, until something unexpected happens that turns our life upside down. Two years ago, when a family member had a significant change in health, I spent the summer as a caregiver and it changed my life, for the better. It forced me to reevaluate how and with whom I spend my time.

We only have one life so it’s all on us to front load happiness:

Drink good coffee.
Give thanks for what you have.
Help others.
Kiss babies, snuggle with pets.
Forgive, apologize and share.
Laugh as much as you can, at yourself and at life!

That’s it for this week, article below. We are about 8 weeks away from the annual election period. Remember to send your friends and family this way if they have Medicare questions.

Stay safe, stay cool and let’s talk soon!

Who is watching your Mom, your Dad or anyone you know and love in a Nursing Home?

I hope this note finds you in good health and greats spirits, despite the pandemic.

Learn the disturbing news of how a profit motive created by the pandemic is negatively affecting some Seniors in nursing homes.

If you have family or close friends on Medicare and in a nursing home, you already know to be extra vigilant in ensuring they are safe and cared for. We all know that is sometimes easier said than done, right?

Here’s an article link that goes into detail.

Check in with me if you have Medicare questions, book a time on my calendar and let’s talk soon.

How to catch a buzz!

I hope you’re having a great week, despite the heat, the pandemic and the storms.

My in laws’ brand new rider mower was totaled by the surge from Hurricane Isaias and their insurer refused to cover it, said they should have brought it inside. Aren’t you glad Medicare doesn’t work like that?

“I’m sorry your husband died Mrs. Jones but we’re not paying for the hospitalization. He should have done something to prevent his death.”
Good grief!

Today I want remind you of the importance of enjoying life. Here’s how:

That’s right, get out in the yard and garden (early or late if it’s warm).

Studies have shown being outside lowers blood pressure plus light activity still counts as exercise and we know exercise keeps us above the lawn.

And being above the lawn beats the heck out of being six feet under.

Here’s an article to prove it.

So please feel free to grow me some peaches and when my hives produce, I’ll send you some honey.

Let me know your questions about Medicare options and let’s talk soon!