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.

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!

How to Avoid Medicare Identity Theft

Do you know how to avoid Medicare Identity Theft?

This week I heard from a couple of different Medicare clients who tell me their identities were ALMOST stolen.

As Clint Eastwood used to say, “Do ya feel lucky? Well do ya??”

If you check out this video, you will be lucky.

Simple steps to protect yourself can go a long way:

Check your credit report, annualcreditreport.com is offering free weekly credit checks.

Don’t click on links unless you certain of the source.

If someone calls you from the IRS, Medicare, or any governmental organization, be careful.

This usa.gov website link has a ton helpful ideas ( and it’s real, I swear 😊)

As a Medicare Insurance broker, my job is to keep you informed and help you take the mystery out of Medicare.

Let me know if you have questions.

Get outside and feel better

As we age into Medicare, it’s important to get outside and feel better.

As our son prepares for the Air Force, we’re doing our best to spend time together before he begins his service.

Especially in these times of COVID, one of the healthiest things we can do is to get outside and spend time with family and friends (assuming you like them 😉)

Studies have shown that time in nature relieves stress and anxiety, improves mood, increases energy and longevity and just makes us happier.

Even walking around the neighborhood or puttering in the garden, either way, you’ll be better and happier.

Here’s an article that confirms it.

If you have questions about Medicare or how to stay healthy, give me a call or book a time on my calendar.

As a Medicare Insurance broker, it’s my job to take the mystery out of Medicare.

Don’t Pay Your Medicare Hospital and Doctor Bills Until You Are Certain They Are Correct!

Some studies suggest that up to 80 percent of the medical billing from hospitals and doctors contains errors. 80%? That’s completely unacceptable.

Before you pay your next medical bill, check out this video:

As a Medicare Insurance Broker, I receive calls and emails from Medicare clients who think they’ve been billed incorrectly.

The first step is always to get a copy of your Explanation of Benefits, an EOB. Once you have the EOB, review it for errors and if you are not sure, call the Medical office to make sure the bill you received is in line with the services you received.

If not, ask them to correct it and to resend the bill.

Before paying any medical bill, be sure to also review the amounts with your insurer to make sure you are not over paying.

Here is a helpful article from Consumer Reports

Remember, diligence is the key, and as they used to say, “you can take that to the bank.”

Do I have to sign up for Medicare Part B when I turn 65?

As a Medicare Insurance Broker working with clients all over the country, it shocks when clients tell me that when they turned 65, even though they had great Medical coverage at work, they signed up for Medicare anyway!

“Why did you do that?” I ask. “Because I had to” they say.

Listen up: Just because you are turning 65 doesn’t mean EVERYONE has to sign up for Part A and Part B.

Check out this video and you may save yourself some money and some frustration.

Here’s the Medicare fact sheet on Deciding Whether to Enroll in Part A and Part B when you turn 65.

Remember every person’s situation is different. For some, enrolling in Medicare at 65 is a no brainer. For others it may be a huge waste of money.

If you are not sure which way to go, email your questions to Karl@TheBig65.com or just book a time on my calendar and we can chat.

Let me know how we can help!

Karl Bruns-Kyler is a licensed sales agent with no affiliation to Medicare, CMS or any governmental organization.

Do I really need a Medicare Part D Drug Plan?

As a Medicare Insurance Broker, this is a question I get all the time: Do I really need a Medicare Part D drug plan?

The answer is, “you bet your sweet bippie.”

Check out this video that identifies why.

Part D Medicare Insurance is designed to protect Medicare recipients against catastrophic drug costs.

Just because you’re not taking expensive drugs currently doesn’t mean you couldn’t be surprised with an expensive medication later, not to mention a penalty.

Here is your guide to Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage.

You are also welcome to email your questions to Karl@TheBig65.com or just book a time on my calendar and we’ll get your questions answered.

Let me know how we can help!

Karl Bruns-Kyler is a licensed sales agent with no affiliation to Medicare, CMS or any governmental organization.

What is a Medicare Supplement?

Clients tell me all the time how frustrated they get when people try to sell them plans before they even understand all the Medicare options.

Don’t worry 😊. Our mission is to educate! Once you understand the big picture, then you can call us.

In the previous video, we looked at Advantage Plans, today you’ll get a quick primer on Medicare Supplements.

Medicare Supplements are easy to use: For the privilege of paying a premium, you can go to any doctor who takes Medicare and is willing to see you.

Many people love the simplicity of the plans. Here is the Medicare Supplement Shoppers Guide.

Only you can decide which type of plan will best suit your needs, Medicare Supplements vs Medicare Advantage Plans.

However, once you have a basic understanding of the plan types, the next step is to speak with an independent Medicare Insurance Broker.

You are also welcome to email your questions to Karl@TheBig65.com or just book a time on my calendar and we’ll get your questions answered.

Let me know how we can help!

Karl Bruns-Kyler is a licensed sales agent with no affiliation to Medicare, CMS or any governmental organization.

What are Medicare Advantage Plans?

After two decades of working with Medicare insurance plans as a Medicare Insurance Broker…

It’s amazing how often people tell me they are frustrated!

If you feel that way, you are not alone.

Today we are going to take the mystery out Advantage plans.

Check out this super short video:

Remember every person’s situation is different. For some, Medicare Advantage plans can be a great solution.

For others, Medicare supplements and their predictable costs may be the answer.

If you like to read, here’s a complete PDF from Medicare on how to understand Advantage plans.

You are also welcome to email your questions to Karl@TheBig65.com or just book a time on my calendar and we’ll get your questions answered.

Let me know how we can help!

Karl Bruns-Kyler is a licensed sales agent with no affiliation to Medicare, CMS or any governmental organization.

Should you take your blood pressure pills at night?

Should you take your blood pressure pills at night?

I’m not a doctor, I don’t even play one on TV, but as a Medicare Insurance Broker,blood pressure meds are among the most common medications I see prescribed.  They’ve been around forever; they seem to be relatively safe and they must be keeping people alive.

I take a baby aspirin in the morning because my doctor said it is a simple strategy for reducing heart attack, stroke, prostate issues and it may even possibly reduce dementia risks. We are lucky to have access all of these miracle medications.

When I read an article like this, it surprises me that I hadn’t heard about how this sooner and how this small change might really be helpful.

According to Harvard Medical School, in one study, patients who took their blood pressure medication at night instead of in the morning had better blood pressure control and were less likely than their peers to die of a heart attack.

The article goes on to say each person needs to check with their doctor BEFORE making any changes to their regimen.  Their doctor may have a specific reason why they encouraged.

That being said, talk to doctor and your pharmacist.  Small changes can have huge consequences.

Be Well!