Health insurance is not a subject that many people love to discuss and peruse because it is often a frustrating, confusing and complicated issue. However, health insurance is necessary for everyone at all stages of life.
I want to focus on Medicare and delve into what people have to consider when needing to make a decision on the appropriate choice of health care and well-being for themselves or a loved one.
According to Medicare.gov, Medicare can be explained as health insurance for people 65 or older. You are first eligible to sign up three months before you turn 65. However, it is also available to those with a disability, end-stage renal disease, or ALS.
Medicare consists of three main components: Part A (hospital Insurance), Part B (medical Insurance), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). Unfortunately, many often approach this major decision uniformed and misled by disinformation. I am passionate about getting the correct information into the hands of those who need it. Being aware of available resources and fully prepared to make an appropriate choice for your health care or that of a loved one is paramount.
There seems to be a mountain of information that one may be bombarded with as they consider this decision; and lamentably, the majority that is presented regarding Medicare is incorrect for the potential client. It is shocking to know how many scams are circulating about Medicare, and it is dismaying how many people are negatively affected by these misleading actions. Thankfully, there are several legitimate agents who are well trained and equipped to provide valuable information regarding Medicare insurance choices.
Ginny Curtis-Gillespie, a veteran in the field of health insurance with Medicare in particular, isthe founder and owner of Navigating Medicare with their home office located in The Village. Additionally, the organization has offices with trusted agents in Tulsa, Shawnee and Ardmore, along with agents that are mobile and available to meet with a client at a preferred location. Curtis-Gillespie emphasized from the start that you should never entertain information provided over the phone by an unsolicited agent regarding Medicare, unless you initiated the phone call. Her advice is to reject these calls and refrain from entertaining their offers because the most beneficial way to discuss your options regarding Medicare would be in an office setting, or at least with a local individual who will remain in your court beyond the sale. The potential client should make their decision based on their specific situation, both medically and financially. Therefore, a trusted advisor should take all of that into account when helping someone select a plan.
Furthermore, according to Curtis-Gillespie, you should see multiple insurance carriers in their office, along with readily available information such as pamphlets and handouts. She said do not hesitate to ask agents for references or check websites for reviews from past and current clients. And here is a list of questions you should be prepared to ask the agent interviewing you:
• If they are a broker, for which insurance carriers do they work?
• What type of plans do they offer?
• Where do they get their training?
• Who owns the company?
These questions are useful in decision-making when traversing the often tangled web of Medicare insurance.
I do not want you to feel overwhelmed or apprehensive when making a choice with Medicare. Rather, feel empowered because you are well-informed and ready to make a quality decision for yourself or a loved one.
There are other excellent agencies in Oklahoma that can assist you with Medicare insurance. Sibley Insures, for example, is a husband-and-wife team based in Oklahoma City. They began working in this industry to help combat some of the misinformation and scams so many have encountered. I want to reemphasize again that knowledge is power, and you will not regret taking the time to get all of your ducks in a row before you make your choice concerning Medicare insurance.
Robin Gunn is owner of The Oklahoma Senior Journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column addressing senior issues will appear monthly in Viewpoints.