I think there’s nothing worse than taking advantage of a senior citizen who’s on a fixed income by trying to sell her the most expensive plan, knowing that there are 19 plans less expensive in a given market place, but one do that for the pure profit motive behind it, and that’s just my personal opinion.
My name is Christopher Westfall, I run the senior savings Network, an independent brokerage which works for seniors, and I’ve been an insurance agent for 20 years. According to the Medicare & you guidebook right here, it says all Medicare plans are exactly the same, plan out from one company is the same as plan out from another company, it says the only difference is the premiums that they charge.
Today I got a call from an 80-year-old lady, zip code for 8195, my fellow agents can look at this and compare it, and you’ll see exactly what I see, she is in Central Michigan, 80 years old and she was a 20-plus year longtime employee of AT&T.
Along with 300,000 other retirees, they have been recently told that they will no longer have company sponsored benefits, they will be going into a exchange to shop for their benefits, and they’ll be given a health care reimbursement account to pay for some of those premiums for them.
But for the benefit of running this exchange, an insurance agency has convinced AT&T that they’ll take good care of the seniors, which is part of this program. So this nice young lady who called me was told that in her area of Michigan, the cheapest is the Plan G, which is available for her through Sterling life and it’s around $287 a month.
And they told her that there’s no drug plan available for her in her area, you can’t get a drug plan. There are at least 10 companies in her zip code that have better rates than that, remember that the benefits are all exactly the same, so I told her there is a plan called American Continental in Michigan which is the same with plan G costs $189 a month, that saves $100 per month.
Now if AT&T contributes to these premiums, they may not care about that. The exchange for those companies which are doing the brokerage is taking them to the cleaners for an extra $100 a month, so that they can merely collect more of the commission, because with the insurance companies, the commission is a part of the premium paid.
So if I charge you the highest plan in the market, it’s a 100% more premium, which is ridiculous. So we have American continental at $189 per month. Now remember the only one offered for plan G through a on group was Sterling which is over $270 a month.
We have American Continental which charges $100 less, we have Stonebridge at $191, Medico at $199, Mutual of Omaha at $205, CSI at $221, Gerber life at $235, loyal American, which is now Cigna at $250 for, KS JK life at $268, any one of these companies would be better for her.
So if you’re going to tell people that they’re part of an exchange and they only have one choice which is the most expensive thing in the market, I think it’s wrong, and it’s my personal opinion that every one of these retirees should go out there and speak with an independent agent. They can write something to The States, we can help you over the phone for free. Look at the rates out there and say look this is what the market holds.
In order to take advantage of the health care reimbursement account, you must get at least your drug plan through the exchange. Once you’ve gotten at least the drug plan through the exchange, it allows you to have access to the checkbook of the health care reimbursement account.
Now you’ve got $2,700 in benefit that you can write your own check for the premium, for the best deal in the market, which is what you should be doing. You can see that it doesn’t make any sense to pay more for an expensive name, it isn’t a deal that if it costs more, it must be better.
Nobody pays a doctor $1 more than the other 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay, you can have a ERP or Aetna or Aflac or any of the companies that are Medicare supplement companies, they are going to pay the amount of money which is claimed by Medicare. If you show them a Mutual of Omaha card or an AARP card when you go to a doctor. If you don’t believe me, look in your book that comes from the government, they want you to know that they’re exactly the same, so don’t get ripped off by paying $100 more. If you’re going to say, it’s the company’s money, it’s the retirement plans money, so let them go ahead and do it. I think we should be good stewards of our money regardless of who’s paying the bill.
If it’s a company that we express loyalty to for over 20 years by retiring with them, we will want the best from the company. And one thing I can guarantee you is that if they are spending out in benefits, if they continue to get ripped off to the tune of $300,000, people will get the most expensive plan in their market place.
If you want to pick all the plans in the market that are rated A+ and more, you can also do that safely. In this case, $100 per month with this lady, they tell her that there’s no drug plan that she can get in her market, when there are over 34 independent Part D drug plans available in her market, that’s wrong.
So I encourage any seniors that are watching this, call an independent Medicare agent. If they work for one of the big companies, and they can only sell one company which doesn’t do business with them, because I can guarantee you that one company is not always going to be the best fit for you. But if you find somebody who’s licensed with all the companies and they can show you the spreadsheet of every company in that particular market, you will know that you’re not going to get ripped off and you can pick the best plan in the market.
It’s great if we can help you, but don’t take it for granted, the one or two options that you’re being given now are the only options out there. I think an ulterior motive for offering the highest expensive plans in that marketplace is wrong, but that’s my opinion, thanks for reading, have a good day.