We meet most of our clients just prior to their 65th birthday. Three months before, three months after and the month of our 65th birthday, can be the most important 7 months of the rest of our lives, when it comes the decisions we make regarding our health insurance. Much of what we see in TV ads and what we read in the countless ads in the mail would lead us to believe otherwise. It looks as though, if we don’t get it right the first time, just come back during the annual open enrollment period and try, try, again. Nothing could be further from the truth.
These seven months are the only time that we will ever have to lock in our insurance benefits. Those benefits will be guaranteed renewable for the rest of our lives. This is the only time that we will be able to buy the best insurance plan that we can afford and be assured that the policy we choose will be issued regardless of our current health. We will be asked no health questions! In most cases, the rates that are charged are based on our age 65 and although they may increase over the years, they increase based on the age we originally joined the plan.
If we make a mistake and pick the wrong type of coverage, we may be able to correct it if we have remained in good health, but our rates will begin at a higher rate based on our current age. We meet a lot of people who never would never had been able to qualify, if it weren’t for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Often, they have been insured through an Obamacare type of health insurance with high deductibles and extremely high rates. Sometimes they would have been completely uninsurable due to past and/or current health issues. What a fantastic opportunity to acquire a comprehensive health insurance plan with standard rates and benefits guaranteed for the rest of their lives.
For some, turning age 65 has almost a magical quality about it. After all those years of working hard and finally being able to retire, travel, relax and not be on such a hectic schedule, they can finally kick back and enjoy their golden years. The last thing they want is to be concerned about whether future medical bills will drain their savings. After all, they can’t go back to work another 40 years to regain their losses.
For others, turning 65 is just another birthday. They must keep working to supplement their Social Security. Age and health issues make each year more physically and mentally difficult. The last thing they need is a debilitating injury or illness. Their income could be cut as they watch their medical bills piling up.
Through the years, we’ve seen these scenarios. What we all have in common is the knowledge that we’re not getting younger and that the odds say we will most likely suffer injuries and illnesses along the way. What we all would hope for is when this happens we will have access to the finest medical care available and it won’t bankrupt us. Providing a solution to this problem is what my company, my wife, and I have been doing for 48 years. We’re right there with you.
In previous issues, I’ve shared with you my story of being reasonably healthy when I turned 65. Even with my years of experience in the insurance business, I too was tempted to cut corners when I had to make the same decisions that face you. It’s like seeing the train barreling down the track as you approach the RR crossing in your car. “I think I can make it.” But, is it worth the chance? My sanity quickly returned, and I purchased the most comprehensive plan that was available. I’ve never regretted that decision. Within the first year, my health took a serious turn and during the past several years my medical bills have totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars. If I never have another medical bill, I’d have to live 120 years to come close to paying in what I’ve received. Unfortunately, it appears I’ll need treatments the rest of my life. Fortunately, my policy will continue my coverage for life, if I pay my premiums.
My wife, Kate, will turn 65 this year. I’ve met only a few women who would openly admit that she will be 65. Kate is telling the world. She’s happy about it. After 36 years of teaching special education in elementary school, she was ready to retire at age 60. Everything looked great, until she looked at her health insurance options. After years of low costs, Kate found that her premiums would be much higher. This year the premiums were almost $900.00 a month. To make it even worse, the benefits had decreased, and the co-pays and deductibles had increased. She has been waiting anxiously for five years, to turn 65, so she can have the most comprehensive Medicare supplement available for a fraction of what she has been paying.
She’s excited. She submitted her paperwork to Medicare at the earliest time allowed and already has plans for the money she will save each month. She knows about those guarantees. She also knows, very well, about the benefits I’ve received and will continue to receive if I need it. She was not tempted to cut corners. We both have talked with clients and heard similar stories. We’ve also talked to people who made the wrong decision and cannot go back and change it.
Get the word out. Let’s make turning 65 a truly Happy Birthday. Let’s make all future birthdays just as happy. If we can help you, just call or drop us an email.
Orion Steen is a licensed agent and specializes in Medicare supplemental plans. He has been advising his clients on life and health insurance matters in Arizona for over 45 years. He can be reached for related questions by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, call toll-free 888-846-6891 or cell 623-846-6891.