Each year in August, a group of insurance agents meet to discuss and learn about health insurance.
Ten years ago, three insurance agents started this program to San Diego, Orange County as well as the Inland Empire (Riverside and Saint Bernardine). As the first agent of Kern Countythen president of our Association of Health Insurers, I was invited to participate. Approximately 80 officers attended the two-day event in Ontario.
This week, about 800 agents and providers inquired about health insurance and related products in attendance for a three-day event (four if you count the golf tournament). Even during the COVID-19 years, we have met, but virtually, as health and safety are our primary concerns for our senior clients and ourselves.
The event could last a week if there was only time available. In recent years, Medicare rules have been the major focus. This year, thanks to exhibitors and sponsors, the agents present were able to get a glimpse of what 2023 will look like.
The focus was on Medicare Advantage, and in Southern California, that means HMO! Most if not all of the insurance companies gave speeches and information about their products for the coming year. With the law not allowing distribution or even discussion of the product portfolio, we only got a small taste of what to expect in 2023.
I am eager to October 1st, when it will be public and allowed to be discussed. What I found interesting were some of the options that these HMO plans will provide. A company has the option of carrying out an extermination of your home if you have small critters. Obviously, for some, this is a health risk. Other plans will provide meals, help pay for utilities, and provide nutritious meals. There’s even credit for groceries each month, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) medications and household needs.
There will be several plans available for people who typically use the Veterans Administration (VA) for their health care. People pay into Medicare, but rarely use Medicare benefits. Thus, there will be Medicare Advantage plans offering benefits such as dental, vision, and cash back. Since you are not covered for prescription drugs under these special plans, they will reimburse you for part of your monthly Part B premium – up to $150!
Live in the Kern River Valley see a specialist Bakersfield Where Ridgecrest very difficult to transport. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer travel to approved locations. I have discussed the 50 mile one-way limitation with Plans, and many will make special accommodations for a longer trip beyond the typical 50 mile maximum.
Above I have mentioned some of the advantages offered by an assortment of plans. Each plan has its menu of benefits. Then comes television, radio, newspapers and magazines and who knows what else will be announced. Joe Nameless will be back on the tube touting a list of benefits, while at the bottom of the screen it will say that the advertiser does not provide all the plans and you should ask for more information at 1- 800-MEDICARE or by going to Medicare.gov for a complete list of plans. Joe Nameless and JJ Runner and other former “stars” aren’t saying if the benefits they tout will be on your plan. Call 1-800-You R SCREWED for more information from an authorized agent.
The authorized agent never went Californiahas no idea what plans are offered here, other than those he has been certified with, and has no knowledge of doctors, hospitals, or the needs of our community.
I draw your attention to this point, as in recent years, each Jan. 1 to March 31, there’s an opportunity to change plans, and I’m busy helping people undo what they’ve done to themselves. The people who represent national advertisers, including insurance companies, are there to sell you something. This is how we all get paid. My office is no different in wanting to provide you with a plan, but we are located here in the Kern Valley. We meet at the market, at the restaurant or elsewhere. I provide a service and remain responsible. Your costs are the same using us or an insurance company representative. As I often say, if you enter a Ford dealership to buy a car, you’ll walk away with a new Ford. What if Chevrolet had a better vehicle? We review all plans and help find the best option for your current needs. Future needs? Each year, we review each policy. A lot of work, but it brings in happy customers.
Harry P. Thalthe health insurance guru in Kernville, is available for free telephone consultations. Call 760-376-2100 or 800-498-8425 for a phone appointment or email [email protected].