Helping Individuals Who Will Be New To Medicare
Medicare Can Be Confusing
Don’t Make A Costly Mistake!
Hi, my name is Jay Shinkle and I am an independent insurance broker with over 30 years experience in the health insurance industry. My focus is helping individuals who are going to be new to Medicare, as well as those who are currently with Medicare. As an independent insurance broker in the greater Kansas City area, I represent the major, top-rated insurance carriers in the marketplace today. Hundreds of clients in Kansas and Missouri have trusted me to assist them over the years. As a local agent, I uniquely understand the Kansas City area market and I provide a personal approach that you will find very easy to understand.
Whether you choose a traditional Medicare “supplement” plan (also known as Medigap) plus, a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, or you want to join one of the popular Medicare “Advantage” programs, I will explain the differences between these two approaches and help you find the right plan for your personal healthcare and prescription needs. Let me help guide you through the process to make it easy!
Currently over 10,000 people a day turn age 65 in the United States making them eligible for our country's national Medicare healthcare system. Understanding how Medicare works and all of the many Medicare options can be confusing, especially if you are new to Medicare. Just finding straight-forward and honest advice is a challenge all by itself.
The first task is to understand what Medicare is and why you will need to make some important decisions. Medicare by itself is hospital and medical insurance, but it was never intended to be a complete stand-alone medical insurance program. There are big deductibles, copayments and, a never-ending 20% coinsurance level that YOU PAY with "original" Medicare. This can cause a financial disaster if you don't plan right. Therefore, you will need to do something about it. You will either:
1) Purchase a traditional Medicare "supplement" plan (also called "Medigap") to fill in the expensive gaps and holes of original Medicare, but you will also need to purchase a stand-alone "Part D" prescription drug program because original Medicare does not cover prescription medications. Using this approach you are paying monthly premiums to an insurance company. Or . . .
2) You may want to join what is known as a Medicare "Advantage" program to "replace" the original Medicare benefits from one of the large managed-care companies. Advantage plans have become a popular choice throughout the country. They include medical benefits, prescription drug coverage, plus many other benefits that original Medicare does not cover such as dental, vision, hearing aids and a no-cost gym membership, all rolled into one program. Most plans feature a low or even $0 monthly plan premium because they are subsidized by Medicare.
Doing nothing but original Medicare is not smart!
Picking the wrong Medicare insurance program can be costly over the years if you don't understand and compare the many options. One of the first things to understand is, don’t try to figure it out by yourself. There are no "one-size-fits-all" options and you can find it very difficult to decide on your own. Everyone’s situation can be uniquely different.
If you are turning 65 soon, you should be receiving a letter from Social Security about your upcoming eligibility for Medicare, usually about three months before your 65th birthday. Your Medicare "effective date" is the first day of the month that you turn 65. Technically, you come onto Medicare when you are 64, so don’t wait until the last minute!
If you do not receive a letter from Social Security during this period, you will need to take action. You can apply online at www.Medicare.gov and locate the "Apply for Medicare” tab. It will direct you to the Social Security page to enroll. You will want to make sure you are enrolled in what is called Part A and Part B of Medicare. You can also call or visit your local Social Security office to apply. Social Security handles all enrollments into Medicare so even if you will not be drawing Social Security income benefits until later, you still need to enroll in Medicare through Social Security. I can help you with this process when we talk.
You can expect to be receiving lots of mailings and phone calls. You might even receive a knock on your door (a practice which is prohibited by Medicare). Plan options, benefits, and pricing can vary from one insurance company to another. These are the decisions I can assist you with, not only from the beginning, but each year as these programs do change.
Some of the first things we will discuss is what's important to you. This includes the doctors and specialists you may use, the prescriptions you are currently using and the additional benefits some of the programs offer. Together, we can make sure you have the plan that works best for you.
Please call me at 913-952-5916 so we can discuss your Medicare insurance options. You may also use the contact page below to send me your name, email and a message.
Thank you and I look forward to speaking with you soon! Jay Shinkle
If you are currently enrolled in Medicare you may have purchased a Medicare supplement plan and a separate Part D prescription drug plan or, you may have joined a Medicare Advantage program. I can assist you in making sure you have the most appropriate plan for your needs.
If you currently have a Medicare supplement plan, the rates can be quite different from one insurance company to another. With supplement plans, the benefits are designed by Medicare so they are all the same by Federal law. The only difference is the price you pay, not the insurance company you choose. Some companies offer household discounts as well. Part D prescription drug plans can also vary from one company to the next. I use a Medicare tool that allows me to enter your prescriptions and it provides information for the Part D prescription drug programs that align best for your prescription needs.
Medicare Advantage plans can also vary from one company to the next. Some plans are HMO network plans and some are PPO network plans. Each plan can be different, from the doctors and providers in their networks, to the level of "copays" you pay for each service. Also, each company has their own prescription "formulary" drug list, so it is important for us to review your prescriptions against each plan to assure your needs are covered. Some Medicare Advantage plans charge a monthly premium yet, many do not because they are subsidized by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing aids and over-the-counter benefits. Most plans also offer a no-cost gym membership as well. It is important we review your benefits yearly as your needs may change as well as any plan benefit changes.
Please call me at 913-952-5916 and we can review your current situation.
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Jay Shinkle is a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in the states of Kansas, Missouri and Texas. Certified by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to sell Medicare insurance programs.
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