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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Finding Your Way in the Medicare Maze

Every year, thousands of individuals approaching their 65th birthday come face to face with the “Medicare maze.”  The program itself, the enrollment process, and the decisions involved can be difficult to navigate and many people quickly find themselves overwhelmed.  Recognizing that this is an issue facing many people in our community, Gardner & Billing CPAs and Dixie Rogers Insurance are working together to present a Community Education Medicare Seminar.  The FREE seminar will take place on September 14th, 2017 at 2:00pm in the Broadus Community Center.  Refreshments will be provided and everyone is welcome to attend for a special presentation by Dixie Taylor Rogers, “Finding Your Way in the Medicare Maze.”

Dave Gardner, owner and partner of Gardner & Billing CPAs, describes his motivation for organizing this event.  "As I have made my way through the process of learning about supplemental health insurance and drug insurance coverage, it is clear there is more to it than I thought!  Knowing that a lot of our community was of the same ‘vintage’ as me, an informational session seemed to make sense.  I approached Dixie with the idea and was impressed by her depth of knowledge on the subject, as well as her ability to communicate it.”

Dixie Taylor Rogers is the daughter of Francis and Thelma Taylor, of Broadus, MT.  Initially, Dixie worked in retail, selling cowboy boots and hats in Billings; but after receiving a Marketing degree from MSU Billings, Dixie started in health insurance sales at Mutual of Omaha.  She and her family later moved to Boise, ID where she spent the next 16 years at Blue Cross of Idaho in Medicare and non-Medicare health insurance sales.  For the past three years, Dixie has been the owner/agent of her own agency, Dixie Rogers Insurance Services.  Dixie says, “After 20 years in the health insurance business, I’m still learning as I go and working to keep up with the constant changes that come about, but in short, I love what I do.  It’s the people who make my job interesting and fun.  Helping someone find the right insurance plan is very satisfying.” Dixie is a licensed independent Medicare agent in Montana and Idaho, representing multiple insurance companies. 

This Medicare seminar will be especially relevant to those individuals approaching 65 years of age who will be enrolling in Medicare for the first time.  Among the biggest Medicare misconceptions are the cost of coverage (it’s not actually free!) and the expectation that you will be automatically enrolled or notified when you become eligible.  This is not necessarily the case, so many people find themselves unprepared when the time comes.  You become eligible to enroll in Medicare during the three months prior to your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and the three months following the month you turn 65. This period is known as the initial enrollment period, or IEP.  If you miss this IEP, you could face a delay in coverage and additional costs. 

In addition to the enrollment process, the seminar will also cover topics which would be relevant to individuals already enrolled, including what is and isn’t covered by Medicare.  Many people are surprised to discover that Medicare doesn’t actually cover all your healthcare costs.  Purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan can help close the gap between Medicare coverage and out-of-pocket costs.  If you’re approaching 65, your mailbox is probably already FULL of advertisements pushing these private supplement plans that all look the same.  The presentation should provide some general plan comparison in order to help people feel informed and to understand their needs, without the feeling of “high pressure sales.” 

So, whether you’re lost in the Medicare maze or you just want a free cookie, you’re invited to attend the Community Education Medicare Seminar co-hosted by Gardner & Billing CPAs and Dixie Rogers Insurance Services, held on September 14th at 2pm in the Broadus Community Center.  For more information on this event, contact Gardner & Billing CPAs.